Summary & Transcription:
In today’s episode we answer:
- Why is creating a compelling vision so important?
- What challenges will you face when creating your vision statement?
- Will your vision change?
- What questions can you ask to help create a compelling vision?
- Micro-action: What action can you take right now to put you on the right path?
Today we’re talking about how to live your best life by creating a compelling vision. One of the most important aspects to living the best life possible is initially defining what does that mean to you because if you don’t understand what that means to you, you’re never going to get there. When you’re creating that vision of the life you want, you need to understand and define very clearly and visualize and have it in your mind, what does this mean?
Otherwise, you’re just kind of wandering around aimlessly, trying not to get hurt. Having a compelling vision will let you live a more purposeful life, and it subconsciously guides you towards the life you want to live. In this episode, we’re going to talk about why you should create a vision, some of the challenges you’re going to face in creating a vision, and questions that you should ask yourself along the way. Then now that you have a vision, what should you do with it?
Let’s get started by talking about why having a vision is so important. If you’ve listened to some of the previous episodes, you know that I like to use analogies a lot. I want to ask you a question. If you were going to build a home, if you were, let’s say, a home builder, and you wanted to build a home, would you start building a home without a blueprint? Probably not, right? You’d want to have everything really clearly outlined, where things are going to be and all that kind of stuff because otherwise you’re going to build a home and then it may not end up being the home you want.
Unfortunately, this is how most people go through life. They have a lot of things on their mind. They have a lot of goals and things, and a lot of times they’re not written down. They’re not documented, and they’re just kind of going through. Then sometimes they get the house they want, and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they end up saying, “You know what? This isn’t really what I was planning on.” Well, where you need to start is by having a vision. You need to understand.
When I say a vision, I think a lot of people look at a vision as a destination. To me, while it does provide that foresight of where you’re going, like a destination, to me, it’s also about how do you want to live along the way? What experiences do you want to have? What kind of mindset do you want to have? Who do you want to go along the way with? It’s a lot more than just a destination in mind, and so that’s important to keep in mind.
Just like a builder might use a CAD design to get a better view of the vision of what this future home might look like, there’s a lot of different exercises that you can do from vision boards to just visualizing yourself being in this state you want to be, whether it’s just waking up in the morning and just being grateful to be alive and just visualizing that until you get to the point where you can actually experience that.
Some of the challenges I want you to be aware of when you’re working towards creating a vision is first, there’s going to be a fear response. If you’ve never created a vision, you’re going to say, “Well, how do I do this? I don’t necessarily know how to do this.” I’m going to help try to guide you a little bit along the way. Of course, you have Google. You can search and do a lot more there as well to kind of pull up different ideas or worksheets and things like that, that you want to do.
Our natural reaction will be anytime that you’re thinking of trying or doing or being more, for a lot of people, there’s a little bit of a fear response because it’s different, right? It’s out of their comfort zone. It’s important that you’re aware of that, that you’re going to push your comfort zone a little bit, which is a good thing. You should always be looking to kind of push your comfort zone out a little bit more because if you don’t grow, then you’re going to keep doing and being and living in the life that you are right now.
If you are everything you want, then that’s fine. Then just be happy with that and be content. That’s fine, and that’s a good place to be. But if you do want to be more, if you want to help more people, if you want to give more, if you want to have a bigger impact, if you want to have, whether it be more time or friends or a companion or travel, all those things, if there’s other things that you’re striving for, then it’s important that you start kind of pushing that comfort zone out a little bit more.
The other things that you’ll run into is your current beliefs kind of in programming just getting in the way as you go through and create your vision. I can guarantee you if you start working towards your vision, you’re going to change it. It’s not going to stay the same over time. I’ve been writing a vision since I was probably in my early 20s, I want to say. It might have been, yeah, around 20 or so. There’s multiple changes over that time. I’ll talk a little bit more later on about some of the things I’ve done and my vision and all that kind of stuff.
One other thing I would just say, which is something that’s just a good lesson in life in general, is try not to let perfect get in the way of good enough. I think often this is a challenge for me with this podcast. Because of my limited time and things like that, I don’t have it set up enough to where I’m going to make it polished and perfectly outlined and everything succinct and all that kind of stuff.
Based on what I’m doing, I’ve chosen to do it in this manner, and so I have to be okay with that because if I want to spend more time on it, then I’d be taking time away from other things that are high priority for me, my business, my wife, my family, and things like that. But this is a priority for me, and I put two hours a week into doing this, and so with that limited time, this is how I do it. It’s hard for me to sometimes actually publish this because I want to go back and edit everything and make it perfect.
When you’re creating your vision, don’t try to make it perfect. Try to start just by creating something that is compelling for you, and then continue to add to it. I’ll talk about more about what to do with it and how to continue kind of utilizing it and modifying it along the way. I want to talk about a few questions that you should think about asking yourself when you’re creating a vision. One of the biggest things, I think, is, what are your core values?
That’s something a lot of people don’t necessarily have defined or written down as well, and so this will kind of help you in that process of thinking like maybe narrowing it down to your top maybe five, six, seven. There’s not this set rule amount, but I have like my five top core values that I focus on every day. This allows me to make decisions based on my value set, as opposed to what’s on fire or urgent or someone who is making an ask of me at that point, all those things. I have to focus on my values.
It’s really important that your vision and values be aligned. In future episodes, I’ll actually dive more into values specifically. Just so you know, if you are … so there’s a lot of people that are part of a business or that even run a business. A lot of this can be applied to your business’s vision statement as well, so when we’re thinking about some of these things. Actually, one of the things I’ve learned over my life as an entrepreneur and just as a person in general is there’s a lot of business tactics and personal tactics that overlap and benefit each other.
A lot of this is kind of wisdom and tips and things that I’ve gotten from both sides that I’ve kind of merged together in my own way. A lot of it’s things that some of it you may already know. Some of it you may not. For business, for a company, to grow and really achieve something and have a positive impact in their industry and their community and the world, they have to have a compelling vision, right? They have to have a vision that people subscribe to, that they get behind, and that they feel good about going after that and helping that group of people achieve that vision.
A lot of the things, as we talk through this, just like a company’s vision will change and you need to have values for your company, if you have this company that doesn’t have kind of a core set of values and doesn’t have a vision, it’s just going to kind of grow and then people are going to come in that maybe don’t fit what you were thinking. They just kind of do that. It’s very clear with my own company, Webfor. We have a very clear vision of where we’re going and how we want to help people.
We have a very clear set of core values, and we start … when we bring people onto our team, everything starts with our core values. Everything is surrounding that. If someone has a great skill set but they don’t match our core values, then it just isn’t a good fit for us, right? They have to have the core values because that’s the core thing. When you’re thinking about creating your vision and living your life, if it doesn’t fit within your core values, then you can start to say, “Okay, this is not part of my vision or core values. It’s not really getting me to those I love and the things that we want to achieve together or all those things.”
It’s not really driving us in that direction. It’s actually taking us in the wrong direction. Core values aren’t something that you have just because it benefits you. They are things you have regardless of the circumstances and the things around you. Think about that. What are your core values? What are really important to you? I think you’ll find if you don’t have these currently defined that you may not be living your life. You’re living your life by your core values. What happens is when you manage your time by your core values more, that’s one of the biggest things about living the life that you want to live, is really having that alignment with your true kind of core values.
It’s really important as you go through this exercise to get that kind of outlined and have a good understanding of your core values. Now, that doesn’t mean again it has to be perfect. Just start and then continue modifying and improving a little bit along the way. Another question I would ask of myself if I was you is, how do I want people to remember or think of me? This could be family, friends, colleagues. It could be people in your community, in your industry, things like that.
I think it’s a good question because it kind of holds you accountable for what person you want to be and what impact you want to have and really understanding, am I doing every day the things that I need to do to kind of live up to these standards that I’m setting for myself? Another question that I think is a really good question is, what would a perfect day be like for you? I went through this exercise a while back. I’ve done it a couple of times and kind of defined it out.
It was interesting for me that one of the things about my perfect day was getting up and exercising in the morning and having the time to kind of get up and get going the day like that and maybe having some coffee, maybe reading some things and kind of educating myself and growing a little bit more. I thought about doing jujitsu and yoga or kind of switching those out some days, spending time working with my team and kind of coming up with different ideas and strategies for clients and things like that because that’s something I really enjoy, spending some time with my wife and family.
I was going through all those things, and what was interesting to me as I started thinking about this was, why am I not doing that right now? That was one of the really kind of eye-opening questions for me when I was going through that exercise, was I’m making a lot of excuses for why I’m not doing that now, “I don’t have enough time,” or “I don’t do this or that,” whatever it is. But I think in a lot of cases, there’s things that you can do right now that you’re not necessarily doing. For me, I had to change. I talked about those challenges of your beliefs and your programming getting in the way.
One of the outdated kind of beliefs or programming that I naturally said about myself was I’m not a morning person. That was getting in my way because I’d get up later and then I’d go straight to work. It wasn’t allowing me to first give to myself and really before I gave to others because the way you start your day can be really important. So I said, “You know what? I am a morning person.” I started going to bed a little earlier. I started getting up earlier and started working out each morning, and it was one of the biggest changes and had the most positive impact for me because I just feel that’s something that gives me a lot of energy.
I just feel a sense of bliss when I get up and I feel like I’ve already done a lot. I feel great physically, so all of those things. That was one of those things. You’re going to run into those things as you go through creating your vision that you may say, “Well, I don’t really have the time to do that,” or you’re going to make an excuse rather than making progress potentially. Just be aware of that as you’re going through different things. Another question that you might ask yourself is, what impact do I want to have? How do I want to impact the people around me?
This could be from a philanthropic standpoint. It could be you want to be able to support certain charities, things like that. One of the systems and tools we have at work for recognition, I love that we basically get points for people recognizing each other. It’s called Bonusly. It’s a really cool tool. People kind of recognize each other for main core values and doing exceptional things for clients and stuff like that, and then they get those points and they can use them to buy things, but often you see people giving to charities, so they give the points in the form of money to charities.
That’s really cool to be able to kind of help with that part of things. From our company’s standpoint, one of the impact things we want to have is we want to have a really positive impact through our local community, and we specifically kind of target youth in that area. We support the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Washington. We also focus on the Share homeless shelter here locally in Vancouver, both adopting families there and taking our team to volunteer. Our team gets paid to volunteer two days a year. We take on different projects for causes and things like that sometimes as part of that.
Then we’re also part of, recently, a new organization in Clark County, 100 Men Who Care of Clark County, which gives basically, between 100 members, gives $40,000 a year to local charities. That was a big thing for me as far as having an impact. That’s just one portion of it. Your impact could be, “You know what, I want my wife to feel loved and special every day. I want my children to feel loved and to feel that they can do anything.” You want to have that impact on the next generation, whatever it may be. Ask yourself, “How do I want to have that positive impact on the people around me?”
Then what is my purpose? This is often a hard question and one that you don’t necessarily have to answer right away. It could come over time. I’ll dive into purpose more later because when I talk about … I had mentioned the VBAR method in a previous episode and kind of dived into a little bit about what that meant. Vision, beliefs, actions, and results is kind of the overall method. There’s more that goes into it. Under vision, it stands for vision, values, and purpose. It is just under vision, is vision, values, and purpose.
Those are kind of three main areas of that quadrant when I’m thinking about kind of what I look at for myself, is what’s important. Your purpose in life, one of them is to find your purpose. Then once you find your purpose, it’s to live your purpose and challenge yourself and grow in a way so you can do that. I think my purpose in a lot of ways is to help other people realize that they have unlimited potential in what they can do in understanding how to kind of get out of their comfort zone and overcome kind of some of these obstacles, the mental and physical obstacles that may be in their way, to getting them close to achieving their purpose.
I think if everybody is having more of a purposeful life that it will be this positive ripple effect. It will impact local community and then eventually the world as a whole. That’s a good question to ask as you’re going through this. What do you want to be doing? Are there a certain type of work that you want to improve at? Are there skill sets that you want to get better at? Are there vacations that you want to take? Where are you living? Who do you see around you? Do you want to have a significant other? Do you want to have children? Do you want to have grandchildren? Well, that’s not really up to you.
As you go through this vision, you really want to kind of define and have this really clear kind of concise vision that you’re going towards. Now, I’ll give you a brief kind of the opposite perspective a little bit. Sometimes you want to be aware as you create this very clear, concise kind of vision, it’s extremely powerful if you do it in the right away, and it will help drive you towards that vision, and so it’s extremely compelling. It is important that you continue taking time and working on it, but if it’s not aligned with your values, that’s what … at one point when I was younger, I thought, “Hey, I’m totally …”
I had this vision that was all set up. I went from becoming a salesperson in this company to becoming an assistant sales manager and to then becoming the sales manager. I was making a significant amount of money for my age, I think 21, 22, 23, somewhere in that range. I thought, “Wow, I’m doing all these things,” but not really happy. I was 274 pounds, very overweight. I had recently had a daughter around that time, and so I wasn’t spending as much time with her, things like that, which as I started to realize … I actually ran across a book.
In fact, I have it in my bag right here, so I’ll tell you the title. The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management. This is by Hyrum Smith. He’s the CEO of Franklin Quest. This book, I have it in my bag because I was going to give it to somebody because it was one of the most impactful books in my life at that time. It was really understanding the alignment between how you … I know the title sounds kind of dry and the book isn’t a super easy read by any means, but it’s a very valuable book.
As you go through and you start realizing that you manage your time by urgencies of things and priorities, but they’re not often aligned with what you value, and if you live your life by that, you’re ultimately going down this path that’s not aligned with your vision, values, and purpose as a whole. It’s really important that you look at that and define that and then make sure there’s alignment between those things because having a compelling vision can be very strong, and it worked well for me when I was younger and kind of driven, but it wasn’t aligned with my values or my purpose in any way.
I eventually parted ways there because I was traveling every other week and I was doing all these things, making a lot of money. It was great, but it was more important for me to kind of align with my values and purpose, so I swung to the far other side where I started getting into mixed martial arts again and things like that. That’s when I started training at Team Quest back in the day and started throwing ultimate fighting events and all that kind of fun stuff, which that was very enjoyable, but eventually then I got, as you may have heard in the previous episode, that I eventually got misaligned there as well because financially things were bad and many other areas.
There’s this kind of balancing that’s always going on. I think balance is a little bit of a myth as far as having this kind of just stable balance across everything. I think you’re constantly rebalancing as you go, but it’s good that when you have this clear vision and you have values alignment with your vision and your purpose alignment, it’s extremely powerful, and it also just allows you to live a very happy and fulfilled life. Once you get into some of these questions, you’re going to start thinking about what actions, what belief sets do you need to make these things happen?
That gets in more to the whole VBAR method of once you have this kind of compelling vision, then you’ll start looking at, “Okay, what are the beliefs I have now that are kind of limiting me or holding me back from getting there? When I get to this point, what beliefs would I have developed to get to that point?” I believe in myself more that I could achieve anything, that I could learn anything if I put my mind to it. Whatever those beliefs are, you need to look at what those beliefs would be, and then you need to start working on developing those beliefs now. Otherwise, you won’t get to that point.
What are the actions that you need to take to get there? You need to kind of … this will go will go in further after you kind of go in the vision, and then this is kind of a cyclical thing where you continue working on each area. As your beliefs rise, all of a sudden you might go, “You know what? I was shooting too low. I totally have this much higher vision I could go for.” Think about the different roles in your life, like as a wife or a husband. What type of friend do you want to be to your wife or husband or your friends, what kind of member of a team, if you’re a member of a team, whether that’s at work or in a sports team?
Kind of think about all those things. When I was working back in early 2017, I went through and revamped my personal vision statement because I was at a point where I’d say I felt a little uninspired at that time. I had basically achieved all of the things in my vision, which you should be extremely excited and happy, which I was. At that point, I was very excited and happy, but I was also feeling like I wasn’t as driven because I had everything I wanted. I wasn’t hungry because I had achieved many of my financial goals, my personal goals. I have the wife of my dreams, best friend. Not that we don’t have challenges, but we work through them together.
I have two amazing kids and a successful business, and my health goals are pretty good. I’ve still got work to do there. It was one of those things. When you get to that point, it’s like, okay, I need to step back a little bit and I need to raise the bar, raise the VBAR. I went back and I started asking myself, “What am I giving to the world? What kind of impact am I having? How am I giving to other people? I looked at, how can I be a better husband, a better member of the community? As I was going through, I started working on all this thing of becoming more involved in the community.
Then I started working on … obviously, I knew since I was about 23 that I wanted to write a book, and I’ve been making notes about this for the last almost 20 years of some of the different things over time that I eventually wanted to write a book, and it’s one of those things that I had to stop making excuses for and just start making progress on. I looked at this podcast format as the way to do that because it holds me accountable to doing this so that I do it each and every week and get kind of my thoughts and ideas and everything out.
Then eventually, I’ll have a writer help me finish kind of editing everything and we’ll tighten things up and publish the book. There’s a lot of things I had to look at and say, “You know what, there’s some of the these things that I hadn’t thought of in a while,” so I made it a goal of mine to write a book, to have a more positive impact in the world and to help people more, whether that be the people at my office or the local community, all those things. That’s what I’ve been working on a lot for myself.
One of the things I realized that I wasn’t doing, and I think it’s important that you realize this, is when I say give, grow, and be grateful, and that’s my life’s motto, give … I think some people look at that, and they just go, “Oh, well, you’re constantly just giving to others.” Some people already feel like they give so much, and they don’t really get anything in return. It’s important that you first give to yourself. You are the most important person first, okay, because if you’re not in the right mental state, if you’re not in a position to do the things that you can do, you’re not going to be able to give to your spouse.
You’re not going to be able to give to your children, to your community, to your team members, all that kind of stuff. It’s really important that you first understand what you need to kind of get you either inspired. Like for me, that morning routine, getting up, focusing on the things that I’m grateful for, working out every morning, of the week at least. Doing those things for me just wakes me up and I just feel great for the day. That to me is one of the things that I give to myself. I give myself that time.
I spend some time in the sauna meditating afterwards and just focusing on different things. I spend time reading my vision and my goals and purpose and values every morning, having some coffee, so I’m up early before all these things happen, and yeah, then I start the day. Yeah, that’s a little bit about myself and kind of what I’ve gone through there. I’m happy to answer any other questions on that side as well. Just understand that crafting your personal vision statement will be a process, and it’s not going to be something that you just write down once and you’re done.
It will be something, as you look through and think about your goals, you’ll come back and you’ll tweak it a little bit more. It will just be this kind of ongoing cyclical process where as you achieve some of the things in your vision, your beliefs are going to increase, and you’re going to say, “You know what, I’m going to change. I’m going to see where I can have more of an impact, where I can give more. Maybe I can grow more in these areas,” all that kind of good stuff.
As you know, if you listened to the previous episodes, which I hope you have, we end each episode by having a micro-action, we meaning myself. I’m a Gemini, I guess. I want you to think about … when I say a micro-action, it’s just a repeat for if you are trying to … as a matter of fact, it’s something very simple. You can do it right away today and it will take very little time, usually less than a minute of your time. Now, over many, many episodes … I’m doing 52 episodes at least or until I kind of get all the content for this book out.
You’ll have developed these positive habits by taking all these little micro-actions. Kind of like a drip of water over time, it kind of creates a channel. In this episode … in the previous episode, I asked you to use a note-taking app like Google Keep or something like that, that has the reminder functionality, and to set it each morning to look at what you’re grateful for and read that each morning because if you start the day like that, it’s just an amazing day. It gets you in the right mindset.
In this one, I want you to open up your notes app, and then in all caps, I want you to write vision. For now, just write one question. Then over the next days, weeks, you can kind of build on it from there and it will be something that you kind of add to as you go because you’ll have this reminder set each morning to look at that and read it. Then things, when they do inspire you or come to your mind, just throw them in that note app and you can over time continue kind of editing it. But write this one question down. What am I grateful for now that I will be, do, or have in 10 years’ time?
What am I grateful for now that I will be, do, or have in 10 years’ time? It might sound a little bit weird, but I wrote it that way purposely because a lot of the times, we naturally gravitate towards things that we’re grateful for or they gravitate towards us. If you’ve heard of the law of attraction, it’s kind of that general consensus, is what you think about is what you become. Where your mind is focused on is where you go, all those kind of things. That’s why this is so important from creating that vision. It values your purpose overall, kind of having that clearly defined.
When you’re grateful for something, it naturally attracts those things. If you think about your spouse, for instance, if you’re not grateful for them, it pushes them away. When you’re grateful for them, it pulls them to you. Same with friends, right? When you have friends, if you’re grateful for those friends, you tend to treat them better and do things for them, which naturally strengthens those bonds and you tend to get more friends because you’re a good friend.
When you’re thinking about your vision in 10 years’ time and you’re saying, “You know what, in 10 years, in my personal life, I’m going to be here. In my professional life, I’m going to be here. In my health and fitness, I’m going to be here. In my financial, I’m going to be here,” whatever … it could be public speaking. It could be many different things. When you work backwards, almost like reverse engineering it, you say, “You know what, I’m grateful for now my ability to …” Maybe it’s to learn and become a better public speaker because you can.
I mean that’s just … I started out as a bad public speaker and became good and then I’m still working on getting to the great point at some point. What am I grateful for now that I will be, do, or have in 10 years’ time? Start just making notes and start working on creating your vision over time. Then each morning, this will pop up, and when you’re reading what you’re grateful for, I want you to focus on … read what you’re grateful for, and you can add some to that as well, and then read your vision each morning.
This will help reinforce it and help you continue working it and thinking about kind of what direction you’re going in life and where you want to go. As you continue kind of focusing on that, it’s a natural rule of law. What you focus on is what you find, so the more you focus on it, the more you naturally move in that direction. I want to thank you again for your time, and I’m glad you’re on this path with me. I look forward to chatting with you more.