What's your vision of the future? Do you feel you are on autopilot heading nowhere? What kind of life and career do you want to have? What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind? Are you reaching your full potential? Do you feel like you have a purpose?
I believe it is impossible to reach your full potential if you don't know your purpose in life. You can be busy doing a lot of great things, but they won't bring you the satisfaction and fulfillment you're looking for if they aren't the things you were meant to do.
I define reaching your full potential as being the very best version of you, being in your sweet spot where you feel the most fulfilled, the most on-purpose and where you're making the greatest difference.
Imagine someone going on a trip but not knowing the destination. If you can't define what you want and visualize your future, how will you know when you find it? You can never truly reach something that is never defined and visualized.
The first step in discovering your purpose and achieving your potential is to write down your vision of future success. If you don't have a vision of the future, then your future is threatened to be a repeat of the past. Your "level of success" will be determined by your "vision of success."
Here are eight steps to help you create your own vision statement. Don't feel you have to get it perfect the first time. Just write your first rough draft now because it could take awhile to get it just right.
1. Start with your dream list -- "What do you want in life?" This is the place to write down everything you've ever wanted to be, do, have, and achieve. Highlight the ones that might shape your life's direction.
2. Uncover your personality tendencies -- Are you an introvert or extrovert? Do you take action immediately or procrastinate? Are you organized or cluttered? Are you self-motivated or do you need outside motivation? You get the idea.
3. Identify your strengths -- What are you great at? What are your unique skills? What are your natural talents and abilities? What do others say that you are good at? Make a list of all the things you do well. You might be surprised at how big your list gets.
4. Discover your interests and passions -- What are the things, tasks, ideas or causes that really inspire and energize you? They are the things you'd do if you had all the money in the world. Write them down and narrow them down to your top five.
5. Clarify your personal values -- This will require some thought and honesty. Your values include the things that are most important and non-negotiable in your life. They are the driving force behind your dreams and your passions. Narrow it down to your top five. (For example: making a difference, integrity, generosity, financial independence, career advancement, travel, power, etc.)
6. Review your life experiences -- These shape who you are and can influence who you may become. List the skills learned in your job, education and volunteer experiences. Then list your major achievements and crises.
7. Compile and study the information you've gathered -- Using all of this information, think about how they all might intersect. Look for recurring or overarching themes in your life and any overlapping experiences or interests. What might they mean or indicate regarding your future purpose?
8. Write your vision statement -- Start to define and visualize your preferred future or dream life. Don't limit yourself by only thinking about what you can easily accomplish based on where you're at today. Think in terms of your full potential: What could you accomplish in your life if you stretched yourself, took a risk and made a plan? What does your dream life look like? Consolidate your vision statement into one or two paragraphs.
Armed with this new vision of success, use this vision statement to guide the daily actions you take and the decisions you make as you continue to set a course for success.
Brad Larsen is a life coach and corporate consultant from Northern Utah. He can be reached at email@example.com.