On sunday nights I watch U.K. based minister Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo on Daystar TV and when he says, "A jouney must be clearly defined by a vision," I find myself smiling and nodding. I ask myself how many of us actually have a vision for our lives that guides us in this ultimate journey, whether in business or in carving out a career path?
With a solid vision, you are alert, aware and open to opportunities that might lead you to a greater goal. With a guiding vision, you are unafraid to follow the path and more willing to tackle challenges … because you understand where you are heading. A solid long-lasting vision should always be larger than earning money to pay bills, it should be about making a difference in your family and in other people's lives in your own little way. A guiding vision gives your life a purpose.
Some components of a solid vision are:
Painting the bigger picture: Where would you like to be 10-20 years from today? What life-style would you want for your children, nieces, nephews and close family members? Recognize that this is not about driving the newest mercedes benz in the market, or puchasing the latest Luis Vuitton purse or big screen TV. It's about the future, a legacy, what you would like to be known for. Do you know that most people don't take the time to think beyond today, to identify the meaning of their lives? What happens is, they end up just drifting throught life. Have you also noticed that most people who have moved on to make a difference and inspired nations, from Mother Theresa to the greatest world leaders and freedom fighters had a life purpose? Like an artist, it is important to take the time to draft your big picture.
Building dreams: Be inspired by your dreams and help others realize theirs. Whether it's little things like helping a child start and stay in school or mentoring someone build a successful business. What dreams of yours are yet to come true? What are the things in life you want to enjoy? Is it travel, is it living in a nice home, is it driving a luxurious car, is it establishing a successful business, is it fundraising for non-profits? These dreams can come true is you shape them around the needs of others. Help others achieve their dreams and yours will have no choice but to come true.
Do your homework: "I am excited, I know what I want out of life and so I jump into it, but how comes I am not seeing success?" Why am I not getting the results I thought I would? Usually because we do not do our homework. Have you spent enough time finding out what works? How much research have you done? This is the one reason why so many dreams have been dashed – we did not take the time to understand what it takes to make them come true. From personal experience: as you know, we recently launched Dunia magazine and it has been a blessing. What I do these days is study magazine trends and spend a lot of time learning about what works in the media industry. I am not listening to nay-sayers, those who have given me every reason that this ain't going to work; I am asking questions to those who have the experience and digging up a lot of material from the internet … and slowly but surely, Dunia is growing. It is very important to do your due deligence and patiently build on your dreams.
Swim in your vision: Every worthwhile vision or life's purpose involves the participation of others. Do you remember the saying, "no man is an island?" You must be able to sell your vision. You should be able to tell people about what you do, where you are going, why they need to go with you and why you are so excited about it. It is difficult to stop someone who knows exactly where he is going and refuses to give up. It is difficult. Share your vision with others. Your passion is what rubs off on them and brings them on board your ship.
Embrace your life: Be happy, be satisfied, be fulfilled, be excited about the future. The one who follows their purpose, regardless of how much money they have in the bank, is always the one with the brightest smile. Jump in, network with the right people and pursue your dreams passionately. This is the bottomline of Success!
I'll leave you with these words of Gail Devers: “Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.”