Write a Vision Statement

"Think of something bigger than you and your own ambitions. Vision isn't about your personal success or achievements. Vision's primary referent should be something that makes the world better. It should also dovetail with something for which you have deep passion and a sense that you can make a contribution to its actualization.

"I find a good way to do this is to complete the following sentence:"

I imagine a world [or nation, or community] where ____________________________.

"You should fill in this sentence three or four ways, put them on your computer, desk, refrigerator, or nightstand, and contemplate — quietly and thoughtfully — the one that really speaks to you.

"When I do this, I can easily generate candidates for my vision statement. Some of my possibilities are:

• "I imagine a world that falls in love with reading.

• "I imagine a world without poverty.

• "I imagine a nation with public schools that are great for all kids.

• "I imagine a nation where any kid who wants to can learn to play tennis.

• "I imagine a world where the development of a voice-activated software system will convert the spoken word into text while making no mistakes.

• "I imagine a city that welcomes immigrants and sees them as resources.

• "I imagine a world where conflict is resolved peacefully.

• "I imagine a nation that makes its children its top priority."

"Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired."
— Martha Graham, American Modern Dance Pioneer

"I touch the future. I teach."
— Christa McAuliffe, American Schoolteacher Who Perished in the Challenger Explosion

"Keep true to the dreams of thy youth."
— Friedrich von Schiller, German Dramatist and Poet

"I support anyone or any organization that works toward these visions. I rally, however, around the last one. That's my passion. My capacities are aligned with it.

"Once you've written a handful of vision statements you care about, try to align your passion and capacity with the one where you can or are making a contribution. Don't ignore the other ones on your list. Taken together, they provide an extraordinary portal into your soul and the things you stand for.

"Use this 'I imagine' exercise with your friends, spouse, partner, and children. It provides a wonderful way to know and affirm each other."