Purpose – Vision – Goals

I get many questions from people who are confused about the difference between Purpose, Vision and Goals.  Some people use these words interchangeably but there is a definite and important difference between them.
Your Purpose refers to what ‘makes you tick’.  That is what drives and motivates you, or what you have an inbuilt passion for.  In short, what you were made and designed to do, what you are wired for on the inside.  It is not just a matter of randomly picking a purpose; it is a matter of discovering it.  Think of a screwdriver.  You can use it to scratch your back, dig in the garden and even use it to hammer nails in.  But it is not really effective at any of these.  The unique ‘talents’ and ‘abilities’ of a screwdriver are wasted when it is used for any of these reasons.  It is designed to screw a screw in.  This is its purpose.  When it is used according to its purpose there is no tool better equipped to do it.
Your Vision is the picture you have inside you of what you want to accomplish.  Some people have only a small vision (e.g. making enough money to be able to live for the next month) and others have enormous vision (e.g. to provide clean drinking water to every home in Haiti).  You are probably somewhere in between these two extremes.  Before you start any project (e.g. building a garage) you need a vision of what it will look like when it is done.  This is not the detailed method of doing it (where to put the individual screws) but the overriding blueprint of the entire project.  For example, it will be 8 foot tall, 15 foot long and 8 foot wide, have a lockable sliding door, be attached to the side of the house etc.  You need a vision for your life so that you know what direction you are headed in.  If you do not have a vision, how will you know if you are getting off-course?  Your vision keeps you focussed on where you want to go.
Goals are specific steps for accomplishing your vision.  To achieve good goals you need certain ingredients.  This is really a study in itself and I will speak of this in a future blog entry.  For simplicity, think of the example of the garage.  In order to build it garage you will need to do certain things in a certain order so that the whole structure does not fall down.  You will need to build foundations of a certain depth, build a framework, attach a roof and fit a door.  What would happen to your garage if you built the structure and left the foundation out?  A haphazard approach does not work in building.  Neither does it work when it applies to our lives. 
Without specific goals we drift and get no closer to achieving our vision.  When we are not actively working towards our vision we are not fulfilling our purpose.  Although we are busy, just like the screwdriver, if we do not know our purpose, we will probably be scratching someone’s back and not screwing a screw in.
It does take some time and effort looking into ourselves and finding these.  It is a journey.  But the journey can be exciting and Fun.  Life coaching can help you fast track the process and give you the encouragement to keep going on the journey.  And the journey is vital. 
The steps things to finding fulfilment in life are these three: Purpose – Vision – Goals.