Is your vision fuzzy?

Photo courtesy of Norbert Urban (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Norbert Urban (Creative Commons)

I don’t mean your eyesight, but your life vision or mission statement. Whether it is for you personally or for your organization, have you let that vision become blurry and out of focus for where you are today and where you want to be headed for the future?

To me, your vision is the core of what you are and what you do. It shapes your decisions and your actions, and for an organization, even the kinds of people you choose for your team.  It is the heart of how you act.

I spent time this past weekend vision-casting with the leadership of my church, revisiting our current mission statement, and honing in on what it needs to be for the future of our church. What an incredible experience to identify our strengths, weaknesses, dreams and goals based on research from focus groups over the last few years as well as our own thoughts and feelings.

To spend time with people so passionate about serving Christ, and seeing the similar ideas bubble up as well as the differences that were identified was encouraging. To start to sharpen that vision and work toward crafting our new mission statement is exciting.

While it is critical for an organization to update its mission statement regularly, it is just as important on a personal level. But I think a lot of us just wave off a mission statement or vision as unimportant or something that doesn’t apply to me.

Stop and think – on what do you base your long-term decisions? How do you ensure that you are making the right choices for you and your family?

Last year, I spent time thinking through what activities I enjoy (as opposed to those I feel  I have to do), the things that bring me joy, and some of the dreams and “bucket-list” type activities I tell myself I “would love to do someday.”

What emerged is that I feel most satisfied when I am helping people develop new or improved skills and abilities, have a more positive outlook, and find a better place to land than where they are at the moment.

Out of that exercise, I developed my own personal vision to “impact lives in a positive way.”

Now, when facing a decision on what to do next, whether to take on a new responsibility or accept a new challenge, I view that choice through the lens of whether or not it “impacts lives in a positive way.” Decision-making becomes much more straightforward. And my work becomes much more satisfying.

Vision-casting is an exercise that is best done regularly – at least annually – because let’s face it, sometimes our vision changes. We need to ensure that what we are clear on our goals and long-term objectives.

Is your vision clear or blurry? What do you need to do today to sharpen that vision?