Do you want success in life and do you have an idea of what that success for you looks like? Many people have dreams of what they would like to fulfill, whether it be a well paid job, a loving relationship, sailing round the world, being a world class sportsman, producing a record that goes platinum, starring in a film ...But for many that’s exactly how it stays – as dreams. The most successful people don’t just dream they map out their vision to success, planning how they will get there and what actions they need to take to make it happen. Most importantly they then take the action!
If the only plan you have is in your head why not try mapping out your vision to success? It's just like mapping out a long journey that you’re going to take thinking about your destination, the route you’re going to take, the mode of travel you’re going to use, stops or holdups that you can anticipate.
Why would you want to do this?
Having a clear plan will help you turn the dreams that you have into reality and the basis for some goal setting and actions that you will need to take to achieve the success you want.
This is a flexible technique that you can use to suit your own needs. You can either use it for a single aspect of your life or for several areas at once. Try it and see what works for you.
This is one of those techniques where it’s more effective to start with the end in mind. For example what is the success you are looking for? Try writing it down and imagining exactly what it will look like. Don’t hurry over this. The more detail you put in the easier it will be to map out what you need to do to get there. So if your vision was to get your ideal job you might answer the following questions for yourself
- What is the job?
- Where would it be?
- What would you be earning?
- What impact would it have on your home life?
- How will you feel once you get the job?
There are any number of questions you could ask yourself – it’s up to you but I’m sure you get the idea. Your main aim is to get down a narrative of what success looks like for you. Once you’ve done that you’re ready to start mapping out the journey.
Before the journey begins
It’s important that you understand your starting point. You know before embarking on a journey you always think about the things that you need to take with you. In this case your starting point are your skills, experience and personal attributes. It's important that you understand your own baseline because you will be able to clearly see any actions that you might need to take before you reach your destination (goal) such as additional training or qualifications or experience.
Planning your route
If you were taking a car journey you’d think about the route you want to take. Do you go as quickly as possible taking the motorway or do you decide to make it a more pleasant journey and travel on some minor roads The same applies to reaching your goals here. You can choose to achieve them as quickly as possible or you can choose to achieve them at a more leisurely pace. There is no right or wrong way of doing it. What you want to do is plan it out. This plan is flexible and can be changed as you go along.
If you were on a long journey you would certainly be planning to make breaks, have a rest, something to eat. It’s generally at that time that you assess your progress. Well when you’re mapping out your vision this is the point at which you will be measuring your progress against the short term goals you will set. Having a clear plan which has these landmarks or milestones will help you to stay on track towards your destination.
Anticipating delays, traffic jams, potholes
You will know from experience that journeys do not always go as planned. That’s why you would normally build in extra time into your journey. You also have a spare wheel and any other extras that you carry on a journey. In this case you should anticipate that you may find things take longer than you expect, you might come up against unexpected barriers. You may find that you have dips in motivation. The key to your success will be managing the unexpected and changing and adapting your plans as appropriate. It's important that you maintain your mental toughness.
Why mapping out your vision to success makes sense
Mapping out a vision of what you want to achieve and thinking through how you are going to get there will help you to build some specific goals and an action plan. You need to be able to adapt your plans if the unexpected happens but also keep an eye on your progress and make sure you reach your destination and achieve the success you want.
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