Have you ever created a vision board?
Every guru ever has used vision boarding in their motivational speeches and stories.
I first discovered it in my twenties, as I attended a networking party one morning. A group of us sat around the table, being coached on the process, scissors in hand, magazines before us, cutting and pasting our “dreams” on a board.
A vision board is supposed to put your focus on what you want most. You have a dream. You put pictures on to represent your dream. You look at your “dream” board every day.
And suddenly – voila! Like magic, your dreams will all start to come true.
If you’ve ever tried it, you know it doesn’t quite work that way.
Guess what? A vision board isn’t enough.
You can cut every single picture of your “dream” – a tiny red convertible, perhaps – out of every magazine you find, wallpaper your walls with it, stare at it throughout your days, and it still won’t materialize. Focusing on it won’t make it come true.
You’re more aware of what you want. But you’re missing the critical part to making it come true.
It’s the journey, not the destination
Have you ever wished for something so much, it was the only thing you could think about?
I want a new car.
I want a new car.
I want a new car.
What happens when you put your focus on something?
You take action on it.
I want a new car.
So I start Googling car reviews. I search websites looking for information on the car of my dreams. I use their builder tools to create the car I want to buy. I test drive the car.
And then, I buy it …
I love the car. It’s gorgeous. Just what I wanted. I’m proud of it. I love driving it. I wash it every week.
But somewhere down the road, I find a new dream.
I want to buy a house.
And off I go trying to fulfill my newest desire.
All dreams are fulfilled one way or another
With easy, doable action items, they’re easy to check off our lists.
We don’t have to stretch much to put them into action.
If I want a new car, it might be because I need one. My current car is old. The lease is about to expire. It’s scratched and dented. It has 100,000 miles on it.
It’s time for a new car.
It’s easy to put on a vision board, and even fantasize about the car you really want. Because with something as simple as buying a new car, you’ve probably done enough research to have a pretty good idea of what you want.
But what about the dreams we daydream about, yet push us way beyond our comfort zone? Dreams like:
- I want to write a book
- I want to make a million dollars
- I want to lose 50 pounds
Yes, they’re real. Yes, we can vision board them, dream about them, “see” ourselves reaching the finish line in our mind.
But in every case, something else steps in before we even get started.
That’s when we say things like:
- I’ll do it tomorrow
- I’ll do it when the kids leave for college
- I’ll do it when I have more time
- I’ll do it after I finish this piece of chocolate cake
All dreams are possible. We dream because we’ve seen it done by other people.
Yet we’ve put something else in its place. We’ve determined that something else has much more importance than the dream we’re going for.
- You can say you want to write a novel. But you like watching television better.
- You can say you’ll make a million dollars. But you are afraid to give up your steady job.
- You can say you want to lose 50 pounds. But you can’t say no to the chocolate cake.
Change your mindset, change your outcome
There are two kinds of things you can put on a vision board: material and abstract.
If you’re dreaming about the latest Mercedes sports car, it’s a material item. You can physically touch it, feel it, see it, buy it, own it.
But other things – the things most of us really want – are more abstract. We’re looking for what it brings to our lives. We want the feeling we get from getting it. We want what it brings to our lives.
- You don’t want a published book in your hands. You want the feeling of accomplishment you’ll get by sharing your message or story with the world.
- You don’t want one million dollar bills sitting at your feet. You want the freedom of having a million dollars in your bank account.
- You don’t want the scale to say you’re 50 pounds lighter. You want better health. You want to fit in your skinny jeans. You want your spouse/partner/friend to say: Wow, you look great!
Have you failed at vision boarding before?
Take another look at what you’ve succeeded and failed at. Can you divide them up into either material or abstract lists?
Material items tend to have easier to-do lists to achieve them.
- Visit a website.
- Compare vehicles.
- Get loan approval from the bank.
- Select my favorite color.
- Visit the dealer.
- Test drive the car.
- Drive my new car.
Abstract wishes have goal lists with as many mindset changes as they do physical to-do lists.
To write a novel, you may have to:
- Buy storyboarding software.
- Hire someone to create the cover art.
- Find an editor.
- Choose a book title.
Where you start to get stuck is with the stuff you don’t yet understand.
- Move past writer’s block.
- Craft a good story.
- Find readers who love your book.
Do you see this problem in your last attempt at vision boarding?
It isn’t a problem of achieving your goals. Instead, it’s a problem with working on mindset first.
Take a look at the things that have been on your list for a very long time. What’s held you back?
Someone else’s goals?
Chances are, your biggest unfilled vision board items are your biggest dreams. They’re also the most abstract.
It’s not that you CAN’T accomplish them. It’s that they’re pushing you to new levels. You haven’t quite figured out what to do with that yet. And sometimes it’s just easier to do nothing at all.
I see myself in this – it’s made me change the way I vision board.
Are you ready to change too?