The Building of a Vision Statement

The Building of a Vision Statement
Bob Atlas, Battalion Chief
Your personal vision statement will guide your life. It will assist you in following your goals and give you the direction needed to follow the course of your days and the choices you make about your career. Your personal vision statement is the lighthouse that shines in the darkness which guides you and directs you in which way to turn on the way to success. Your personal vision statement will remain a beacon for you at all times.
A Personal Vision Statements should be generally short, clear, vivid, inspiring and concise without using complicated words. The most successful Personal Vision Statements are inspiring, powerful and compelling. This statement should outline what you want to be, or how you want the world in which you operate in to be. It concentrates on the future. It is a source of inspiration. It provides clear decision-making criteria.
Here are some features of an effective vision statement:
• Clarity and lack of ambiguity
• Vivid and clear picture
• Description of a bright future
• Memorable and engaging wording
• Realistic aspirations
• Alignment with your values and mission
There is often some confusion between a Mission Statement and a Vision Statement.

What’s the difference between Personal Mission Statements and Personal Vision Statements?
A good definition for a Mission Statement is a sentence or short paragraph which is written by a person and reflects their objectives, identity, values and principle aims. A good definition for Vision Statements is a sentence or short paragraph providing a broad, inspirational image of the future. A Vision is defined as ‘An Image of the future we seek to create’. A Mission is defined as ‘Purpose, reason for being’. Defined simply “Who we are and what we do”. Many people combine both their present accomplishments, which would typically be found in a Mission statement, together with their future aspirations in just one statement. For purposes of this exercise we will focus on the Vision Statement.

Useful Ideas, Hints and Tips on How to Write Personal Vision Statements

Let’s start off by making a list of what you would like to do in the future. Examples for this might be to work towards your career goal, take certain courses, learn special new skills, broaden your mind through reading or viewing material pertinent to your goal. You should forge new relationships with others who have the same goal. Take care to only let those people who share your goal into your confidence, because others, while they may have good intentions, may break your spirit in an attempt to protect you from hurt, pain or failure. Remember, you are trying to become a person who will be able to exhibit strength and leadership when times are difficult. Staying away from people who coddle you and protect you will assist you in building the resolve you must have to meet your Vision.
A good Personal Vision Statement will also include values, which are traits or qualities that are considered worthwhile; they represent your highest priorities and deeply held driving forces. A person usually stays true to his/her values and therefore it is very important to develop your personal vision statement from the perspective of your values.

A few examples of values are: honesty, ambition, competency, individuality, integrity, responsibility, respect, dedication, loyalty, credibility, efficiency, dignity, empathy, accomplishment, courage, wisdom, independence, influence, friendliness, order, generosity, optimism, dependability, and flexibility.
Now, Let’s build your Personal Vision Statement !

Select about five to six values and write them down.
• Write down your passions, your dreams, your needs and your strengths.
• Now write your personal vision statement. Use the preceding information to craft your personal vision statement. Write in the first person and make statements about the future you wish to achieve. Be specific
Examples of a personal vision statement
• In 10 years’ time, I want to be the president of my company
• Within one year from now, I want to be physically fit and be able to run a distance of 5 kilometers 3 times a week. I also want to do one fun activity per day. In 2 years from now, I want to have completed my degree.
• I stand on the podium and I am awarded the Olympic Gold Medal for the 100 meter sprint. I look up at the crowd cheering in the stadium and I feel a tremendous pride as I listen to my country’s national anthem being played.

There is no specific format in which to write your Personal Vision Statement. Do what feels right for you and what works for you. Just remember that you must be able to link achievable goals to those dreams, or else they will be just stay that … Dreams.
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
T.S. Eliot

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One Response

  1. Sherri Cornn Says:
    November 25th, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    I really respect what you’re posting here. Keep going that way. Take care!