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2 Developing a vision

Some people find talk of visions off-putting; others find it liberating and exciting. It does not mean you cannot change your mind about where you really want to be in the longer term, but as the old saying goes: ‘If you don’t know where you are going, how are you ever going to get there?’

Developing a vision
Figure 1 Developing a vision

The first thing you need to do is look back at that mind map you made about your ideal future in Week 5. Some aspects of your vision may be lurking there. If you have a paper version, it would be a good idea to have it to hand. If your mind map is online, have it ready to refer to on your computer – or print it off.

If you are uncomfortable with the idea of visualising an ‘ideal life’, pause to think about why this may be the case. Do you think that all human beings have the right to explore their talents in order to live as fulfilled a life as possible? If you believe this, then why shouldn’t you?

The next few activities will help you get started.

Activity 1 What do I want my life to be like in five years' time?

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes for this activity.

Imagine your life as a video. Now fast-forward five years. If you could have a fairy godmother waving her magic wand, what would your life be like? Take your time to let your mind wander freely. Shutting your eyes might help. Think about things like:

  • What are you doing?
  • Who are you with?
  • Where are you?
  • How are you feeling?

Make a note of your thoughts in your learning journal or action planning journal, under a heading ‘My five year vision’.


Did you really ‘go for it’, and think about what you really want to do, what would excite you? The promise of exciting goals can spur you through the difficult times.

Or did doubt hold you back? If you were not bold and positive, try the activity again and tell your internal ‘censor’ to be quiet, while you think freely without the usual ‘if only’ and ‘but’ interruptions!

Did you find it hard to avoid all the things that might limit your vision? This is a common reaction – there is a natural tendency to limit our visions for the future by thinking about, for example:

  • where we are now and what we think we ‘deserve’
  • what other people might think of us
  • moving out of our comfort zones, into unknown areas
  • lack of resources – maybe time, money, health or access to support.

There will probably be some obstacles ahead – but for now ignore them. Addressing those is a later stage in the planning process, and there are tools to help.

Another way to develop your vision is to think of yourself in the future, looking back. What would you regret not having done? By thinking about what you would really like to be doing and feeling in the future, you are less likely to end up with as many regrets and thoughts about what might have been.