Write a Vision and Make it Plain
People talk a good game. Most of us fall victim to doing more talking than writing, planning and acting upon that vision plan. The benefit to writing a vision is that you can look at it regularly and remind, encourage and admonish yourself whenever you find yourself getting off track, discouraged or walking in error. Vision plans are not just for churches and entrepreneurs, they are worthwhile for every part of life. Think of the benefits:
You will inevitably run into a period of time where you find yourself questioning why you even enrolled in college and undertook your chosen major. Everyone has those moments; whether in undergrad, pursuing a Masters or even in doctorate studies (I personally have not had a day — until Spring Break arrived — that I didn’t think about dropping out of law school). With your vision plan, you realize that you have a purpose to either become whatever your chosen field enables you to do, and it also helps you remain focused when those inevitable down times occur. I know that not only do the privileges that come with holding a juris doctorate benefit me, but I have a personal desire to do things for my family (including a very personal quest to overturn a wrongful conviction that took place 15 years ago within my family), I also know that my younger relatives are watching my every move, so dropping out is ultimately not a feasible option; despite the desire to do so 55 out of 55 days that I have been enrolled in classes.
Obviously, having a vision plan is only the first step to sustaining a business. Flying by the seat of one’s pants when large sums of capital are involved is not wise. Just like pursuing education, there days that you simply do not feel like working on your business. We were advised nine years ago when we began Solid Rock Collegiate Outreach, Inc. (501(c)3 organization) that we should do SOMETHING toward the edification of the business. All it takes is one off day to snowball into a week, then a month and then months of inactivity and lack of progress. A vision contains objectives, small goals along the way, timetables for completion and other incentives once milestones are reached.
It may appear to be overkill to do this, but if you do not have a vision for your friendships, dating and marriage, then you will just take life as it comes. People who do this eventually wake up at age 50 wondering where their youth went, and whining to everyone within earshot about how their 37 failed relationships are always someone else’s fault other than their own. I wrote a plan over 10 years ago that I would seek out people with like-minded goals and values to develop friendships. I even hashed out the step by step plan to do so: between academia, co-workers in every field that I have worked (and they are many), and all the way down to those who share the same passion about sports (particularly those who are fans of the teams that I am a fan of). May appear to be quaint, but life is about building upon common interests, which begets the best of relationships. Why wouldn’t you endeavor to do this?
Same with your plan for dating and marriage. If I ever get married (which is highly unlikely), I have a vision for my marriage. From the woman that I would pursue, to what she and I would do collectively as a team in terms of building a family and a legacy. Obviously, as is the case with all vision plans, this is malleable. When you involve others in your vision, those plans must be malleable. Why would you haphazardly date and/or marry someone because of how they look, their social status or material possessions? Sadly, far too many people do this. I refuse. My personal life is run like a business. It may appear to be minutiae, but it works.
Try it and tell me that there are drawbacks that outweigh the benefits?