If you accept that you are the master of YOUR destiny, then it’s important for you to determine YOUR own vision, goals and objectives, just like any business or department would. The capacity for growth is available to each of us but to activate it you must look within yourself and determine whether you are deeply committed to the vision you have identified for yourself. Having an interest, or even being curious, in starting your own business, developing yourself, taking up a new hobby or anything else is an all-important step in the process that leads to committing to it. For this interest to transition into commitment, your mindset needs to transition from something that you would like to do, into something that you will do no matter what challenges or barriers you’re up against. That unwavering commitment to your vision is crucial for long-term success to manifest. This article will demonstrate why it is important to work within your values and boundaries to ensure you do not lose sight on your vision.
Don’t underestimate the power of visualisation
Visualisation and channelling your energy are crucial to support growth and goal setting. Allowing yourself thinking time where you let your mind wander is healthy and removes the monotony of what everyday life and routine can be. The information that is filled in your subconscious needs to be processed and visualisation can help with this. If you were to close your eyes and visualise what success looks like, you’re likely to see yourself in the future, not tomorrow, not next week and not even next year but several years from now, an aspirational vision of yourself that can serve as motivation. I find that when I do this, my visualisations sometimes show me the sacrifices that may need to be made in order to realise my aspirations. I accept that it might seem a little ‘out there’, but we all need to let go sometimes, dream a little more as we did when we were children and take a leap of faith to realise our potential. When I have historically identified what I want to achieve and go after it, anything that I have had to give up or decided not to carry on with has never felt like a sacrifice. It’s more like ending something that no longer serves me and moving in a new direction towards something that is going to help me accomplish my ambitions.
Be honest with yourself – evaluate each opportunity against your vision
It is important to invest the most time you can into things that best serve your vision. I’m sure we have all had the idea to learn a new language, skill or take on a challenge that piqued our curiosity. When I reflected on these examples to assess my own thought process, I realised a common theme. If the idea didn’t strongly resonate, or only slightly interested me, I would often make excuses for why I might not be able to do something. This was because I hadn’t passed the awareness point of where interest turns to commitment. Having acknowledged this, rather than making excuses, I am now honest with myself and those around me, to admit exactly that. Before you invest your time, energy and effort in reviewing an opportunity or idea, it’s important to evaluate them in a consistent manner against your goals and vision and assessing your own position between commitment, vision and passion. Spending time initially on evaluating these elements will ensure that your decision is grounded and focused towards achieving your vision. When a person doesn’t take the appropriate time to review themselves against these elements, they tend to act on impulse, or default to following the general trends that they are seeing around them, instead of any strategic rationale against what they actually want. Better decisions are made following reflection of the positive and negative impact, whilst considering the desired outcomes sought in every situation. The clarity of thought this brings will naturally highlight sacrifices that will need to be made, which ultimately become aspects that are no longer serving your vision.
Don’t let others divert you from your why
Peer pressure can and does on occasion have a significant impact on commitment. Sometimes it provides a positive or negative stimulus which impacts on yourself or others. Think back, have you ever found yourself pressured into something because friends or other colleagues are doing the same? It’s very common especially in large sales team environments. Confusion or lack of defined vision pushes some people to experiment more and trial different things. It’s easy to fall foul and jump on the bandwagon of a good idea that someone has, but you need to consider whether it’s important enough to you, the right thing or whether you will see it through. If you don’t take time to do this, at the first sign of a challenge which you’re unable to overcome, you will probably quit which is why it is important to work within your boundaries. Setting goals and regularly checking performance against them, whilst reminding yourself of your vision, keeps your passion alive and ensures you stay on track with commitment maintained. An individual with a vision and who is committed will set themselves goals and objectives to work towards and they are more likely to take responsibility for their own progress and development. Never lose sight of your vision in favour of someone else’s.
How can leaders support individuals in sticking to their vision?
This is by no means an easy task and it requires commitment to growth from both the leader and the individuals. The key starts with understanding the true vision that each person has for themselves – where they want to be in 5, 10 or even 15 years’ time? What do they want to be doing, why and how? I’ve worked with individuals who have been able to identify their vision in days, but for others it’s taken significantly longer because they have struggled with the idea of having a personal long-term plan. In some cases, individuals have not believed in this concept and opted not to focus on it; that’s their choice, but the difference between those that have a clear vision and those that do not is easily recognisable and it is much more beneficial for the team as a whole if the leader recognises these visions. As team members go through different life stages, the only guarantee is that things will change which will challenge them, grow them, and as a result will require them to review and possibly adjust their personal vision, goals and objectives. If they’re in a newly formed relationship or decide to get married or are about to have their first child or buy their first house, all these things and more will have an impact on them personally, which could have a knock-on effect on how they react. Some may see them as distractions from a working perspective, however I see them as critical milestones in each person’s development. The hard work (personal and professional) has helped them to reach these milestones. Rather than making assumptions at this stage it’s important for leaders to support the team members, offer advice if applicable and ask questions to validate any assumptions made about them so the leader and team member can work together to plan accordingly and together can put the next steps in place to ensure the interest is maintained, at the very least, and commitment continues. Leaders should support their team in achieving their vision and account for any life changes that may occur.
Having a strong vision, and being committed to that vision, becomes a ‘guiding light’ for all your decisions. In moments of uncertainty or doubt, returning to this vision and validating new information or variables against it supports the process of continuous evaluation and adjusting the plan for how the goals and objectives will be achieved.