As Oscar Wilde said, most people exist, that is all. Therefore, it surely is all about having a vision for your life and work.
A visitor to the area came across a man fishing on the east coast of Ireland and this is how the conversation went:
Visitor: How’s the fishing going today?
The man fishing: The fishing is good here every day.
Visitor: You fish every day?
The man fishing: Oh yes, I fish every day and then sell what I’ve caught to the local restaurants. I make some nice money so I get to eat in a nice restaurant. Having eaten, I then enjoy the rest of the evening before getting up the next day after a nice long sleep to go fishing again.
Visitor: It seems like you have the makings of a very successful business. If you bought a boat, you could catch a lot more fish. Do this for a while and then you could buy another boat to catch even more fish. Keep doing this and next thing you know, you have a fleet of boats and you’re catching lots of fish and making lots of money.
The man fishing: What would I do when I have this fleet of boats and am making all this money?
Visitor: Sell it, of course, and then you can retire.
The man fishing: Having retired, what would I do then?
Visitor: Having retired, you could go fishing every day.
The man fishing: Why would I put myself through all that hassle when I can go fishing every day anyway?
Both had a vision: they just had different ways of getting there.
Self-leaders see things differently. They work at becoming aware of all the possibilities the future holds, regardless of the circumstances they may find themselves in or the crippling fear they may be feeling about bringing their life forward. They define the future they want for their life and work. This definition or image of the future is the vision they want, giving a very vivid picture of where they want their life to be at some point in the future.
When you write it down, this clear picture of the future you want becomes your vision statement – a written statement setting out a description of where you want your life to be in the future. Having this vision statement will allow you to see and be reminded on a constant basis of where it is you want your life and work to be. Having this clear picture of the life you want to live, like the fisherman above, will allow you to see what it is you need to both add and subtract from your life to achieve your vision.
When it comes to success and happiness, people often talk and think in terms of ‘having or getting’, wanting this or that in their life. At times, it might be about getting things out of their lives or moving away from certain situations. Having a life of success and happiness is not always caused by what you add to your life and work but more often by what you have the discipline to remove from your life and work as you set out your vision.