Visionary Pursuits

Finding Your Vision


So what if you don't even know what your vision is? Don't worry. You aren't alone. When I started writing this book, I assumed that everyone knew what their vision was... they just hadn't achieved it yet. But the more I talked to people, the more I found out that many people just like you haven't even figured out that part yet. If you're in this boat, don't worry! We're going to figure it out together. The following section includes exercises to help you figure out what you want to do. Then we'll continue on with figuring out how to do it. For now, just be open and commit to doing the exercises.

There are a lot of ways to figure out what your vision is, but they all essentially center around 'idea generation'. We're going to use many of the same techniques advertising executives use when they need a new ad campaign... and we're going to add a lot of things they DON'T use, to give you the maximum advantage.

Here are the topics we're going to cover:

Notice that we're starting with the non-traditional means, then moving toward the traditional ones. Thinking outside the box is the most effective and I've seen these ideas generate a vision for someone very quickly. If they work for you, great! You can skip ahead to the next section. If not, we've got plenty of backup plans to get you to your place of potential.

Prayer

For those of you with a faith background, prayer can be a very powerful way to find your purpose in life. After all, what better way to find out your life's direction than from the Creator himself. I come from a Christian background, so I'll use terms specific to the way I was raised, but many faiths have a tradition of connecting with and seeking wisdom from the Creator.

My friend Darrell, who is highlighted in this chapter's Success Profile is the perfect example of someone who found his purpose through prayer. He believed in, and sought, God's will in his life through intense prayer and time spent in his prayer closet. Like Darrell, I would encourage you as part of your prayer practice to regularly seek God's purpose for your life. Just as important as seeking, though, is listening. Many people 'converse' with God by producing a runnning monologue. Just be still and let God speak to you.

Many of the Eastern religions have the advantage of using meditation as an integral part of their practice. Followers are taught regularly to be still and listen to an inner voice to bring out wisdom and truth. Regardless of your religion, meditation can help you calm your mind and receive the great things that God has for you.

(put Darrell's bio at the end of this chapter.)

That Thing

There's really no better way to describe this than 'that thing'. A lot of people have 'that thing' that has always bugged them. It's a topic they frequently bring up for discussion or are bothered by. It might be the lack of an available service, an improvement to a product, or something similar. It is usually something that affects their daily life.

Think through your day. Is there something you're always complaining about or wish were different? A lot of times it will start with, "I wish there were a way to..." Inventions are almost always created by those who would benefit by them. What would benefit you? What problems do you see around you? Don't assume that you can't fix them. Right now we're just idea generating. It is not your job to judge whether you're capable or not. It is just your job to find your vision.

One other place to look at is how you spend your time. Is there a hobby or activity in which you engage frequently? That could be the perfect place for finding your vision. After all, your vision should exist at the intersection of passion and need.

Friends/Family

No one knows you better than those who are closest to you. So it seems silly to begin a journey of self-discovery without consulting the people who know you best. Often times that which is cloudy to us is quite clear to the people around us. Friends and family and provide valuable input into the things that you are particularly good at. As Maxwell says, it is better to focus on and accentuate your strengths than to try to overcome your weaknesses.

Idea Generation

If you're still running dry on ideas or need some clarity, stay hopeful. These techniques are sure to help you come up with things you'd never thought of before. They're good to use alone, and even better in conjunction with others. Here are the methods we are going to cover.

There are countless others, but these are the ones that I have most effective.

(need to put a section in here about how to whittle down ideas to a single candidate... but save your work as you can always use those other ideas.)