Visions, Strategies, Tactics: Planning a Meaningful Life (Part 1)

Visions? Strategies? Tactics?

Flashback to 2012. It was my first semester back in the college classroom after taking a year off and working a full-time job. I walked into class, ready for another invigorating lecture about the Principles of Marketing. As my professor clicked through the first few slides with haste as he introduced the three concepts of Visions, Strategies, and Tactics. He began to discuss their definitions and how they applied to business marketing.

“Oh no..” I thought to myself. I didn’t know how much longer I could pay attention to such a dry lecture and it’d only been about two minutes into class.

Almost as if my professor had overheard me, he transitioned to the next slide and stated “…actually these concepts were adopted by marketeers by the studying their success in the context of Warfare.”

My eyes lit up as the macho-wannabe, toy soldier-loving eight year old inside of me proclaimed his excitement,”Woah.” I was sold. To think that these concepts were applied to both warfare AND business was fascinating. I’d never listened to a lecture more attentively.

Clarity Kid Meme at the moment en-vision-ing how fascinating the connections between war and business is to him

As I learned more about these three concepts, I realized how fundamental they were. Years later, I began to use these concepts in my own life, adopting the model to successfully set and achieve goals. Identifying myself as a logic, it was easy for me to buy into this system as I rewired my understanding of the logistics of goal setting.

In this two part series I will define Visions, Strategies and Tactics, how they relate to personal development and how to apply them to your own life!

 

Why is This Important?

We’ve all had bouts of a lack of motivation. We’ve gone home straight from work, sprawled ourselves out on the couch, polished off a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream while bingeing an entire season of Bob’s Burgers on Netflix (but if you haven’t, I’d definitely recommend it).

Here’s some great news: There is nothing wrong with this tendency as long as it is only every once in a while. As essential as it is to relax and ‘defrag’, I ask you to tread lightly. The inability to identify this behavior as a habit could cost us our dreams!

Officespace Character Peter Gibbons sits in a conference room at a table in front of two of his bosses and describes his lack of productivity

Without clear view of our intentions, and overwhelmed by the energy required of us to fulfill obligations at school, work, & home, we run the risk of living an unintentional life and falling into ‘autopilot’ mode.

Falling into this vicious cycle of “TV-Tired-Bed” (and I’m borrowing this concept from my good friend Senell here), we begin to loathe our own existence and are unable to understand why. Understanding and reflecting upon these three concepts of Visions, Strategies and Tactics will better prepare you to live a meaningful and fulfilling life!

 

Visions

Visions are the “Why?”of the success equation. Visions are the dreams, and aspirations of those willing to contemplate them. If you’re familiar with the book The Secret, this concept is the very foundation of The Vision Board. (If you haven’t read it yet, I highly suggest you do. It’s one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read)

I like to think of this concept as the “Ultimate Goal” or the answer to the question “What do you truly want out of life?” As broad as this answer may be, therein lies the beauty of the Vision: it allows the dreamer to dream. Whether we know it or not, each one of us has this visualization in our minds. We owe it to ourselves to actualize these visions into a reality.

Strategies

Strategies are the “What?”of the success equation. Strategies are the general mindsets/attitudes that are implemented in alignment with the vision.

You can think of strategies as as answering the question “What are you going to do in order to fulfill your vision?”. What’s important to keep in mind here is that this concept is more of an umbrella statement.

For example: As a high school student, if your vision was to become a doctor, one your strategies may be to learn as much as you can about the human body in order to better prepare you for vision.

Tactics

Tactics are the “How?”of the success equation. Tactics are the specific and detailed actions that are implemented and taken in order to fulfill the strategy, as well as support the vision.

You can think of tactics as an answers to the follow-up question: “How will you achieve your strategy?”.

Continuing with the same example as before: To fulfill your strategy of learning as much as you can about the human body, some of your tactics would include taking relevant courses relating to the subject matter, or purchasing and reading books in your leisure time about these subjects.

These three concepts lend a helping hand to the deliberation, planning, and implementation of goal setting. What’s incredibly powerful about this framework lies within its flexibility and scalability. Once understood, this model can easily be applied to any goal, both small and large in scope.

Try This! : Over the course of the next week, think about these three concepts and see if you would be able to identify them in different types of goals and objectives that you face in your everyday life. This will better prepare you for next week’s post when we finish up the discussion about these concepts.

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