When I was first asked this question, I realized that people have a different definition as to what it means to have a vision for their lives.
What this parent meant was “Isn’t my 9 year old child too young to know what she wants to do (professionally) when she grows up?” She didn’t want to put too much pressure on her child at such a young age.
At Adventures in Wisdom™, encouraging kids to create a vision doesn’t mean knowing what profession they want to work in; it means deciding who they want to be in this world and what they want to experience. Yes, part of that might include their profession, but that’s just one small component of it. Think of their vision as the big picture of what they want to experience – their goals and their dreams.
Having a vision gives kids purpose and direction in their lives – it can act as their “inner compass” during their life’s journey. Without a vision, kids may drift through life – often allowing other kids and circumstances determine their path. With a vision, kids learn to live their lives with intention as their vision leads them into their future.
So what steps can kids take to create a vision?
First, we recommend that kids create a vision about who they want to be. This is the most important step because even if they aren’t sure what they want to do or what they want to experience, who they want to be – their morals and values – is at the core of who they are, regardless of their circumstances.
For this part of the exercise, have them write down vision statements about how they want to live their life. Some examples include:
• “I live my life with integrity – I do the right thing, even when no one else is looking”
• “I look for the good in others – we all have special things we bring to this world.”
The next step is to look at each area of their lives and think about what they want to experience. As part of the exercise, have them use the “Balance Wheel”. The Balance Wheel is a coaching tool that is used to assess various areas of a person’s life for balance – emotional, social/community, spiritual, occupational/school/financial, mental, physical, family, and recreational.
Note…it is important when putting together this list that kids create their vision based on what they truly want to experience in life – not based on current circumstances and challenges. For example, if they want to work as a doctor, but aren’t making good grades, they should still hold the vision of becoming a doctor. Low grades are just a challenge that can be managed away. It is important to teach kids not to whittle down their dreams based on their current situation.
Finally, have your kids create a vision board or write down their vision and put it someplace where they can see it every day. This serves as a constant reminder to follow their vision on a daily basis.
[Aditi Verma, our co-founder is a certified WISDOM coach for kids]
Copyright © 2011 Renaye Thornborrow, AdventuresinWisdom.com. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with permission from Renaye Thornborrow.