Close your eyes, relax and imagine that you‘re traveling in time, into your future to your eightieth birthday. Feel free to envision this special day as you like. Where will your eightieth birthday take place? In a house? Maybe outdoors in a special place? In a foreign country? Will there be a party? With whom do you want to celebrate this special day? Is a partner, children, friends, or other fellow-traveler from your journey of life present? Which people have been playing an important role in your life?
One of these persons present takes the opportunity and begins to address some words of appreciation to you. What will he or she tell about you on this day? What aspects of your life should be especially highlighted and honoured? Were you especially kind, brave, successful or humble? Would you like to address your friends and family members? What would you tell them about your life? Is there something that you regret? Is there something you did not achieve? How would you want to have been spending your life so that you can look back in a satisfied mood on your eightieth birthday?
When everything was expressed by you and your friends on this special day, you may conclude the meditation with imagining seeing your self surrounded with those who are dear to you, concentrate for a moment on your breathing and then come back to the here and now. 1 An interesting meditation, isn't it?
Of course, it‘s not my 80th birthday today, it’s only my 42nd. Still young, but also not too young. As the beginning of the new year, so is also our birthday a good opportunity to look back and to reflect about our life. Where do I stand and where do I want to go? Sometimes we just live our lives while the years pass by and it seems that we are not making much progress on our path. But where do we actually want to go in the first place? What is really important to us, what goal do we want to achieve? Visualizing our future should help us to better understand what’s actually important to us. If we are more aware of our priorities it becomes easier for us to organize our time and energy in the best possible way and to set goals that will actually fulfill us once achieved.
A good thing to do in this regard is to write a personal Vision Statement. A short text that states what I am really passionate about, what is the essence that I want to live for. Here is some guidance on how to do that:
Vision Statement Questions
make a list of the things you want to have that you feel are important. Your “haves” may be tangible possessions (e.g. a house) or they may be intangible (e.g. a happy family). Which are the most important five?
When I daydream, what do I see myself doing?
If I had unlimited time and resources, what would I choose to do?
What do I consider to be my most important future contribution to others?
What talents do I have whether developed or undeveloped?
Who has served as a positive role model for me and has had a significant impact in my life?
Why did that person have such a significant impact?
What qualities does this person possess that I would like to emulate?
What other qualities of character do I most admire in others?
With the answers to these questions you can formulate your personal vision statement.
What do I want, what do I like to do in my life and what kind of person do I want to be? 2
Of course, that statement might change and it is good to read it from time to time and adjust it if needed. I wrote my statement about five years ago and it is still something that accompanies me regularly.
This weekend I have come to Krishna Valley, New Vraja Dhama, Hungary to seek the association of H.H. Niranjana Maharaja and H.H. Sivarama Maharaja. What better birthday gift could I give myself than having the association of such exalted Vaishnavas? I also came to work on my Vision Statement, to try to better understand where my life will lead me. I am really curious how I will celebrate my birthday in 2057, which will be my eightieth birthday. By then I will know how much I was able to fulfill my Vision Statement and hopefully will have the conviction, that it was that what Krishna wanted me to do in this life.
1 - From the Book `Raus aus Schema F`, Beltz 2017 by PD Dr. Gitta Jacob
2 - From Steven Covey, Author of Bestseller `The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People