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.