Successful people know where they’re going. They have a vision, a dream, like Martin Luther King, Jr.
Successful people envision their futures and specify the outcomes they desire so that they can channel their effort toward those ends.
No surprise there. At the same time, envisioning a future is not just a key to success, it’s a gateway to well-being.
We need a vision for better health and happiness.
Images of our future lives contribute to our self-esteem, our happiness, and the sense that we can control our destinies.
Boosting self-esteem and happiness are positive effects associated with having a vision. And with a vision, our health gets a lift, especially if we’re recovering from a serious life crises.
The ability to envision positive, empowering futures for ourselves leads to more than just enhanced performance on routine tasks – it is also crucial to our ability to recover from tragic events.
For example, the current self-concept of those recovering well from serious life crises (such as divorce or death of a spouse) differs little from those recovering poorly. Instead, the key driver to recovery lies in visions of future selves.
And the flip side?
Dr. K., what happens if we lack a vision?
Research doesn’t look good. Without a vision, we are more prone to…
- Experience negative emotions such as depression and anxiety
- Be less happy and less satisfied with their lives
- Have more physical illnesses and doctor’s visits
- Be indecisive, uncertain and rebellious
In short, a vision is like a flashlight to success. Without it, we can struggle to find our way out of an unhealthy realm.
We need a vision for lots of good reasons beyond being a success. But, how do we create one?
Dr. K, your thoughts?
Also, consider nine themed questions.
Nine themes is a lot. So I picked two from Dr. K.
- The Ideal Life Scenario. Take a few moments and envision the ideal life you would like to have ten years from now.
What will I be doing? Where will I be living? Will I still have a job? If so, what would it be? Who do I want to be?
- The Forgotten Dreams Scenario
When I was young, what did I want to be when I grew up? When I was young, who were my heroes and role models? When I was young what were my favorite subjects in school?
Now Welcome Bob. A Real-Life Success Story.
I want to introduce you to Bob. Bob is a success and he follows all 5 steps. He’ll be our example to help us learn the 5 steps to success.
Bob told me his vision (Step 1) a year ago.
Bob’s future vision of himself…
Be 15 pounds lighter. Have a stronger core, improve my work-life balance and live a healthy lifestyle for next ten years.
Bob solidified his vision to be a success with Step 2.
- Having a vision is Step 1 to success.
- Envisioning our future selves raises happiness and self-esteem.
- Without a vision, we may be more susceptible to anxiety, depression, physical illnesses and doctor’s visits.
- We can create a vision by using any of nine-themed questions like the ideal life scenario, the forgotten dreams scenario, or What Color is Your Parachute? A practical manual for job-hunters and career changes.