Knowing where you are going helps you to make important decisions about your preparation. I struggled with vision for a long period of my life and it caused me to feel as if I was getting nowhere; and I wasn't far wrong.
From 2009 to 2012 I saved about 16000 dollars however, by then end of 2012 I only had 5000 dollars left. Of the things I spent the money on, most are gone. Dim to my memory and hardly leaving behind anything tangible that I can say still brings value to my life today.
Back then I was saving money just because I thought I should. The problem came after I saved the money and didn't have any plans for how to spend. This resulted in a free-for-all type of spending with no forethought.
This short term sight followed me from my teen-age years when the traditional path through school didn't appeal to me. I felt depressed instead of energized by the thought of going to college and I had no clear talent in any area that I could focus on.
I was drifting like a log on the river completely at the mercy of the pull of the water. I was ageing but not growing and headed nowhere fast.
Even when I got a grown up job, which had morphed into a respectable career as an Air Traffic Controller, I still suffered from a fundamental lack of vision. I knew quite staunchly what I did not want: a husband, a car, a mortgage but I found it difficult to express what I did want.
When I became interested in personal finance, I tried to take my life plan from the examples of people like Mr. Money Moustache, and other finance gurus preaching the doctrine of early retirement. What he and others have said, and continue to say, makes a lot of sense but it didn't fire me up. I had no passion for it.
And there was the rub; just because something makes logical sense doesn't mean that it is part of your vision. A vision is something that should come from a gut feeling. It should fill you with hope, and drive you to put in the necessary work, to achieve your goal.
I spoke about working with a life coach, and my initial difficultly in coming up with a vision. It continues to be something that I occasionally struggle with but I am getting better and reaping the benefits. There is a satisfaction that cannot be otherwise duplicated, which arises from seeing your hopes and dreams manifested into reality, and knowing that you put in the work to make it so.
Here are some of the tools I use to come up with a vision for myself:
(1) Create a vision board. It is basically a collection of images that you connect with.
(2) Meditate and allow yourself to envision yourself in the future. Be open to whatever images may come up.
(3) Define your core value and then extrapolate from them what changes you could make in your life to live by those values more so than you are doing now.
(4) Above all be open and flexible. As you grow your vision will grow with you. It may change, or it may simply become more refined but refrain from holding on to an old goal that no longer serves you.
The above statement is very true, if you don't make a concerted effort to change your life, the patterns of before continue. It takes first knowing what you want to change to get the ball rolling in that direction.
What is your vision? And what can you do today to get your one step further?