March 31, 2011

As part of my strategic planning process, I am working on personal and professional visioning. According the official definition from, visioning is the mental process in which images of the desired future (goals, objectives, outcomes) are made intensely real and compelling to act as motivators for the present action.  This seems easy, right? Think again.

I’m working on a five year vision right now. The first thing that I realized is how much harder it is to view the future from my own perspective. As a coach or consultant, I am used to helping others figure out where they want to go and providing them with the tools to get there. When I had to take a step back and do this personally, it was very difficult to put my dreams on paper.


I started by looking at where I was five years ago. Life seemed to be much different. I had just started a new job, Facebook was still just for college students and Twitter was barely out of the womb. Five years ago I couldn’t have possible imagined a world where I would be connected to my past and have the opportunity to reach and influence a whole new world of people. But here’s the thing, Mark Zuckerberg imagined this. So did the guys over at Twitter. They didn’t imagine the world with the tools that existed; they saw the world in a whole different way. They had a vision.

As I think more about this (because my journey is ongoing) I realize how important this is.  As part of visioning, I have to think about MY ideal life. MY ideal business. MY ideal personal situation. My vision cannot be based on the situation that exists today, but where I truly want to be. I also realize that I am not bound by technology, physical location or other people’s opinions. My vision needs to be based on my deep rooted desires to succeed professionally and my personal dreams. The only limit to my vision is my imagination.

Visioning is an important process for businesses because it’s harder to get some place if you don’t know where you are going. Sure, there are many successful people and companies who got there through an interesting journey. Some got lucky and some took the long road.  There is no right or wrong way, but this technique can help to keep you and your business focused on what you really want.

All that said life is truly about the journey and not necessarily the destination. I will keep you posted on mine adventure in visioning. I would love to know if you have gone through a formal visioning process. Did you write it down? Do you carry it with you? Did you mail it to yourself in a red envelope to be opened at a later date?  Please share your journey. If you are really brave, share your vision.