What once upon a time was a dream come true often becomes our cage.
Busy, we go on autopilot. Never stop to ask ourselves: Do I still want this?
We might get nudges that something is wrong. Like the lobster that grew bigger, our old shell becomes uncomfortable and constricting.
We try to numb the discomfort rather than enquire into it.
Some more Netflix, some “add to cart” action, some more food and drink. Distractions, meant to make us feel better.
If we do not hear the whispers of discomfort for a long time, they become screams.
Many examine their lives only after burnout or what they consider a major failure.
So, what can we do?
Take a step back from the urgent and ask ourselves the important questions:
- What do I want?
- What do I need to let go of?
- What does my ideal day/week look like right now?
- What type of work sets my soul on fire?
- What am I inspired to create next?
The key reason most people do not ask those questions is fear that what they discover might disrupt a comfortable status quo.
Maybe it will; maybe it won’t.
When I coach people on vision, some realize they need to do a drastic change.
Pruning the weeds and sometimes repotting the plant is necessary for it to thrive.
Others will make a tiny, one-grade correction to their route. Minor readjustments that make all the difference to where they end up.
Hospice nurse Bronnie Ware collected the top five regrets of the dying. The number one regret was this:
“I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the one others expected of me.”
Fear is not helpful. But if we are to be afraid of something, fear of regret is scarier than the fear of the unknown.
By the way, connecting with what we want does not mean we need to make abrupt decisions or changes.
Once we get clarity, ideas and opportunities tend to appear, making what looked impossible smooth, easy and fun.
An authentic life vision can save you years of working on the wrong things. It will focus your creative energy towards what you want. I will also help you recognize the right opportunities that align with your goals.
How do we clarify what we want?
I use two tools to help clients with this exploration:
- Vision: What do I want to create in my life? How does it look and feel like?
- Inspired action: What do I feel called to do next?
We all have an inner knowing about both of these questions. We just need to remove the obstacles to this inner knowing.
My process for getting to those answers is by removing the layers that cover them: ego, fear, perceived limitations, expectations, and past clutter.
It is a playful process.
A roadmap of exercises.
A supportive community.
Little pieces of the puzzle that slowly start forming a picture.
The power of vision and inspired action is staggering
I never read an autobiography of a successful person who did not have a vision about what they would create far before they did.
The data supporting the power of visualization is undeniable. From muscle building to mastering skills to winning medals.
VisionPath alum Mustafa Bosca joined the program the week he quit his partner role at Boston Consulting Group.
He did not know what he would do next. A few months later, he is thriving as a founder of his own successful business. I will interview Mustafa on LinkedIn and YouTube this Tuesday 6th June at 13:30 UK time.
If you want inspiration about what it takes to get clear and execute a major career transition when you have already “made it,” join us.
6 Common mistakes people make when creating a vision
1. Having a vision that looks good but is not what you really want
Often we have a vision that is not even ours. Maybe it is our parents’ expectations.
It may be the next logical step in the corporate ladder.
It could be what we saw in an ad and were convinced that this is what success looks like.
Or what we think will impress our classmates at the next school reunion.
Unless we follow joy with our vision, it is unlikely to work as expected.
2. Focusing on What You Don’t Want Instead of What You Want:
“I don’t want to have a boss.”
“I don’t want to have debt.”
“ I want to lose weight.”
These are all “run away” rather than “run towards” statements. Where we put our attention, we put our energy. Let’s ensure we focus on what we want rather than on what we don’t.
3. Constraining Your Vision to Perceived Limitations
We have no idea what is possible. We are aware of a minuscule part of our environment, and we think we know all the possibilities?
I have seen countless times people achieving what they thought would be impossible.
When we create the vision, we need to temporarily park the “how.” Let’s focus on the “what would be awesome” instead.
The “how” becomes a lot clearer after we have a vision that excites us.
4. Making Your Vision Time-Bound
A vision is not a goal. Adding timing to it will create an unnecessary sense of pressure, stress and lack. It might actually slow you down.
I often see clients manifest their vision a lot quicker than they thought.
5. Treating Your Vision as a Means to an End
Our vision is not a strategy. We need to include the things we want for their own sake, not the ones we want because we think they will help us achieve something else.
I remember after my first child, I was working hard towards a promotion. I didn’t even want the job anymore. But I thought that if I got the promotion, I could move to a 4-day week with the same income.
My vision should not have been the promotion but the 4-day work-week with the same or more income.
There was a better way to achieve the end result than working harder in a job I did not want anymore. Like launching a business I loved, which is what I did in the end.
6. Creating a Rigid Vision
Often I see people stuck because they want to figure out what to do for the next ten years.
Or because they feel committed to an old vision.
Vision is a tool for living more fully in the here and now. If it is too rigid, it can become a cage too.
You should not aspire to be committed to your vision but committed to being in flow.
As long as you are in flow, you will end up in great places and enjoy the ride.
Your vision needs to evolve as you do.
It is a boat to help you cross the river, but you do not need to carry it when you are out in dry land.
I fell in love with creating a vision when it helped me move from my mum’s sofa in Greece to a global role at Google in London.
Since then, I have coached hundreds of leaders on their vision, and the results never cease to amaze me.
Now, I am about to embark again on a 6-week visioning journey with a small group of clients. VisionPath starts this Monday, 5th June.
It is a liberating journey.
It feels freeing to take a moment to reconnect with yourself, your inner wisdom and bliss.
Removing the layers keeping your light from shining as bright as it could be.
Do what feels aligned with your truth.
Not what others expect of you. Not what you think is possible.
But what the wisest and most powerful part of yourself wants to unleash.
If you feel the call, I would love to have you on board.
Programs & Courses
VisionPath: Clarify what you want in your life, business and career, starting 5th June.
Thought Leader:Make a difference with your writing
ParentPath: Raise happy kids while rocking your career
Team Genius:Lead your team to greatness