Vision Week

Pulling together some thoughts on my weeks of study completing the Focus Course.

I am writing up a brief reflection for each week of the focus course. Week 1 was Vision Week, and I was keen to jump straight in!

We were first introduced to the 5 Components of a Focused Life

  1. Life Vision - Why
  2. Goals - What
  3. Action Plan - How
  4. Schedule - When
  5. Habits - System

There is a flow mapped from each item to the next (1st to 5th), and it's suggested that if there is a specific problem with one of these components, it's best to go upstream and find the issue.

This posed a pretty big problem for me... I'd never considered having a Life Vision. Or perhaps what's more likely is that the key milestones and goals that I set early on in life I'd achieved, and I haven't ever gone back to revisit those goals. So, I was pretty quickly having an existential crisis! Why am I here? What the fuck am I doing? That was kind of the point of doing the course right - to diagnose what I needed to change.

So of I went with my trusty dog by my side to hike through the hills and ponder.

What is my life vision?

Part of the work for the week was to develop your personal values, so I worked through each of the activities, which provided some guidance and asked the right kind of questions, but at the end of the workbook, I wasn't satisfied. It just didn't sit correctly.

I'd tried to cheat a little and use the personal values I'd come up with two years ago during a team building exercise which I repeated midyear in 2023. They felt current and correct then, but then again a lot had changed both at work and at home.

So, it was back to the drawing board. My original values were Understanding and Accountability.

Understanding still felt correct. It summed up my holistic drive to understand, to learn, be curious, have empathy, be creative and accepting of others. This felt true to the point where I could feel it in my bones.

Accountability was where the problem was. I think this stemmed from a time and place and a frustration with the lack of accountability at work, in politics, in society — I had figured if I felt so deeply about it, it must be a value I hold true to. In many ways it is, but it doesn't capture why... why does accountability matter?

I returned to the list I had floating around (I'd created a spreadsheet and used scores to shortlist before!). What I wanted was something that was more encompassing of multiple ideals. I was originally leaning towards authenticity, but that wasn't me; it was almost more of an ask for others. I respect truthful, honest, and authentic people, and I want to be around them.

So I looked back at times I felt good, happy and challenged positively — and I think it comes back to feeling Independent. Having autonomy and being able to be true to myself, honest and open. There is a self-reliance and survival component to it, but I think I also understand the need for help and aid that is required to gain independence — it is something that is worked for and earned.

My two values of Understanding and Independence felt better. They felt right. And so with that, I went back to the tasks, and while I didn't have to change much - things felt much more aligned than before. With my value in place I could go back to my Vision.

The course provided a simple template for this, drawing on a number of the activities in the workbook:

"In my roles as a ———, I want to express, impart and exemplify the values of ———, by ‚———."

That was fine for a draft, but I wanted to make a vision a bit more personal to give it a bit more spice and flavour!

The world is complex, but I want to seek to understand it. That means moving, changing and being dynamic.

Life is experiential. I want to see the world — walk it, taste it, see it.

I will be accountable for my actions and seek to tread softly and make choices that are good.

I want the world to learn, starting with myself, then my family and those I can touch. Through learning, I can create opportunities for understanding, compassion and friendship.

I want to have independence and help others achieve it so that we can live openly and honestly, being true to ourselves.

Being so zoomed out was such a release and a great way for me to get into that headspace. I was lucky I had the house to myself for most of the week and the time to really indulge in thinking. This summary overlooks a lot of the time and self-doubt I experienced during the week. In the end, it was worth it, and I celebrated with a cold beer on the deck.