If you desire to be the architect of your own life, you will need to build a foundation!
Aspirations are a hope or ambition deeper and more broadly purposeful than a goal or resolution. Typically, aspirations are value-driven and encompass how we plan for and ultimately envision experiences for our lives. Very different than resolutions, aspirations guide us to achieve how and with what we wish to surround ourselves.
Some psychologists define three ways to associate aspirations: personal, career, and financial. Personal aspirations can include growth through character building, levels of contentment/energy/involvement, spiritually or family goals (husband/wife, father/mother). Career aspirations can be defined as how you wish to impact an industry/company/discipline or grow professionally. Financial aspirations can include the desire for fiduciary gain, stability, or the ability to attain material things or provide for those less fortunate. Aspirations define the future and fuel the internal drive to accomplish what we desire.
According to Scott Rabideau, a behavioral psychologist at the Rochester Institute of Technology, without our inner drive to succeed, our behaviors, actions, thoughts, and beliefs would serve no purpose as they would not push us to accomplish anything.
Think back to when you were younger and dreamed of what you might be, a teacher, athlete, or perhaps a doctor? This aspiration achieved or not, directed your thoughts and behaviors toward what you now experience in whatever capacity that might be. Aspirations, although they may change, establish a vision of intended outcomes that can propel reality to a more likely attainable state.
Think of aspirations as agile, not a one time creation, but an ever-evolving vision. As you grow physically, mentally, and emotionally, your aspirations may need to be adapted to the changes of your life. Your aspirations may include a prominent career. Even though that aspiration has not changed, your definition of prominent may be different now than a few years earlier. Why create aspirations? If you believe thought drives behavior and desire a life that is beyond the ordinary, creating aspirations places us in control of our futures:
Failing to plan is like planning to fail.
What you think about… you bring about.
You are what you think.
With 2015 ahead of us, evaluate your aspirations. If you are challenged, ask yourself these questions.
1. How do I envision my life in 2, 5, 10 years?
2. What will be most important to my life, my family, and my profession in the future?
3. What qualities do I value enough to embody, demonstrate, and share?
4. How will my decisions and behavior today impact what I desire for my tomorrow?
“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.” – Louisa May Alcott
May your aspirations take you on a joyful journey and vigorous pursuit to all that is good!