I have written a few times about the courses that I have been taking with the help of Coursera. The latest one I am currently working on is about leadership and emotional intelligence and has had me doing a lot of self assessment and reflection. The latest one was to develop a personal vision statement and a list of 27 things I want to do before I die.
It was actually a more positive experience than it might sound. We all lead busy lives with work, home life, relationships etc, etc and we rarely, if ever, spend time reviewing where we are and where we want to be. Instead, we dash from work to home, juggle childcare or other commitments but don’t take time to reflect. To spend some time just thinking about where I am in life and what I want to do was really liberating. My mind was able to explore the vast array of things that exist in the world.
I found it easier to reach the 27th item than I thought I would. There were some easy short-term things that I could achieve within the next week. Alongside them were things that will take longer to achieve and need a significant investment of time. In short, I have just written the most important to do list of my life.
The development of this was to then write my personal vision statement. We all know that big organisations and companies will have a vision statement which sets out where they want to be in the next 10, 15 or 20 years. It is usually to be the best at X, or to be the most successful at Y. We need to inject a level of honesty into these vision statements and make them more about the values that we hold dear.
When I set about writing my personal vision statement it had to cover all aspects of my life from my health and well-being through to career, family and everything in between. It was my time to look at my dreams and reconnect with what is important to me. I can then positively question where I am in my life and what the next steps should be.
In a busy and hectic world this has been really cathartic and I strongly recommend taking some time out to do this. First write your own list of things you want to do before you die and follow it with a vision that will reflect where you want to be in 10 years. The challenge is then to start to be able to move closer towards that vision.