by Dr. Linda Phillips-Jones

It's good to create or revise the "personal vision" you have for your life. A compelling vision can help you succeed, be more satisfied with your life, and get the most out of your mentoring relationships. Following is a tool for doing that.

Importance of Having a Personal Vision

Numerous experts on leadership and personal development emphasize how vital it is for you to craft your own personal vision for your life. Warren Bennis, Stephen Covey, Peter Senge, and others point out that a powerful vision can help you succeed far beyond where you'd be without one. That vision can propel you and inspire those around you to reach their own dreams. I've learned in my own life and in working as a psychologist that if you don't identify your vision, others will plan and direct your life for you. I've worked with too many individuals who late in their lives said, "If only. . . ." You don't have to be one of them.

Senge defines vision as what you want to create of yourself and the world around you. What does your vision include? Making a vital change in an area such as health, technology, or the environment? Raising happy, well-adjusted children? Writing a book? Owning your own business? Living on a beach? Being very fit and healthy? Visiting every continent? Helping others with their spiritual development? What are you good at? What do you love to do? What aren't you good at now, but you'd like to be? All of these important questions are part of identifying your personal vision.

Use this Tool #1 to think through and start to craft your personal vision. It's adapted from many sources and should prompt you to think and dream. Find a place without distractions such as a quiet table at a restaurant. Answer as many of the questions as possible, and discuss your responses with someone you trust.

Personal Vision Tool #1

Things I Really Enjoy Doing  

What Brings Me Happiness/Joy

The Two Best Moments of My Past Week

Three Things I'd Do If I Won the Lottery

 Issues or Causes I Care Deeply About

 My Most Important Values (Circle)

Things I Can Do at the Good-to-Excellent Level

What I'd Like to Stop Doing or Do as Little as Possible


Having integrity
Serving/pleasing God
Being fit and healthy
Having a nice home and belongings
Leaving the world a better place
Having fun
Learning and improving myself
Making others' lives easier or more pleasant
Enjoying my family
Others? (Add)


Did any of these questions trigger some ideas about what you'd like to be doing with your life between now and 2005? If so, keep thinking about the questions and your answers, and continue your personal research.

For additional ideas and mentoring resources, see Product List.

13560 Mesa Drive Grass Valley, CA 95949
Phone: 530.268.1146   Fax: 530.268.3636 e-mail: info@mentoringgroup.com
All materials copyright © 2002 - 1998 CCC/THE MENTORING GROUP