If you, like many other entrepreneurs, struggle to see the links between what you want to be doing and what you are doing, take a moment to try this quick personal growth activity. It will change your life. Find somewhere quiet, isolated, and without judging yourself write down your answers to the following question. What is most important to you? When deciding what is most important to you in life, consider abstract elements such as happiness, contentment, progress, excitement, fulfilment and so on, as well as more tangible things such as money, spending time with your family, your sporting or creative hobbies, driving, etc. The most important aspect to the activity and the most beneficial to your personal growth and self-development is being honest with yourself; if the most important things to you are eating cakes and playing Call of Duty, then (for now) give those as your answer. You can help yourself while putting together your list by asking considering what you spend your time doing, as well as what you think about most. Consider what people know you for, and what you fill your home and office with. Think of which areas of your life you have demonstrated ability and success in (small or large), and where it is lacking. Keep listing until you have run out of ideas that inspire you, and then move on to putting them into your order of priority. Holding up the mirror If you have followed the task carefully and honestly, you should now have a sketch of the desires that make up who you are, showing a snapshot of your values, talents, and what governs your behaviour every day. If you look at your list and don’t like what you see, then it may be beneficial to your personal growth to make a conscious decision to re-prioritise your values. Values naturally change over the course of a person’s life and self-development, either due to age or because of a significant emotional event(s). However, you should strive to attune your lifestyle with your values. Once you are content with the list, it will become your blueprint. It will reveal the things that you currently prioritise, the things you should be considering when committing yourself to any kind of work, and the elements you should be looking to incorporate into your professional life as your entrepreneurial career (and self-development) moves forwards. Obviously this isn’t a straightforward aim, so how can you start to cement the values you are consciously moving towards, into your mind as well as your daily lifestyle? Tying your values to reality The more emotion you attach to each value, the more times you will consider it and apply it to your life. The more priority you give to it, the closer your ideals and desires will be to your reality. Focus on the things you listed as being most important to you, repeating them in your head and envisioning them as vividly as you can. Plough as much of your emotion as you can into those values so that they impact your thoughts, your behaviour, and your personal growth, repeating your aims at different times throughout each day, incorporating them into each decision you make, in both your personal and – more importantly – your entrepreneurial strategies. As a personal development coach, I love the idea of turning subconscious ideas and thoughts into reality, but of course it is also essential to be sure that you are spending the right amount of energy on the values you feel most strongly about. Vision and purpose From the values you serve and the priorities you have highlighted, you may find that you are able to draw out a vision of the life and career you currently have, and the way that you would like both to look in your future. Do you have a clear life plan, the difference you would like to make to this planet, or the way you would like others to remember you? Without a vision, it is difficult to feel inspiration and achievement, and therefore to achieve a sense of purpose. In a greater sense, if a being serves no purpose, they are irrelevant to the survival of the species. I genuinely believe that the meaning of life is finding your unique purpose and adding value to humanity to evolve and further the species. For this reason, it’s essential to achieve clarity of your purpose, for fear of failing to do so resulting in failure as an entrepreneur and a person! As a separate activity, try writing down what you believe your purpose to be, and the vision you have for your future. Ask yourself why it is so important to you, and what you want your life to look like in 3, 5, 10, 25, 50 years. And finally, the biggest question of them all: how do you want to be remembered? Becoming your vision Once you have completed the two activities I have described here, it’s time to join them up and begin addressing how to apply them to your future and your self-development. Make sure that your vision and values align, tweaking and reordering the values so that they best represent what you stand for, and shaping your vision in response to these changes. Focusing on your values and vision in this way help to manifest and focus your strategies, underpinning them and giving them meaning. It takes effort, determination and inspiration, but creating a clear vision and moulding your life in its image offers you a framework for life and truly works. If you would like help with shaping your values, vision, and overall purpose, feel free to tag me into a Facebook post where I would be happy to offer you feedback, if you want it.