As a life coach and business strategist, I have used many tools to help individuals along in their transformations. Having been in corporate America for more than 20 years as an analyst, trainer and mentor I have seen the benefit of such things as team builders, peer support and staff retreats. Also as a co-author of a book on the power of affirmations I believe in these tactics. I want to share my perspective on the latest phenomenon to hit the scene, ‘Vision Boards’.
It’s difficult to get an exact origin of the concept of vision board because in one form or another it seems to have always been around. Based on the biblical principles of “Without a vision, the people perish.” in Proverbs 29:18 and “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” found in Proverbs 23:7, individuals set out to place images of the goals and dreams they possess onto a board located where they can view it daily. The business community began to realize that where your focus goes, your energy flows. This concept can be managed and increased simply by choosing to focus on a desired outcome, not the situations at hand.
Seemingly overnight, life coaches and trainers began implementing the activity of vision boards into their practices. Vision board parties began springing up on social media sites and people were exposed to the power of “focus”. But like many other great movements in the past, people assumed all it took was placing a few magazine cut outs onto a piece of poster board and POW, you have a new car, job and wardrobe. They took the ingredients and left the gathering without the intent of doing the work. Trust me, if all it takes is a few pictures and a wish, we’d all be millionaires. Let me share some practical things to do after you’ve been empowered by a vision board activity:
- Set realistic expectations for yourself: I always communicate to clients that life is a series of systems. The negative system seems to be so strong for some because that’s the system they are most proficient in. Meaning they’ve operated in it so long it comes naturally. When you are making a shift in thinking, you have to be patient and allow yourself time to see results. After all, you’ve had so much practice doing it the other way.
- Ride the momentum, but pace yourself accordingly: This new-found excitement and positivity you have is the first wave of an emotional life journey. You have just found the key to the kingdom but at the same time, it’s going to be a process. Many are so pumped up that when they make a little mistake, it takes all the wind out of their sails. Calm down, and simply enjoy the ride.
- Follow up, follow-up and more follow-up: Bruce Lee said, “I am not afraid of the man who’s practiced 10,000 kicks once, but of the man who’s practiced one kick 10,000 times.” The moral is to invest the time and work it takes to be great at this task. It is impossible to get it all in one setting. Growth is a lifelong endeavor. While some only try it once, be the one who sees the long-term benefits of vision boards.
Vision boards are an awesome way to incorporate something fresh and exciting to your daily routine. With the proper expectation, it unlocks a life of deeper meaning and passion. Many have seen the explosive benefits of having their vision plainly written. On the other side of the coin, many have experienced frustration after what they dreamed did not come to pass. The issue is not in the procedure, but the process that follows. Just like anything else in life, you get out what you are willing to put in. Before you write of vision boards, take another look and set your mind to do the work.