But how do I figure out what I want?
One of my coaching clients gave me feedback the other day. I love feedback… it’s how I learn and grow. This feedback was especially interesting to me because it made me realize how hard the questions I ask my clients can be.
His feedback was, “You always ask me ‘What do you want?’ as if I should have a clear answer to that question, but it’s hard for me to figure it out. I don’t always know what I want! Why can’t you help me figure out what the answer to that question is?”
Very good point.
I realized that I had never done any real Vision Work with him. Ok… so in the biz, we call it “Vision Work” but it translates as “the work that helps people figure out what they want.” Let’s be honest… knowing what you want isn’t actually that easy to figure out, and not all of us were born with super, crystal-clear inspiration or focus. And on top of that, more than half the time, what you thought you wanted isn’t actually what you wanted, or what you want changes as you grow up and learn things, and then you have to start all over again!
Yes… owning your future by creating a vision is work, but it’s SO WORTH IT! We talked about how important having a vision is - because your Vision is the Secret to your Awesomesauce. We also had a discussion about the Power of Vision, and the fact that the more clear you are on what you want, the more likely it will come to pass. But, HOW, exactly, does one come up with a Vision (air quotes) in the first place?!? That is the question my client had, and the question for today.
Here is a 3-step process for creating a clear picture of what you want:
1. Learn to Dream
The first step to creating a vision for yourself is you’ve gotta learn to dream again, the way you did when you were a kid. You have to quiet the voice in your head that tells you to be reasonable, or think realistically, and jump headlong into a world where anything is possible, and you actually can have and deserve literally anything and everything that you want. At wolf & heron, we do this with a combination of straight-up oodgie-goodgie meditation and reflection fun, but also with the continuous promise to each other to challenge ourselves to dream bigger. Dreaming is a muscle. You gotta work it out or it’ll waste away into a tiny little wisp of nothing.
2. Discover the Devil in the Details
The second step is you have to get specific. I notice in my clients that specificity is the harder part. They tell me that it feels like wasted time. “Who cares what color the house is?” they ask, “All I know is that it’s going to be in the Colorado mountains and have a deck.”
But details breathe life into your vision. They clarify what is important and what isn’t, and illuminate ways you might achieve pieces and parts of your vision sooner than you thought. Even if the details change along the way, they are actually the meat (and not the dressing) of what you’re trying to achieve for yourself and your life. One client said she wanted to live by a waterfall, but when I made her get specific about the size, shape, temperature, and color of that waterfall, she realized that what was really important was the sound of moving water… and she was able to create that for herself immediately with a $99 purchase of an in-home water fountain planter.
At wolf & heron we focus on the details in a couple of ways, but an easy way is to narrow your scope. Instead of thinking about your Whole Life, we focus on just one piece of it - your environment, or your friends, or your relationship with your sibling. Looking at each piece separately eventually helps you build out a bigger picture over time.
3. Write it Down
Yes. You can’t just talk about it. You actually have to write it down. And not type or text or dictate it… but write it with a pen and paper. Check out Damon Brown’s article in Inc. Magazine (and his TEDx talk) about how important it is to actually write it down. Writing forces you to prioritize what is important, articulate full thoughts instead of flashes of images or emotions, and it helps you remember! I emphasize the last bit because, believe it or not, remembering what you want is nine tenths of the battle called Getting What You Want.
And so, with that, we at wolf & heron decided to build you a super cool tool that you can use to get started on creating and clarifying your Vision. We’ve called it Own Your Future, because your vision is what you want for your future, and by creating it for yourself, you take ownership of it. Download that puppy and take control. Boom!
Psst...as I mentioned, we love feedback, so feel free to let us know anything you think we’ve missed in the visioning process or the Own Your Future tool so we can make it better and better.
-- Stephanie Judd, Co-founder, wolf & heron