Vision, Values, & Purpose: 3 Essential Tools for Navigating the Discomfort Zone Part 1
Find Your Road Map Before You Begin the Journey
Change is uncomfortable. Your brain isn’t wired for constant change – even though life is full of them. For this reason, it’s critical that you develop skills for being comfortable with the uncomfortable.
It’s time to face the Discomfort Zone.
This two-part blog post will serve as a launch pad for determining how far away you are from realizing your ideal life, one where you face discomfort with confidence and ease. We’ll help you get there, starting with a three-fold discovery:
· Your Vision
· Your Values
· Your Purpose
In Part 1, we will explore your vision specifically, including how you can identify it, cast it, and achieve it for both business and personal success. When you define these ideals for yourself, you’ll better understand where you want to go in your life. Only then can you recognize the gaps in your journey; the places that will require change and growth if you want to achieve your goals.
What is Vision?
Lewis Carroll once wrote, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”
At first glance, it sounds adventurous, but at a deeper level, it’s really asking a profound question:
“Do I really want to leave my (or my company’s) journey open to chance?”
For most of us, the answer is no. We prefer to control as much of our future as possible, which is very understandable. Therefore, it’s vital that you know where you’re going and whom you aspire to be. It’s only then, when you’re armed with that knowledge, that you can determine the right path to get there.
The word for this concept? Vision.
Why Your Company Needs Vision
Vision was, is, and should always be a leading topic in any healthy boardroom. Why? Because it’s the North Star for a company. A good vision statement should define where the business wants to be at some future point. It should paint a picture of the company’s potential impact if successful.
Steve Jobs was inarguably the most visionary businessman of our time. He didn’t talk about profits or big holiday sales – very defined metrics that many experts consider the benchmark of a business’s success. Instead, he persuaded people to join Apple by painting a picture of a place where they could develop products that change the world.
That said, vision isn’t all about pie-in-the-sky thinking. Having a defined vision gives you and your business a clear path forward. A TD Bank study of 500 small business owners found that 76% of businesses that visualized and documented their vision declared that their business is where they actually wanted it to be.
Why You Need Vision
The same principle of creating a vision for your company applies to your personal life. You need a personal vision statement. It’ll provide the basis by which you make decisions.
In Anissa’s life, vision has been critical to both her personal and professional success. 15 years ago, she left her last Fortune 500 role to follow her vision of “helping people live better and healthier lives.” The execution of this led to the development of healthyAisles®, one of the first nutrition databases for grocery retailers. The product made it easier for shoppers to identify healthier products at the shelf.
She successfully sold the company and found the work incredibly satisfying in the interim. Even after, Anissa’s vision remains intact, guiding her daily decisions on business and personal projects every day.
Developing Your Own Vision
If you’ve never developed a personal vision, we recommend you start by answering these six questions:
1. Where do I see myself in 10 years?
2. What is my one single passion?
3. In 10 years, what will I be doing each day?
4. What would I regret not doing or being at the end of my life?
5. What or who inspires me every day?
6. If I had to describe myself using three positive words, what would they be?
You should answer them as if your current limitations – finances, home life, education, career path, etc. – do not exist. But you should be realistic and honest with your answers. The more you can align your personal vision with your professional life, the happier, less stressed, and healthier you will be.
That being said, if your vision for your life doesn’t perfectly match the work you’re doing, you shouldn’t quit your job tomorrow. Instead, look for the parts of your job to serve as stepping stones and lend themselves to achieving the bigger vision for your life. And if those stepping stones lead you to a new job, then that job was always going to be in your path.
In the second half of this post, we’ll talk about your Core Values and your Core Purpose. Without them, your vision won’t stand a chance of navigating your Discomfort Zone.
If you’re ready to start formulating your personal vision so you can become a better leader at work and person in life, then contact us today for a free initial consultation!