Step 2 to Success – Identifying Your Vision

Pillar #2=Setting the Vision for personal growth.

Once you have begun to take personal responsibility (Step 1) and accept that you have the ability to choose how you will think, feel and act, you are ready to begin to reach for the future that you desire.  The next step is to clearly outline your vision.  You may have experience doing this with your organization, but have you ever thought to do it for your own life?  Creating your personal vision statement is just as important for you as it is for an organization that is forming their vision statement.

There are many important individual benefits of creating your personal vision statement.  For example, how do you know that actions you take are purposeful if you do not know what you are working toward?  When you have a vision, you can choose the profession to be in, the organization you want to work with, the people you want to spend time with who share your interests and goals as well as the activities that you want to join outside of your work and family life.   When you know the ultimate goal that you want to reach, you will be able to take strategic steps that will help you move towards that goal.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is famous for his vision.  Dr. King’s vision was equality.  He took various avenues to reach this vision, from the Alabama boycott of the city buses to being largely responsible for the passing of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.  If Dr. King did not have the goal to end racism in the United States, he may not have been able to influence so many aspects of our society.  For example, what if Dr. King’s actions only spoke to making changes in the ways that the city buses functioned in Montgomery, Alabama?  He may have only affected one state’s actions.  Would that have translated to change in the nation as a whole?

When you have a vision for your life, just like you have for your organization, you can better guide your actions toward reaching that vision.  Hildy Gottlieb, in 3 Statements That Can Change the World : Mission/Vision/Values, speaks about the difference between a visionary and a missionary.  A visionary is someone who sees what is possible.    A missionary is someone who fulfills the work.  She states “Our favorite example of this everyday usage is Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was a visionary. He saw the potential, the possibilities for making life better. His missionaries carry his work and his words to the world, putting his vision into practice.”

When we can clearly create or identify our visions, we can begin our mission of fulfilling that vision.  What positive changes do you want in your life?  What do you want your legacy to be when you pass?  That legacy is your vision.  Think about it now and then start taking the steps that will get you to reach your vision. Working on these steps now will help you to lead a more fulfilling and purposeful life which ultimately leads to happiness.

Jeanne Ward is a Consultant and Personal Strategist who brings her knowledge of psychology, strategy and personal fulfillment to her current work. Jeanne started her career by helping mentally ill inmates to ‘get their lives back on track’ as they integrated back into society from jail in NYC. She leveraged this experience with a Social Work degree to manage teams who were supporting people trying to move back into the workforce. She later lived in Atlanta, GA and Frankfurt, Germany where she began consulting with nonprofit organizations to guide them on their strategy, volunteer development, and organizational development as well as to support the development of their leaders and board of directors. After the jolt of a divorce, Jeanne found herself doing a lot of soul-searching. Digging deep, she arrived at a new-found appreciation for herself and the world around her. This journey taught her that when we start with improving ourselves, the benefits multiply. Jeanne realized that her strengths of strategic thinking, relationship building, and implementation planning could be combined into her ongoing passion of personal leadership. Hence, her personal strategy work was born. Jeanne helps men and women between the ages of 35 and 55 who are fed up with their corporate jobs to create fulfilling professional and personal lives through the development of a personal strategic plan. This work ensures that her clients identify their professional and personal goals as well as create a plan to make those goals a reality. Jeanne is also the Executive Director of the Atlanta Road Trotters Kid’s Running Club, a nonprofit organization that provides a platform for children to build a foundation of running health and fitness which leads to a better connection to the organized running community as well as a strong foundation of Discipline, Self-Esteem, Respect and Team Work. She has also co-authored a workbook on networking, founded and organized the National Association of Social Workers-Georgia-sponsored ‘Social Service Career Network’ and organized a summit for the National Alliance for Mentally Ill attended by over 100 organizations from 6 Atlanta counties. Previously, she sat on the board of NASW GA as their Secretary as well as on the board of NAMI GA/DeKalb as their Co-President, was a senior consultant for the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and helped to run a capital campaign for an independent school. Jeanne has an MSW from Hunter School of Social Work (City University of New York), an MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York) and a BA in Psychology from Emory University. Jeanne lives in Atlanta with her ten-year-old son.

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