Let’s start the article by looking at a few concepts that are linked to each other in the field of goals: dreams, ideals, visions, and objectives. These concepts are becoming more and more refined, specific and pragmatic. In the search for purpose, it is important to distinguish between these near-synonyms.
When we are children, we usually have “dreams”, but as we grow older, we realize that dreams are unrealistic, so we have aspirations. Ideals are less exaggerated, but are soon shattered by reality because they lack a basis for realization. Then we had visions, which were based on reality and were created after we had been exposed to the real world. The vision is possible to achieve, so we are willing to work for it. The more specific and refined expression from which the vision is derived is the goal.
Finding the Vision #
To find the right direction, we must first envision our vision, i.e., answer the question “What do I really want? The answer to this question has a lot to do with each person’s values, and there is no right or wrong answer, only right or wrong, and it requires us to sink our teeth into ourselves.
To make it simple, we can ask ourselves the question, “What do I want my life to be like in the future?”
|Common personal values||Identify who you are|
|Accomplishment||Change||Calm (inner peace)||Accountability||Accuracy|
|Discovery||Duty||Delight of being, joy||Democracy||Discipline|
|Ease of use||Cleanliness||Efficiency||Equality||Excellence|
|Perfection||Honesty||Persistence||Personal growth||Physical vitality|
|Quiet||Health||Quality of work||Belonging||Regularity|
|Resourcefulness||Hard work||Problem-solving||Respect for others||Responsiveness|
|Service (to others, society)||Growth||Privacy||Sharing||Simplicity|
|Structure||Global view||Patriotism||Success, achievement||Systemization|
Find out the most important things in your life and write them down,here is an example:
Personal Growth / learning / growing / challenging myself / living big! / expanding my awareness /
teaching / mentoring / inspiring others
This future can be far or near, and five years is a common point in time. The vision doesn’t need to be particularly specific, just have a picture in your head. If you want to be more specific, you can also break it down into several different areas. There are also certain methods to follow to find your vision, such as the “The Nine Grids of Life” method below.
The Nine Grids of Life #
The nine-grids approach to goals is to divide life into eight major directions: learning and growth, experiential breakthroughs, leisure and entertainment, work and career, family life, physical health, financial management, and interpersonal community, and a keyword for the current stage of life. The keywords correspond to our total 5-year vision, and the vision is additionally refined in the 9 directions.
- Work Money
- Dating & Relationships
- Fun & Relaxation
- Personal Growth
Let’s come to a quiet, comfortable, relaxed and undisturbed environment, write a letter to ourselves and imagine what life will be like in 5 years. Ask yourself the following questions.
How old am I?
What city do I live in?
What kind of house do I live in?
What do I wear?
Who do I spend time with?
What do I do?
What is my daily schedule?
What is my mood and state of mind?
Answer these questions with a sense of picture, assuming that you are not limited by time and financial conditions. Then you get an ideal picture of your life in 5 years. For example, you imagine that you are working as a product director in a medium-sized Internet company, then this is your 5-year career plan for yourself. If your vision doesn’t include certain directions, just leave that box blank.
Once we have the vision, we can start to refine it into practical and concrete goals.
Translating vision into goals #
Once we have a vision, but we don’t know how to execute it yet, then we need to translate the vision into goals in order to break it down into executable tasks.
To translate the vision into concrete goals in one year, we need to find the path to achieve the vision. Take the 5-year vision of “becoming a product director of a medium-sized Internet company” as an example, we need to understand the competency model and job responsibilities of a product director of a medium-sized Internet company, and find our current competency and experience shortcomings. Assume that the responsibilities of a product director are
1. have a strong business mindset to commercialize their product line
2. experience in building projects from 0-1
3. more than 3 years of experience in leading a team
After understanding the above 3 requirements, we need to analyze our current situation, do we have experience in 0-1 involvement in new projects, do we have experience in leading a team, and do we have successful experience in being responsible for commercializing products? If you don’t have relevant experience, is your project or company in a position to meet your requirements in the medium to long term? If not, we even need to consider the possibility of changing jobs.
The corresponding goals from the above three points could be
4. to become a member of a new project built from scratch
5. become a leader of a product team
6. achieve a profit of 1 million for the year for your product line
7. Become familiar with the business model and profitability of 50 companies this year
Often, goals of the same vision cannot be pursued simultaneously, and we need to differentiate the priority and progression of these goals. The goal “Become familiar with the business model and profitability of 50 companies this year” is obviously the easiest to start dismantling and executing immediately, and the goal “Achieve a profit of $1 million for the year for my product line” can be implemented in the near future. The other two goals need to be implemented in the near future, and we can record them in the goal map first, without disassembling and executing them for the time being, and then implement them when the time comes.
This is the general idea of transforming from vision to goal. Once you know what your heart desires, all actions become clear because you have a guiding direction, and no longer by feeling.