It is vital to have a clear vision and strong goals for life. This comes easily to some people – it seems to be in their nature to be able to find an obvious pathway and remain undistracted. Often this type of person is highly skilled in a particular pursuit. If you are one of these people – lucky you, because life is simpler!
But that’s not the case for most of us. Sometimes we find ourselves swamped with too many options –these create confusion and lead to procrastination. Think about eating at a smorgasbord. You end up stuffing yourself but not really enjoying the meal. You want it all but you don’t know what you really want. If that’s how you feel about life, go back to the previous chapter on ‘Having, Doing and Becoming what you really want’ and begin to discover your true passions.
Clear vision creates focus. Back in the old days, cart horses were fitted with ‘blinkers’ to block their peripheral vision so that they weren’t distracted or frightened by what was going on around them; instead they would focus on what was directly ahead. A clear vision does the same for us. If you don’t know what you want, you’ll be distracted by what other people are doing. I have two friends who went to university together – actually they ended up getting married. He went just to get a degree, but she went to university to become a teacher. Which one do you think had the clearest vision and found it easier to focus? She did of course, because she had a particular outcome in mind.
When you are clear about your goals, the number of distracting alternatives is reduced. For example, if you want to go overseas, then a proportion of your income will already be earmarked for savings. So when an opportunity comes up to go to a concert, and the cost of the ticket will eat into those savings, the decision not to go to the concert is pretty much made for you. That might be a bit of a bummer in the short-term, but it’s not a problem because you’ve already made the bigger decision to go overseas.
Say no to the good so you can say YES to the best!
The same is true of how you spend your time and energy. If you’re serious about getting a university degree, you won’t party all night and be so tired or wasted the next day that you can’t go to lectures. Just saying!
The fewer choices you have to make, the easier the decisions. Having a clear vision motivates us to create the daily habits and routines that serve the future we want.
Remember that you can have anything you want, but you can’t have it all at the same time.
Yvonne Godfrey, is the founder of MIOMO (making it on my own), youth independence programme. She is also the author of ‘Parenting Yadults’ – How to Set Up Your Young Adult for Independence and Success in Life! and ‘Making it on my Own’ – 52 Smart Ways to Smash it in the Real World. Yvonne and her husband Simon have 2 adult daughters, and 2 grandchildren. For more information MIOMO.com.