This is not a call to visit your ophthalmologist, nor is this some abstract, new age concept. Developing a vision for your life is more than merely guessing who you might want to be, and it certainly means more than trying to become who your father thinks you should be.
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If you could meet yourself in five years, who would you want to meet?
Best & Worst.
People will likely want to meet the best version of themselves. If the ideal self can be conceptualized, the un-ideal self can also be conceptualized.
If you are honest, it is easy to conceptualize the worst possible version of yourself. Stay away from the things that foster the creation of the un-ideal self and aim toward the things that foster the creation of the ideal self. If the ideal self is 20 pounds lighter, over eating is not ideal.
By no means does this suggest the process is easy. The ideal self might have to overcome alcoholism or obesity, and it might take a lot of work to get there.
The key is to conceptualize the best possible version of yourself and put in place the resources that will help you meet (at the very least, a version of) that person five years from now.
Does “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31) suggest that people should care about themselves?
Start by asking yourself what your core values are. Not your mom’s core values. Not your teacher’s core values. YOUR core values.
Make a list of five to ten core values and then rank them in order of importance.
When core values are identified and lived out, making decisions for yourself becomes easier. There is a difference between doing something enjoyable and doing something meaningful, however. Living by a core value might mean undertaking something incredibly difficult, but incredibly enjoyable.
Examples of core values: Faith, Stewardship, Family, Honesty, Work/Life Balance . . .
Who Do You Want to Meet?
Once core values are identified and ranked, the vision should become clearer. If faith is a number one core value, incorporate faith into your vision. The future version of yourself might be a pastor.
If physical health and wellness is a number two core value, becoming a full-time pastor and part-time personal trainer might be included in the vision.
Write Your Vision Down.
Put pen to paper, and write out the version of yourself you would like to meet in five years. Remember to incorporate the core values.
I want to be a full time pastor with a family, and I want to run a part-time personal training business. I want to have a comfortable home and be financially stable.
Once core values are identified and the person you would like to meet in five years is articulated, the next step is to set goals. Goals can be short term or long term, but should foster growth toward meeting the version of self articulated in the vision.
“Accept the terrible responsibility of life with eyes wide open. Don’t compare yourself with other people; compare yourself with who you were yesterday. It’s in responsibility that most people find the meaning that sustains them through life.”
– Jordan Peterson