Monday, December 3, 2007

What is a “Vision” and why is it important?

Futurists frequently talk about or refer to “Visions of the future.” But sometimes we (futurists) assume that everyone understands what we mean ...but they don’t. The question I hear most frequently from audiences is “How do I create a vision?” And they want a step by step answer. So here’s how.

First, what is a vision of the future? This is important, because a vision of your personal future is the first step in actually planning for your future. A vision of the future is the image in your mind of what the future can or should be like at a given time in the future, say 10 years.
Why is that important? Because that is where you want to go. Your destination. If you don’t have a destination in mind, how will you get there? If you don’t know what you want in life, you’ll have to settle for what you get.

The big question is “How do I create or even decide on a vision of my future?” I suggest you build your vision in small parts. Six parts actually. And you can break down into smaller parts if you want, but start with these six domains or areas of change in your life:

1. Activities. All the things you do. School, career, religion, sports, hobbies, travel, etc.
2. Finances. Everything related money in your life. Income, assets, investments, liabilities, debt, risks, insurance, etc.
3. Health. Everything related to your physical and mental health and care. Your present health status, personal hygiene, medications, diet, exercise, medical and dental care, etc.
4. Housing. Everything related to your home and where you live. House, apartment, hut, community, region, climate, etc.
5. Social. Everything to do with people. Your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, community, advisors, organizations, etc.
6. Transportation. All your modes of transportation, starting with walking. Personal and public transport, local and long distance.

Now look at one of these domains in your life and ask yourself two questions:

1-What is my status in this domain now? Or… What is the quality of my life in this domain?

2-Where do I want my life in this domain to be in ten years?

Consider each of these six domains and make decisions about what you want your life to be like in ten years. Do your choices in each domain work together with choices in other domains or is there conflict? Once you resolve any conflicts, you will have a good of what you want in your future. All that remains is to bring your six decisions about the future together to build one complete image, or vision, of the future you want ten years in the future.
Not terribly complex, is it? You’ll find a little more detail on my web site,

But there is one more important point about visions. This is your vision, so you can change it at any time. You are not locked in. It’s like taking a trip. You can pick a destination, but you can change your mind, even after you’ve started on your journey. In both cases, whatever seemed important at one time can change, so you can change your destination, or your vision. As well as your future.

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