Feeling alive, living with purpose, having a clear vision and being fulfilled are super essential elements of life that every man should feel. That feeling that your life counts for something. With the range of (mis)information in the media today, it can be difficult to truly know yourself, your life purpose or just simply what you want to do. When I read “Wild At Heart” by John Eldredge I was able to learn more than I ever knew regarding masculinity, male identity, purpose, vision, ambition, (father-son) relationships, marriage and fatherhood. Recommended to me by a good friend (who explained what he learnt and how life transforming it was for him), I quickly picked it up and delved in to learn more about myself and my gender.
When I was in year 3, around 7 years old, my primary school teacher played a game of “what do you want to be when you grow up” with the class. When it was my turn to mime to the class what I wanted to be, I walked from one side of the room with one hand formed into a knuckle like I was holding something and the other hand by my ear as if I was on the phone. My class were shouting out different types of occupations or type of person I would be all incorrectly. Once the guesses stopped, I turned to the class saying, “I want to be a businessman”.
Mind you, I had no idea at that age what a businessman really was or what they did (business, duh!), but I’m assuming that at that age I saw a businessman on TV as a well put together man, working in an office and looking flashy. Looking back at that moment I laugh sometimes because young Larry clearly had his head screwed on. It’s funny because at various stages of my life I’ve demonstrated “Larry the Businessman”, by selling food in school, starting a creative networking event and managing artists. I’ve been subconsciously living out the person I wanted to be when I grew up. Living out the possible vision I had for myself.
Before you can even know what your vision is as a man, you need to know yourself. Who am I? What am I made of? Where do I come from? What am I destined for? What do I want to become? These are the type of questions a man must ask himself in order to know where he currently is, where he wants to get to and how he’s going to get there. Through reading books, going to therapy, learning new skills, meeting new people and fostering fruitful relationships, you have the capability to answer these questions for yourself and see your future clearer.
What gives a man purpose, focus and discipline is when that man has a vision. Something he is working towards. Something that he has set his mind to, without any wavering. If a man doesn’t have a vision he will surely be lost.
“Most men think they are simply here on earth to kill time—and it’s killing them.” ― John Eldredge, “Wild at Heart”
Life will come with its various obstacles along the way – that’s a fact – but we’ll be able to overcome our issues if we stick to our plans, dedicate time to sharpening our tools, mindset and abilities. You’ll be so surprised what surges of energy will come in the hardest times, which friend will support you when you’re feeling down and what kind of wisdom will come in the hardest moments. As I said above, having a vision and purpose will make your life count, rather than you counting the days. There’s research that links the feeling of having a higher sense of purpose to positive health outcomes such as better sleep and mental health.
Below are a few ways you can improve your vision and see it come to life:
- Speak to people in your community
Meet people IN-PERSON, get offline and have a feel of peoples energies and character. Surround yourself with people and a community that support and care for you. A community of people that you can pour into also. People that will be there to give you advice when needed but also make memories and create experiences with. Life is all about balance – make room for enjoyment whilst working towards your goals.
2. Speak to someone who inspires you
If you want to enter a certain field, acquire specific knowledge or learn a particular trade, seek out individuals in that space. Ask questions that will equip you with knowledge going forward and build connections that can last a lifetime. People who have the right morals and life values, not those being arrested for heinous crimes in Romania that shout into the microphone. As you travel and meet new people, it will broaden your mind to more and bigger opportunities that you had no idea about.
3. Write it down and see it through
People laugh about vision boards (I’m one of them, sorry) but if you don’t write down your goals, ambitions and vision how will you be able to visualise what you want? If vision boards aren’t your thing then visualise it in person: go to Mayfair and look around car showrooms, visit exhibitions and galleries to be inspired or travel to see how other people live.
“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets” – Habakkuk 2.2
Your vision doesn’t have to be you wanting to be a millionaire, owning several businesses or driving luxury cars. A man with a vision is a man who has a goal and is working towards it. Your goal can adapt and change over time, that is normal. But as long as you’re disciplined to dedicate your time, efforts and brain power towards your goal, you will be someone who is committed, and dedicated to stay the course. A man that cannot be brought down.
It can be as simple as:
“By Xyrs old, I want to have achieved Y, feeling [insert emotion] knowing that I worked towards it.”
For those partnered, looking to be in a relationship or marriage, it is also important to have a vision for yourself and a shared vision with your partner. Women desire protection and security, so entering a relationship with a man that has no vision nor plans for the future is a red flag and show signs of uncertainty. Noone wants to, nor is it fair to drag someone along aimlessly with you when you have no clear plan for yourself, the relationship or the shared future together. It’s the easiest way to set yourself to fall apart as there’s no foundation or intention.
Circling it back now, the same guy who wanted to be a businessman at 7yrs old had no idea what university was when he finished his GCSEs or that you had to get a graduate job after university in order to become a solicitor. So, it’s all great having a vision for yourself but if you don’t carve out the steps to get to your goal or have direction, all your effort will be in vain. I would’ve shaved off years of my journey if I researched, listened, spoken to others and widened my knowledge about what steps I needed to take in order to achieve my next phase of life. Thanks to God, I have always been steady on my feet, secure about my future and planned each stage of my life. Don’t make the mistakes I made or waste energy making choices based on guesswork but follow the steps above to build your knowledge and network so that your steps are intentional and progressive.
Me explaining the importance of having ambition, achieving your goals and envisaging your future doesn’t mean I’m even where I want to be in life. However, I believe it is important for men to share with other men the full picture; their wins, failures, faults and accomplishments, as it gives the full reality of life; the stresses, pressures and beauty of it all. As we foster relationships amongst ourselves, sharing what each of us go through, it can only better ourselves and our community.
Let me know what other tips and advice you have for others who are looking to establish their vision. What have you learnt along the way that has improved your vision? What areas of life do you need help with? Lets have a discussion in the comments section.
Until next time, peace and love.