“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your Vision is the promise of what you shall one day be. Your Ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.” — James Allen
It was the late American author and political activist Helen Keller who once wrote: “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” What do you think she meant by this? Reflect on your answer over the coming paragraphs as we explore the idea of happiness through self-fulfillment. I believe purpose and vision are two crucial ingredients to create a destiny filled with passion and hope. Passion ignites the spark, which fuels the flame toward desire a successful future. Nurturing a vision for success becomes an exploration of the deepest wisdom which resides within us and allows it to serve as our focal point.
As we undertake a masterful plan for our future, we unearth a dormant force within us. Vision and purpose coexist within the same container, which lead to the fulfillment of our deepest desires. A vision is an extension of our soul’s plan made manifest into reality. Therefore as we align this with purpose, a powerful process is brought into action. I’m reminded of the Patanjali quote highlighting the activation of purpose. I carry this message with me on my phone, since it reminds me of the wisdom we all have access to: “When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
Our purpose is our kindred spirit moving through life alongside us to navigate our life’s path, whilst our vision is the path toward that which we seek. For example, recall the last time you ventured on a driving holiday and were unfamiliar with the route? Perhaps the plan was to figure it out along the way as you drove from your starting point to your destination? Chances are, you mapped the journey as you went along, since getting lost is certainly not the agenda. Mapping directions when you don’t know the route, is a wise move to avoid taking an unexpected detour along the way.
How about as it relates to the game of life? Whilst we undertake this journey with many different roads to choose from, seldom do we take the time to map our life path or create a life plan. Many people never develop a life plan owing to the fact they believe it is a waste of time. Allow me to assure you that our life journey is just that; a journey. If we are not planning or navigating the road ahead, we are bound to lose our way. In fact, there are plenty of reasons we should map out a life plan. Here are a few:
It awakens our consciousness to follow a road that leads to “somewhere.” The life plan assures us of where we are headed.
Gives us a sense of purpose and a vision infused with life, meaning, and value.
Prompts us to create tangible goals and action steps that will allow us to fulfil those goals.
Discover Your Purpose
“If you don’t have a plan, you become part of somebody else’s plan.” ― Terence McKenna
There are numerous people who put their passion and dreams on the back burner, believing they cannot sustain a living chasing their dreams. Sadly, life seems to pass them by and sure enough, they reach a point of no return called mid-life, locked into a career and a relationship which does not serve them. Sound familiar? In fact, a quick internet search on successful men and women will show you can achieve what you put your mind to. Seemingly, given the advent of each New Year, many people contemplate their life’s purpose with bewilderment. What is it? Do I have one?
Believe that you do have a purpose — assuredly, it can be found by stepping out of your comfort zone and trialling it. While I may be stating the obvious, sitting at home wishing for our purpose to fall into our lap may be wishful thinking. We must take a risk and create forward momentum towards discovering our purpose. The first step is the most difficult, yet the most important. Consider the likes of Bill Gates, Tony Hsieh (Zappos) and Jeff Bezos (Amazon) who never started out as business heroes. They began with the desire to solve a problem that many people experienced and create a value driven product or service the best in their field. How did they begin? With one step.
The attention turns to you. Do you find yourself caught in stagnation? Do you have dreams, visions, or goals for your life? If so, are they infused with passion and zeal? Are you happy pursuing them or simply burned out to turn them into reality? If you are not enjoying the journey, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate the process. It is worth considering making a number of crucial changes, not only to your outlook, but to establish firm goals alongside a life planning process. Take to the waters and test drive your purpose to see if there is a calling. If you fail, at least you can learn quickly from your failures and adjust your course. Many years ago I spent time with a mastermind group in my state called Thought Leaders . One of their business mantras was: “fail fast.” That is, make the mistakes you need to make early in the piece, learn from it and adjust your course accordingly. Let me ask you: Where do you think you will be in five, ten or twenty years’ time? What do you want your life to look like Who do you want to be in the future?
Purpose Or Vision
“What could be a better use of your time than establishing a game plan for your life?”―Michael Hyatt
Most people automatically think about where they want to live, what car they’ll have, or who they will be married to, which is fine, although I want you to consider what you want your life to look like in every way: financially, socially, physically and spiritually. Personally, I like to categorise my life into yearly components and within that framework, break them down into quarters. I create a five, ten and twenty year life plan by apportioning it back to quarterly periods. This keeps me on track and prompts me to actively work toward my short-term and long-term goals. Creating a life plan allows you to gain clarity on what is important and what you wish to achieve over the course of your life.
For many people, life happens to them, instead of through them. Life passes them by at the drop of a hat and soon enough their dreams, goals and aspirations have fallen by the wayside as eluded to earlier. We mustbe clear on our vision — imagine it, envision it and focus on it daily so we are clear on WHAT we wish to achieve. We mustn’t worry about the HOW’S. They will be made known to us along the way. We should strategize our life plan by mapping out a course which leads us somewhere, rather than anywhere. We create our destiny by stepping into it with a bold and purposeful vision for the future. A life plan can be a personal strategy and a call to action aspects of our life we value. It is an invitation to move in the direction of our life’s priorities.
Far too many people sail through life drifting from one career, relationship or circumstances to another. They have not defined their purpose or vision and so life eventually decides the course of their destiny. They fall victim to being at the mercy of life’s forces, pulling them in all directions yet without having a clear vision for the future. Psychologists call it the pain pleasure principle, which is the instinctual seeking of pleasure or running away from pain in order to satisfy one’s biological and psychological needs. That is, people are defined by those who seek the pleasure of enriched encounters or simultaneously runaway from painful circumstances. If we continue to encounter undesirable conditions, our predominant motive will be to run away from our problems, in contrast to seeking new and exciting opportunities which enhance our personal growth. Therefore, we ought to create a clear vision of that which we desire and create a plan which draws us closer to the life we want to live.
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