A few weeks ago, I came across a concept related to visualization that resonated with me. Dr. Richard Boyatzis, a professor at Case Western Reserve University and author of Primal Leadership and Resonant Leadership, explains in great detail the importance of creating a Personal Life Vision (PLV). Curious, I decided to delve deeper into this topic to see how beneficial this practice could be for myself and others.
In his work, Boyatzis explains that “personal vision is the deepest expression of what we want in life, and that image becomes both a guide for our decisions and a barometer of our sense of satisfaction in life.” Boyatzis goes on to explain that this vision needs to be far enough into the future (10 to 15 years) for it to seem attainable. Furthermore, your PLV must be specific and contain details related to your relationships, hobbies, career aspirations, travel, goals, etc. In other words, the more detailed your life vision, the better. When done properly, a detailed PLV will allow you to crystalize in your mind where you will be and what you will be doing in the future. In essence, it’s a meaning-and values-based visualization exercise, and it’s very powerful!
What’s even more astonishing, is that according to Boyatzis people who neglect to create a PLV see the likelihood of achieving their goals drop by 5 to 10%! In light of this information, we have a great deal to gain from crafting a precise image in our minds of the life we ultimately want to live and reviewing it daily (possibly during the morning power hour?). In doing so, we will inadvertently increase our level of happiness by conjuring up hope, and as a result become increasingly focused on possibilities rather than hurdles.
Lastly, I would like to offer you a concrete example of someone’s life vision. This work is taken from Boyatzis’s book, Primal Leadership; it is brief, but compelling and meaningful to the person who crafted it. Note that it is precise and written in the present tense, as though it has already been accomplished; these are two important criterion for a successful PLV:
“I picture myself leading my own company, a tight-knit enterprise staffed by ten colleagues. I’m enjoying a healthy, open relationship with my daughter, and similarly trusting relationships with my friends and co-workers. I see myself as relaxed and happy as a leader and parent, and loving and empowering to all those around me.”
In your calendar, schedule some time for yourself to start thinking about your PLV. Reflect on your passions, hobbies, relationship, ideals and values. Start crafting your vision and keep reviewing it. For each step in this process, make sure to schedule it into your calendar and keep that date with yourself. This is a multi-step process that needs to be savored and enjoyed. Find a quiet place (with a cup of tea or glass of wine) and let yourself dream!
Do you have a PLV? Have you ever thought precisely about where you see yourself 10 to 15 years down the road? What feelings present themselves when you allow yourself to dream about a bright future? Please, feel free to share your thoughts in the comment box below or to join our private FB forum! Let’s keep the conversation going!
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