“A computer on every desk.” – Bill Gates on Microsoft
“A man on the moon within the decade.” – John F. Kennedy on NASA
“We will deliver the best health care anywhere.” – Wellmont Health System
“The preferred quick-service restaurant.” – Pal’s Sudden Service
These sentences are examples of Vision Statements, declarations that clearly state the ultimate goal or desired achievement for those organization. Vision Statements exist in every successful business, rather it be a Fortune 500 organization or a small family-owned industry. They serve as rallying point around which all employees of an organization can focus their energy towards, providing purpose for the daily efforts.
If successful organizations believe in the importance of having a Vision Statement that describes their most desired goal, does it not stand to reason that you as an individual should also have a personal vision for what you desire to achieve in life? The short and long answer is yes, you should.
World-renowned leadership expert John Maxwell speaks often on the subject of vision, especially as it relates to “living intentionally.” Having a vision isn’t just about having another goal that you are aiming for, although goals can be a part of a vision. Rather, a vision creates a sense of purpose and identity, a “why” that explains the reasons that you do what you do. Visions tend to stem from deep passions inside you, causing you to dream big and driving you to strive for more than any list of goals ever will. And having a vision will keep you from simply “coasting” through life, especially when your vision will impact and improve the lives of others.
For John Maxwell, part of his life vision is to train the next generation of leaders, which is why his organization Equip has a goal of training millions of leaders around the globe (the original goal from 2003 of one million individuals now exceeds six million). For business magnate Tony Robbins, who experienced poverty and hunger at a young age, part of his vision and “why” for generating millions in revenue from business is so that he can give generously to charities that provide food for the hungry (his funding has paid for over fifty-seven million meals for families through his lifetime efforts). And referencing the first quote from above, the vision that Bill Gates imagined more than thirty years ago propelled him to the title of richest man in the world while fundamentally altering the daily lives of most everyone.
Maybe your vision is to travel the world and volunteer your time to grand causes. Maybe it is to start a Fortune 500 company or be on the board of a multi-national nonprofit. Maybe it is to run for political office, or maybe it is to be a stay-at-home parent so that you can focus your energy towards raising your children. Spend time thinking about what drives you and what you truly want for your life, and then write it down and reflect on it often. Build goals around your vision, which can be used as milestones on your journey to track your progress. And remember that the more your vision includes and impacts others, the more impact it will ultimately have on you as well.
As John Maxwell and others will tell you, the bottom line is that you need a vision for your life.
Jeremiah Clark, M.A., is a healthcare IT consultant with six Epic Systems certifications. He is also
a partner at Appalachian Digital, a local web development agency, and a founding partner of
MHQC LLC Real Estate Development. He and his wife Erin are natives of Kingsport, TN.