Recently I shared with colleague that I had a personal vision and measurable action steps to achieve that vision. She then made reference to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and said, “You are seeking self-actualization.”
Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who believed every human being had innate needs. According to Maslow, the highest need is to be self-actualized – to live to our fullest potential.
Having a personal vision helps us recognize and enter a state of “becoming” more of who we could be. Personal visions come from our deepest roots. Like a tree, we have certain inherited genetics, we weather a number of different conditions, we all experience our fair share of pruning, and many people also have deep spiritual roots. Combined, these elements help shape our potential and influence our sense of purpose.
While I don’t believe you can create a solid personal vision in five minutes or without some serious effort, there are some useful free tools available to help you get started. On AARP’s Life Reimagined website, you’ll be prompted to make a number of choices that will help you think about what is most important to you and how you want to take the next steps toward the life you want to live. Here is the link: https://lifereimagined.aarp.org/
This basic tool will help you think about what is most important. It will also help provide a structure for a basic vision statement. Then I suggest you refine this statement and go deeper. I encourage you to think about more intuitive processes such as visual journaling, developing a collection of images that speak to you, reviewing your personal journals, and thinking about activities and work that energizes you and things that deplete your energy.
It took me a couple of months to write my first vision statement over 20 years ago. While my life purpose hasn’t changed, I’ve refined it a few times as I’ve gone through different transitions. Periodically I refine the action steps I’m taking to achieve my vision as what once worked may no longer move me forward.
I challenge you to check out AARP’s cool tool to get you started on your personal vision as a way to help you focus. Then take the next steps by refining that vision statement. It will help guide you as you think about your future and how you want to fulfill your dreams.