One does not have to reinvent the wheel, especially when it comes to goals and visions. Not long ago, a hundred years at the most, it was quite clear for most of us what we would be doing in life. The ability to choose a job has come with the greater mobility of people to move around. However, we are still more constrained than we would like to think.
Many of us believe that we are doing the work which we independently and autonomously chose for ourselves. This is, however, often quite far from the truth. The influence of our families, the people we grew up with, our friends and societies is so pervasive that we fail to recognize that they determine to a large degree how we lead our lives. From the interactions we have with other people and with ourselves our goals and visions develop. The information we receive over a life-time, our personalities and our abilities determine the line of work we choose. Information is more persuasive when it triggers emotions in us. Stories we watch, read and listen to, whether in a film, advertisement or a college textbook create more emotional impact and are more persuasive than dry facts, unless we feel emotionally close to them.
Because many people have experienced different kinds of work before us, a good starting point for a quest to find matching visions and goals is to survey the available information. Then you can add your individual image of how you see the world and what you feel your needs are.
I have seen many people who had worked for over thirty years in a job but who never actively thought about where they wanted to go or what they wanted to achieve. This rendered them rather helpless in life, especially when they hit their midlife crisis. It comes to no surprise that none of them was particularly successful in what they did. They may have had moderate success but since work was often a chore rather than a means to personal fulfillment their happiness, quality of life and career success never made it above a certain threshold.
Visions and goals do change over life in a semi-evolutionary process as we adapt to our changing environments and adopt new goals and visions, but the one thing that should tie all our visions and goals together is that they should feel good for us. I could not emphasize this enough. They should make you happy and nothing less. I have seen too many people make mediocre compromises or waver so much as to make it obvious that they never tried to find out for themselves what they feel good about and which vision or goals could get them there.
Formulating visions and goals is to use psychologically very powerful tools. Any successful person has gone through this important process at some point. Remember that the process itself is important, while visions and goals can change over a lifetime. Young people throughout the ages had to explore and go out into the wild. Education and exploration never ends and tends to happen in waves throughout one’s lifetime. Today we travel, work and attend schools thousands of miles from home. They are opportunities to find out what one really feels passionate about. A society is always running a risk when people head out for the woods but it knows that they will be more successful when they know why they do the work they do.
‘Knowing thyself’ should include knowing how you feel about your world, including your work. Visions are just summaries of why we do something and goals a description of the things we do. The magic comes in when we formulate them because it requires really getting in contact with oneself. Many people unfortunately never reach this point, which is responsible for so many burnouts and psychiatric afflictions in our society.
Formulating visions and goals thus requires communication with oneself and observing how one communicates with the world around. This is an important ability we can practice everyday wherever we are.
Books on communication by this and other authors: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21
If you want to find out more about communication and how it can help you: http://www.chrishaverkampf.com & http://www.ivy-experts.com
(c) 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Please note that no professional advice of any sort can be given in this blog. Always consult a professional if the situation warrants it. Thank you for your interest in my work. This means very much to me. Trademarks belong to their respective owners.