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Your Life in One Sentence: The Power of Vision

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the power of having a vision
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Many people think they know the vision for their life, but they confuse it with objectives like wanting to make a certain amount of money or achieve a certain job title. Other people only have a general idea that is not well defined—like “I want to help people.” A life of freedom and fulfilment requires a clearly defined vision that encompasses your entire life, not just your work. Your vision is the glue that holds together all of your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly objectives for your life.

Not being able to state your vision in a single sentence is like trying to navigate without a compass. Your vision is your guide. Without it, you cannot expect to achieve your desired outcomes in a timely or efficient manner. So let’s take a deeper look at what vision is and how to craft a vision statement.

Your Life Sentence

Former Congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce, who later became an ambassador and author, was concerned that President John F. Kennedy was stretching himself too thin and setting himself up for disappointment and defeat. She reportedly told him that the lives of all great men could be summed up in one sentence. She called that their “life sentence.”

For example, can you tell me who she was talking about when she said the following: He preserved the Union and freed the slaves.

Or how about this: He lifted us out of the great depression and helped us win a world war.

Now, whether you agree with those statements or are a political fan of those people, you probably know who those sentences describe: Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, respectively. That one sentence defines that person’s life and legacy. That brings us to vision.

It is absolutely vital in living a life of freedom and fulfilment that you have a clear, compelling, and defined vision statement for your life. Whether you’re going to die twenty minutes from right now or twenty years from now, if the person delivering your eulogy is only allotted one sentence, what is the one sentence you would want them to say that sums up your life or legacy? What is your life sentence? That’s what a vision statement is.

When I do workshops, invariably there is one person (usually a man) who shouts out that he would want to be said of him at his funeral that “He worked his ass off.” Really? That’s what you want the members of your surviving family, your wife, your kids, your grandkids to know about you?

My father had an incredible career saving the world and working on a space program, but at his wake, nobody really talked about his career. Instead, he was defined by his role as a husband, a father, a volunteer in the community.

That’s what freedom and fulfilment are all about. It’s about a vision statement that doesn’t just define you by your work, job title, or paycheck, but defines you by your role as a family member, your relationships, and, yes, your work. That’s why it’s so important to have that clearly defined vision statement.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau

Purpose + Impact = Vision

Your vision statement is the desired outcome you want for your life. A lot of people ask me if a vision statement is the same as purpose. I used to think it was the same, but after working with hundreds of people around the world and from my own experience, I have come to believe that vision is bigger than purpose. In fact, a compelling vision statement combines your purpose for living with the impact you want to make on the world.

As an example, here’s my vision statement: To save the world by helping individuals fight for lives of freedom and fulfilment.

This vision statement combines my purpose for living—helping individuals fight for lives of freedom and fulfilment—with the impact I want to make on the world—saving it (yes, I have big goals). 

My vision statement doesn’t just apply to my work; it applies to my relationships and myself. Whether it’s how I live my life, how we raise our kids, how I build my business, or how I coach my clients, my vision statement provides a guiding star—that destination on a map where I want to end up.

Some people are convinced that you should have multiple vision statements in your life. But they’re confusing vision with objectives. Having yearly objectives, and maybe five and ten year objectives, is important. For example, when you’re in your twenties, perhaps you think your vision is to make partner and earn $100,000 a year. Then when you get in your thirties, you think your vision is to find your mate, get married, and have kids. Those aren’t visions; they’re actually not even purposes. Those are objectives.

It’s critical to have those objectives, but if you go through life from objective to objective without a clear and compelling vision that serves as the glue to hold them together, you are going to find yourself lost. You are going to hit the wall—whether it’s in your thirties, forties, fifties, or beyond—and have that feeling that you don’t know what you were put on this earth to do.

“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Questions to Help You Craft Your Vision Statement

So you may be thinking, “Well, coming up with my purpose and impact and a compelling vision is easier said than done.” And you’re absolutely right. It takes time and deep reflection to craft your vision statement.

To help you get started, here are some questions to think about:

  • What are your strengths? How are you leveraging them? How do you wish you could leverage them?
  • What are those one or two things you would want to be said about you at your funeral that would make you feel that you passed on a lasting, fulfilling legacy?
  • What things, people, and activities make you feel the most passionate?
  • Where would you like to be in five years? Ten years? Twenty-five years?
  • If you found out you only had one week left to live, what are the one or two things you wish you would have done by now, but haven’t?
  • How does your vision align with your strengths? And on that last note, when you look at your strengths, how can you use them to help achieve your vision?
  • When you come up with your vision, is it one that is going to allow you to use those strengths every day to achieve it?

Chart Your Course

Whenever you take a trip, you usually know the destination you want to go to, while also having milestones and landmarks in between. Whenever my family and I drive back to Chicago, I plot out our rest stops, perhaps where we’re going to stay overnight. Those rest stops and temporary stays are objectives, but I also have a clear idea of where I want to go. That’s what it means to live an outcomes-focused life. 

Your vision statement is your destination. It is the thing that defines your path and all your objectives leading you from where you are today to where you want to be in the future. 

Without a vision statement, you will wander aimlessly, perhaps ending up far from where you want to be. With a vision statement, you can instead move toward a life of freedom and fulfilment.

We’d love to hear what your vision is for your life. If you’d like, please share it with us below!

Curt Mercadante is an international speaker, coach, trainer, and disruptive entrepreneur whose mission is to save the world by helping people fight for lives of freedom and fulfillment. Curt's speeches and training empower individuals to live their Freedom Lifestyle, and he also hosts the popular Freedom Club Podcast. Raised in the Chicago area, he and his wife, Julie, now live in Charleston, South Carolina, with their four children, when they aren't traveling the world. Curt is a diehard fan of the White Sox, a superhero nerd, and can frequently be found at his local boxing gym.

Life

3 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself and Live an Optimized Life

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The secret to happiness lies in the way you live your life. People think of happiness as some destination they’ll reach when they’ve accomplished the hundred things on their life to-do list. Happiness is often associated with money, material possessions, or even great relationships. (more…)

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Life

These 7 Daily Resolutions Can Change Your Life

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We all strive to be better every day. Most of us want a new day to bring something new, and we plan for it as well. Of course, the execution is debatable as procrastination is real and it becomes an overwhelming feeling at times. Also, not to forget the customary practice of making resolutions on new year’s eve!  All of us are fascinated by the thought of preparing long lists of resolves to mark the beginning of a new year. Not sure how many people are able to translate these resolutions into functional realities. (more…)

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4 Reasons Why Content Is Pivotal For Mental Health Healing

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One of the most important things for an entrepreneur’s mental health is expressing their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. This is where content creation and writing becomes pivotal. Whether you read something that resonates with you or you write a compelling blog post, the act of expressing yourself through content can help to put a smile on your face and make you feel better about things.

Most entrepreneurs don’t spend as much time taking care of their mental health as they should. Over the course of your career, you will experience a lot of ups and downs; these emotions have the potential to take a toll on your mind and body if you don’t learn to manage them properly.

Here are four reasons why expression through content is pivotal for healing, slowing yourself down, and giving yourself grace when the going gets tough.

1. Content can be a form of self-expression

When you are an entrepreneur, you frequently face feelings of insecurity, doubt, fear, apathy, and exhaustion, just to name a few. Some days it feels like no one is on your business’s side and everyone else has it all figured out. On those days some of us try to look at our website’s analytics to cheer up. 

But an even more freeing task is creating content. You create content to improve your business and reach more people’s lives. But, there is something special that happens when you write with the intention of expressing your thoughts and feelings — you open a door to yourself. 

Content is inherently personal, which means content creators open themselves up when they share their thoughts on a platform. Everything from the title of the post, the keywords they choose to include, and even the content itself helps you to understand who the author of that post truly is. And as an entrepreneur, this can be an important experience because it allows others to empathize with you.

2. Self-reflection will lift you up

As you think through what to write about and how to express yourself, the process of self reflection is a valuable step you need to go through. You’re able to reflect on the blessings you have, assess what you learned from the negative experiences, and create a plan on how to maintain the positive experiences you’ve had. 

There are a few ways that self reflection can help you with mental health healing. The act of reflecting on your experiences helps to create clarity in feelings, thoughts and emotions which will eventually lead into acceptance for what has happened or is happening currently without feeling overwhelmed by it all. This process also leads people towards finding new things they enjoy doing. Self reflection is therapeutic and can be implemented anytime you feel the need to overcome overwhelm.

“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.” – Hal Elrod

3. A sense of belonging and camaraderie

It is important to have a support network of people who will listen and understand what you are going through. When you post a blog or upload a video on YouTube, there are others who feel the same way and experience a sense of connection with you.

When you put time, attention and thoughtfulness into your writing, it is amazing when someone reads what you’ve written and comments on it thanking you or expressing how they resonate with what you’re going through. It’s hard to put into words how powerful it feels when someone who has gone through the same experience and reads your words then reaches out.  There is power in expression but miracles happen when people bond over a similar experience.

4. Library of content to share with more people

It can be very difficult to know what content to share with people as the symptoms of mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.) vary from person to person. But as you accumulate more and more content, this will increase the number of articles or videos available for readers to choose from depending on their specific purpose. It also builds your personal library of resources you’re able to share to different people you encounter or engage directly with.

As chaotic and distracting social media can be, it can also be a beacon of hope with the right content. Many people share viral posts, or content that interest them. Since your content is valuable and personal, the more you share it, the more likely it is to be shared with the right audience.

You never know who is watching (reading)

Your content is speaking to someone and even though they may not be actively engaged, their experiences with your work are impacting them. Think about the last time you watched TV: did everyone in the room have something entertaining to say? 

You never know who’s watching because there’s always somebody reading your posts or viewing your videos-even if they just skim through it briefly. This is why creating content worth consuming is critical, not only to get you out of your funk, but also to serve your audience.  Be authentic and stay true to yourself; make every post count as an opportunity for connection with your best self and for potential readers to bond with you.

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Life

5 Ways To Invest In Yourself and Change Your Life

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Warren Buffett once said, the best investment you can ever make is in yourself. Time and money spent on bettering yourself are never considered a waste. Whether it’s through learning how to make money online, exploring new ways to increase your financial security, or watching TED talks to expand your knowledge. Do not be stingy when it comes to self-improvement because it will definitely pay off in the end. 

Need some ideas to get started on your journey to becoming a better you? Here are 5 ways to invest in yourself and transform your life. 

1. Change Your Self-Concept

Having a negative self-concept can have a tremendous impact on your life. Limiting beliefs and self-doubt are some of the main reasons why many never achieve or attempt to pursue their dreams. Take a moment and think about all the negative thoughts you have repeated to yourself throughout your life. How have these thoughts impacted the way you live life? From now on, create a new self-image by turning these negative thoughts into positive ones and appreciate your good qualities. 

2. Sign Up For An Online Course

If you’ve been wanting to brush up on your Photoshop skills or learn how to code professionally, this is the perfect time to get started. As long as you have a stable internet connection, you can access an endless amount of valuable information online. For example, sites like Coursera and Youtube are both awesome resources for online learning. With a few search strings and clicks, you can find all the information you need. 

“Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make. It will not only improve your life, it will improve the lives of all those around you.” – Robin Sharma

3. Learn From a Mentor

No matter which stage of your life you are currently in, working with a mentor can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals. Not only can they guide you in the right direction, but also transform your vision, provide you with new insights, and connect you with amazing resources. If you’re feeling unmotivated or unsure about what you want to do in life, consider finding a mentor to help you navigate this process. 

4. Start A Side Hustle

The salary from a 9-5 job would rarely allow you to reach your maximum income potential. Why not achieve financial success while pursuing your passion by starting a side hustle? Whether it’s through starting an ecommerce business, freelance writing on the side, or starting a Youtube channel. There are infinite numbers of ways to make money, and there is bound to be one out there that fits your passion and skills. 

5. Nourish Your Body

As many may say, “health is the new wealth”. Without a healthy and functioning body, living a fulfilling and comfortable life becomes difficult. To take care of your body and prioritize your wellbeing, start with small habits such as eating healthier foods and exercising regularly. Bike or walk to work instead of taking the car, and opt for a healthy protein bowl instead of greasy burgers at Burger King. With time, these small habits can make an incredible difference.

Check out the infographic below, to see more ways you can invest in yourself:

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