Martin Luther King, Jr. Schooled Us On How To Transform Ourselves With A Vision Statement

Martin Luther King, Jr. Schooled Us On How To Transform Ourselves With A Vision Statement

“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. . . . I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. . . .I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. "I have A Dream" Speech, August 28, 1963

On August 28, 1968 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shared what very well may be the most powerful and transformative Vision Statement ever made. The speech contained a bold, transformative vision that everyone, regardless of race, could understand, relate to and aspire to create. Adding to the power of this vision is that it does not require Dr. King’s presence to bring it to reality. Everyone can participate in the dream and participate in making it real.

With a clear vision you too can transform your life, your community and even the world. Let's learn from the best as we acknowledge Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. 

What Is A Vision Statement

A vision statement is a simple and clear statement of what the result is from achieving your goal(s). Your vision is not the goal itself, but is more grand describing what the world looks like when your goal is achieved. A well written vision statement creates a picture of what this future world look like. Look at Dr. King’s words above to see how he accomplished this.

Your vision is about the results of your efforts every day, not the tasks themselves. Sometimes you'll hear people share their visions when asked "What do you do?" You might hear something like "I'm helping create a world where families can develop a financially secure future" instead of "I'm a financial planner". 

Combine your vision with your leadership and you start to make your vision a reality. The most successful and happy people have clear visions and then lead others to help them come true. It doesn't matter whether your vision is technology, food, finance or human rights. It is about having the vision and then the leadership to make it happen.

5 Components of a Vision Statement

A Vision Statement contains 5 parts or qualities that make it effective.

  • Paints A Picture: Think of the vision statement as painting a picture for you and others. Literally something you can see or imagine. The more clear and vivid the image you create the more motivated and likely you are to create it. A clear vision, especially when written, enables you to keep working toward it subconsciously as well.
  • Big and Transformative: A strong vision is big, bigger that the person and it not only affect more people but also requires more people to bring the vision to life. It transforms who we are. 
  • Benefits Others: Our goals, when examined, are about helping others be more successful at something in their life. Whether you are describing a future in a higher career level, with your own business, or social change the achievement of that goal most likely requires you to be helping people be more successful. Dr. King’s vision related not only to his own children, but to everyone’s children.
  • It Is Motivational: A well-written vision motivates you and others to work toward achieving it. Your vision may include in step-by-step guide of what will happen as you bring the vision to life. Dr. King’s vision was powerful because he articulated a vision that any family could have and could contribute to as well.
  • Creates Clarity: As you being to create your vision statement you will become increasingly clear on what your vision is and is not. You will be able to better articulate your vision, making it easier for others to be able to help you as well as allowing you to better recognize opportunities.

Of course this is much easier said than done. And your vision is continually evolving as you get closer and closer to achieving it. More parts of your vision will become increasingly clear as you get closer and closer

Write Your Own Vision Statement

There are two ways you can create your vision statement:

  • Written Statement: A written vision statement is what Dr. King created and then articulated. In a written vision statement you want to use words to address each of the elements.
  • Vision Board: A pictorial representation of your vision statement. Cut out pictures from a magazine or the internet and paste them to a poster board. Arrange them in a way that further enhances your vision.

If you don’t have a vision statement for your career and your life, start creating one today. It doesn't need to be perfect, just start and keep working at it. You’ll start to see changes. For an extra boost and helping your vision become real, follow Dr. King’s lead and share your vision with others.


About the Author

44f26075.jpgLarry Boyer is a beBee Ambassador and helps people and businesses prepare for the disruptive and evolving economy of the 21st Century and Fourth Industrial Revolution. He does this through combining his work with advanced analytics, business strategy and personal development, changing emphasis to meet the specific needs of his clients. He founded Success Rockets LLC in 2009 in the shadow of the financial crisis to address the career development needs of people in a rapidly shifting economy. Success Rockets(R) evolved to include the evolving challenges from the 4th Industrial Revolution, disruptive technologies and the business models of the Gig Economy. He is both a Certified Business Economist (TM) and Associate Accredited Coach, providing a truly unique set skills to help his clients succeed. He is a recognized leader in both analytics and coaching, speaking and writing on both topics. 

Follow Larry on Twitter @LarryBoyer 

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Debesh Choudhury

Debesh Choudhury

3 years ago #6

Clarity of vision is essential in our life, I accept your advice Larry Boyer, \ud83d\udc1d Brand Ambassador .. Thanks for reminding us for writing our vision statement for career and life.

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #5

Larry Boyer, \ud83d\udc1d Brand Ambassador is always a great read. Thanks i was really thanking you for bringing it forward. The information highway leaves me in the emergency lane from time to time and miss thnings. This was a great read and reminder of the courage one man took. I need to hear that from time to time. Sometimes in the emergency lane i get a little apathetic about things. I am glad Martin Luther King did not. Have a Merry Christmas and may your New Year be all you expect.

David B. Grinberg

David B. Grinberg

3 years ago #4

Harvey Lloyd, I cannot take credit for his excellent blogging buzz. Truth be told: I'm trying to follow in Larry's footsteps, but they're big shoes to fill! Keep buzzing, Harvey, and happy holidays!

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

3 years ago #3

thanks for pulling forward, not only timely but appropriate. Seems each year about this time many reflect over the previous year with an eye to the next. It took us three years to find our vision statement, many false starts and fanfare. It was a journey that was well worth the effort. I wanted to add a side bar note to the Martin Luther King quote. I see him quoted often and he is, was the whole package. But his quotes often don't reflect the driving force "how" he proposed the massive changes. These quotes were not random, they emanated from a school of thought found in a belief system that went well beyond "government" "laws" and many other secular ideals. His courage, thoughts and abilities came from his faith and belief in mankind as spiritual beings. His vision was awesome, but extended into the heart of spirituality within the home/family. He is a man i would have been honored to have a beer and share a pizza. His faith is something to be admired.

Sarah Elkins

Sarah Elkins

3 years ago #2

Thanks for re-sharing this post, Larry Boyer, \ud83d\udc1d Brand Ambassador. Sometimes something will pop into my view at exactly the moment I need it - and this was one of those moments. As I read through the components, I started really thinking about what my business is about, and started on my vision statement. I plan to print it on a big piece of paper and start my vision board with it. As I thought through the concepts, and started typing, I could feel my heart rate go up, excitement come back to me, and my energy level improve. Thank you so very much.

Maria Merino

Maria Merino

4 years ago #1

Very good,, thanks

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