Senge makes the point that having Goals and Aspirations does not equate to having vision, and furthermore, few adults have any real vision.
So what is Vision?
Here's an example. You have a goal to achieve your MBA and start a new business. This however is a means to an end, not the end as such. Vision is applying focus on the result. Perhaps the feelings of accomplishment within your peer group, or the life balance choices that would emerge from being more autonomous, or the material benefits that would subsequently flow through.
So if a goal represents the vehicle or means to the end. To get a better job. Earn more money, buy a Porsche etc. The Vision is the ultimate destination. Financial independence, the respect of your peers, successfully raising a family, essentially that which fulfills your sense of self worth.
Where does Purpose fit in to this equation?
Purpose is more abstract. Vision is tangible, a destination, and quantifiable. Purpose encompasses the Why? Fewer people have a real conscious sense of purpose to their lives than have Vision.
Look at your goals and ask Why? I want a better job. Why? so i can buy a sports car? Why? So I can impress the 'chicks'. Why? So I can feel like a winner. So that's the reason you want a better job!
Perhaps it would be more useful to examine what our Purpose in life is, and work back from that and clarify how that translates into a Vision, and then set goals in accordance with this clear vision.
Working 60 hours per week in a job you hate, in order to buy a flash car and live in a million dollar house, seems contradictory if your purpose is to have an awesome relationship with your family and to wake up every morning with adrenaline filled excitement for the day ahead.
If your goals are leading to stresssed out days and fractured relationships and poor health, then something is clearly out of kilter.
Identify your Purpose, build a Vision that's congruent with reaching that destination, and only then set your goals.
Just a thought. What do you reckon? I'd love to hear your thoughts.