Admittedly, one of the more frustrating things in married life is when your man insists on going north when you feel that the right way is to go south. I am not just referring to trivial navigating concerns but major decisions where you need to be united as a couple. Shouldn’t it be easy for two people, who have pledged to be together for life, to agree on such crucial matters?
You may wonder how big companies, with thousands of employees, can agree on a common goal, yet your partner cannot seem to see things the way you do. It’s because these companies have a shared road map that everyone follows; and the fancy name for this road map is VISION. If successful companies have vision statements, why can’t your family have its own vision?
A family vision is nothing more than a statement of your family’s desired or future state. Ideally, it should include values and principles your family upholds. If my guess is right, although you and your spouse probably have some idea of how you want your family to be, your family probably does not have a written document that describes this ideal. It might be something you assume everyone knows but perhaps is something you never really got around to formalizing. Let me invite you and your husband to embark on a family project that could positively impact your life – crafting your own family vision.
Your family vision should be initiated by you as a couple, shared and supported by your children, each of them giving his or her own contribution and inputs. In this way, everyone has ownership over the final output, not just the parents. Your vision should be personal and unique to your family. It should be inspiring and lofty, for everyone to put extra effort into achieving it.
When there are differences, the vision can provide alignment. When there are moral questions, the vision can give general directions as a compass would. When there is a need for a unifying cause, the vision serves that purpose.
Crafting the family vision starts by asking all the members to dream about how they see the family in the future. What do they aspire the family to be? There are no right or wrong answers, and no judgments are passed. Each one, no matter how young, must share his dreams, and an assigned scribe lists them all down until all answers are exhausted. Next step is to group the similar dreams together, then label the group. From all the major groups, try to come up with a draft of your vision. Review and rehash until your family agrees on a final one.
You can make the occasion an extra special one by spending a day out of town, just like a company offsite planning. Make it an enjoyable experience for all with lots of food and fun. Encourage creativity, and try to express your vision as a song or as a drawing. What is important is that everyone agrees to what the final output is. Don’t be afraid to update the vision as the need arises, especially as the children grow older.
I encourage you. Start your visioning process now. It’s well worth it.