How to Create a Vision for Your Life
Have you ever met a person who seems to have known from the time they were born what they wanted to do with their life? It can happen, but for most people, figuring out their purpose is a process of trial and error.
We believe there’s value in the process of developing–or further considering–your sense of purpose. It’s important because people who seek purpose are more satisfied with their own lives, happier, and more likely to contribute in positive ways to the world around them.
Vision: What it is & why it matters
Vision is the first No Barriers Life element for a reason. To have Vision means you:
- Take action to pursue your interests and passions
- Make decisions aligned to what you care about
- Have a clear idea of who you are
- Know how to take the first step towards reaching
Figuring out how to create a vision for your life is essential. Having a clear internal vision is deeply attached to building your purpose and finding meaning in life. Some people feel that they have always known their purpose in life. For example, many teachers have known since they were bright eyed, bushy tailed students that they wanted to be up front leading the classroom themselves someday. But for others, this is a difficult concept—and finding your purpose in life can feel overwhelming.
Think of it this way: Potential. Purpose. Inspiration.
5 steps to create a vision for the future
1. Envision what your best life would look like
From being able to give back to everyone living in poverty to owning a mansion on a private island, everyone has their far-fetched, best life, big dream ideas. But, part of creating your vision is looking at those big dreams and seeing what steps can be taken to make them a reality.
Although it may seem childish, planning a vision for the future can be really helpful to look far down the road at what your “best life” would look like. See more clearly what is most important to you.
2. Take a step back and think about the values you hold highest
After reflecting on what your best life would entail, it is important to see if that lines up with the values you hold highest in your life. If kindness is important to you, maybe your best life would be being able to spread kindness to your community through supporting organizations that help those in need.
People feel most joy filled and happy when their life lines up with the things most important to them. Therefore, it is extremely important to make sure that the vision you create for your life lines up with what you believe in most.
3. Plan backward—on how to get there
Once you have thought about your big picture vision for the future, you can start thinking backwards about how to get there. If you don’t have a large goal, you will often be aimlessly wandering through life. Often times it is easiest to start with a big dream and then work backwards on the steps to get there.
4. Create an action plan
This step is where it gets real. Creating your action plan means to think of real life steps to do in your daily life to get you to your goal. This plan could include things as big as looking for a new job to things as small as giving your snack to the homeless man on the side of the road.
“The path from dreams to success does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get onto it, and the perseverance to follow it.”
-Kalpana Chawla (American astronaut, engineer, and the first woman of Indian descent to go into space)
Although those may seem like very different tasks, they both carry a large amount of weight and can have a great impact in your life as well as the lives of others. If this list of actions feels long, just focus on your starting point and the small things you can do to slowly grow your vision.
5. Remind yourself it is not going to be perfect and it is ok to change it
Knowing your vision for the future, your purpose and life, and what you want to do is a big task. As you grow and change through life, your vision may change too and that is ok! This is something that can be ever changing. As long as you pay attention to your values and goals, you are on the right track!
The No Barriers community weighs in
Our robust community thinks a lot about the question: “What is your vision in life?” & answer. Read on to get inspired!
Have you heard the incredible story of Erik Weihenmayer? He’s the cofounder of No Barriers, a published author, and an avid outdoorsman and mountain climber. He also happens to be blind. He’s basically a household name because he was the first blind man to ever summit Mount Everest. Amazing, right? Erik has thought a lot about vision in his life.
“[Vision is] not about seeing the future… it’s more of an internal vision [to] understand how we serve ourselves and how we serve others.”
Penn Street’s life abruptly changed paths at age nine after being bitten by a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake. The medications that saved her life triggered a life-threatening diagnosis of Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS). SJS took most of her vision and impaired her vital organs, but did not steal her tomboy spirit. It was then that she began her “No Barriers” life.
Read more about Penn’s storyhere.
His advice: “If I could have given my freshly injured self or anyone going through a hard time advice… You might not want this day to end. The sunset might look beautiful and the night might look dark and scary, but even in darkness, there’s beauty. The sun will rise again and this day will be longer than the last. That day will end, but the night will be shorter and less dark. You can never escape the night and the days will always end, but it’s up to you to see how beautiful both night and day are. If you are going through the night right now, you are not alone and the day will come.”
Connor was involved in a hit and run crash in 2018 that led to a spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. Read more about his vision in the Fort Collins newspaper, the
Coloradoan. His mother, Heather Zoccali, started the Caregivers division of No Barriers to support full-time family caregivers. Their joint vision for the future includes living a fulfilling life, trying new things, and providing rich programming for caregivers, including transformative experiences, retreats, and expeditions.
What is YOUR vision in life answer?
Learning how to create a vision for your life can seem extremely daunting and scary. For some people it can take years to find their purpose and meaning in life and that is okay! Whether your 20 years old or 54, it is never too late to start creating a vision for the future. Knowing how to create a vision for your life is the first step and by following the steps above, you can do just that!
While considering your values and dreams for your best life, consider how they align with No Barriers values. No Barriers Life framework revolves around vision, rope teams, reach, pioneer, alchemy, summit and elevate. These elements help people to exemplify the mindset to break through barriers and live their best lives. Through your donations and support, No Barriers is able to support others in their search to give the world their absolute best.
Text from image quotes on how to create a vision for your life:
Penn Street: VISION to me is my compass that I rely on to keep me on my path of being the very best I can be. This compass is a symbol that represents my work goals, my volunteer drive, my family, and my friends. Without VISION I am in the dark and I lose my way.
Wayne Belzer: While deployed to combat, I was in a roll that broke my neck in 2 places. I am partially (like 30%) paralyzed on my right side. While at a WWP retreat we had to challenge ourselves by climbing a telephone pole to a zipline. For me it was a slight challenge and felt good to do it. Then another member who is missing a leg and an arm, climbed that pole. Very slowly having to hook his prosthetic leg and manually raise it to the next rung. One at a time, but he did it, sweating profusely and breathing heavy. With cheers from everyone he zipped down to the rest of us. His injuries are ten times greater than mine but his resolve got him to the same place. It seems that the greater the challenge, the greater the human spirit and people like him inspire me to fight on.
Bryan Lund: Looking to clarify my vision so that I fulfill the purpose for which I was born. A quote that drives me is, “wherever you are, BE there!”
Amanda Gruber: I feel inspired by other adaptive athletes who are accomplished that I have met. I love to interact with people who overcome their challenges and find joy in activity. I have started sharing my adaptive adventures on social media. I feel that I also can be an inspiration to others by sharing my experiences. It keeps me trying new things, and creates a positive hopeful energy.
This article is part of an ongoing series that explores the No Barriers Life Elements in-depth. Find additional articles here:
- How to Create a Vision for Your Life
- 7 Stories of Reach & Why Goal Setting is Essential
- Pioneering: Easier Said Than Done
- Rope Teams & The Value of Community
- How to Stay Positive No Matter What AKA Alchemy