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The Value of Purpose, Passion, and Vision, and How to Achieve Success

Originally posted on Ashford University Forward Thinking, January 2019:

What is your sense of purpose? What are your passions? What is your vision? In order to achieve success, you must first define these terms for yourself. First, take a look at the general meaning of these ideas to help guide this process. Then read on for some advice on how to put your thoughts into action to achieve success.

Defining the Terms

The steps you take to achieve your vision includes the plans and the processes you implement to achieve your goals. Goals allow you to focus on an objective, mobilize you to achieve a goal, and increase your performance (Locke and Latham, 1968). “Stay committed by using visualization techniques to imagine how your life will look once you’ve achieved your goal” (Mind Tools, n.d.).

To get there, you’ll need to define your purpose, passion, and vision.


Purpose provides you with a sense of meaning and guides your life and career decisions. It helps you shape your goals, and it provides you with a sense of direction.


Passion is your sense of energy for something, according to Hudson and McLean (2006). “Your passions are your internal energy source, the fire or determination you have for reaching some destination up ahead. They tell you why you are on this journey and what you want from life. They are your push and pull.” These energies might be derived from achievement, a search for meaning, compassion/contribution, and play and creativity. Every adult has the capacity to tap these passions.


Vision is what you hope the world will look like in the future because of your commitments and actions today. An inspiring and meaningful vision of the future can motivate you and move you into action.

Spend Your Time Wisely

Time is important. Once it’s gone, you never get it back, so spend your time wisely. As you move toward your vision and goals, try to maintain balance, and keep your eye on the prize.

 Here is something to remember about time: “Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has the same number of hours and minutes in every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours, and scientists can’t invent new minutes. You can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow,” (Waitley, n.d.).

Achieve Your Goals

 Your life is a work of art, so paint your picture, and paint it in color. Aim high and work toward your vision and those things you rely on to inspire and motivate you. For example, reflect on a moment, such as completing your degree and walking at commencement. Picture your peers, family, and friends who are around you to share in this wonderful moment in time, see what a great day it will be, and then visualize your future career success and growth.

 To help steer your mind in the right direction, here are seven key things to consider as you work toward your goals:

  1. Define reality first, then set a vision. Set small goals and develop processes to achieve your major goals. 
  2. Sow good seeds every day. Don’t worry about the harvest; your harvest will come. 
  3. Remember, dreams and goals do come true; they just take time. 
  4. Your mind and habits can be barriers or bridges to your future, so stay positive and be an optimist. 
  5. If you want to motivate others, be positive, immediate, and reliable. 
  6. Make your attitude your greatest asset. 

Focus, work hard, keep all your roles in balance, relax (sometimes life happens), and most important, have fun impacting positive outcomes.

As you move forward, remember to see the good in people, situations, and organizations, and believe in favorable outcomes. Remember, great leaders are optimistic and they consistently look for the good in all successes, failures, and challenges. They encourage you to look for the “silver lining” when things might have not gone as well as expected, and it’s a good idea to follow their example.

Timely encouragement is a ritual. Independence to learn and grow from our experiences is a gift. Leaders search for solutions and set goals to improve. In the words of leadership expert Joseph Weiss, “Optimistic leaders tend to see the good in people and organizations and believe in favorable results. This does not mean that leaders are blind to the negative; they are simply able to see possibilities and seek opportunities” (p.25). 


Hudson, F.M., & McLean, D.P. (2006). Life launch, a passionate guide to the rest of 
         your life. Santa Barbara, CA: Hudson Institute Press.

Mind Tools (n.d.). Locke’s goal-setting theory. Retrieved from 

Waitley, D. (n.d.). Denis Waitley, financial, professional, and personal success. 
         Retrieved from

Weiss, J. W. (2011). An introduction to leadership. San Diego, CA: 
         Bridgepoint Education, Inc.


Author: Bill Davis, CM

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