The Power of Vision Boards
Vision boards are simple and powerful.
What makes them powerful is that they help you marshall all the strength and power that you have locked away in your mind. This is a strength that is not born from conscious thought necessarily. It is the strength that is present in your other than conscious mind.
You see, your brain is a deletion machine. That is, you encounter so many images, sounds, smells, feelings and experiences in your life that your brain has no choice but to focus on the few things that it feels are most important to your own existence.
What are those things?
You probably know all about Maslow’s hierarchy. That’s a starting point. Self-survival and basic human needs are a priority for everyone, and your brain is hard-wired to make sure it is capturing things that help in this regard.
What about goals and dreams? Will my brain support my pursuit of those things?
This depends. Do you believe that you can really achieve the goals that you hold so dear? Do you have a clear image in your mind of what success looks like? Do you even have goals to begin with?
As Tony Robbins is fond of saying, “without a vision people perish.”
As far of your brain is concerned, until you get clear about what you are after, your brain will have a tough time marshalling it’s other-than-conscious resources to help you out.
Take the classic example of buying a new car. When I purchased my Silver 2001 Honda Accord Coupe several years ago, I hadn’t seen a single one on the road. Definitely not in that color at least!
Now, hardly a day goes by that I don’t run into my exact same car model, being driven by someone else. Did the car just get that much more popular or did my brain actually start to notice it more because it was not top of mind for me?
Anyway, this is a long winded way of saying that one of wonderful things about vision boards is that they help you to get clear and STAY CLEAR about what some of your big goals are in life.
By using fun visuals and powerful slogans on your vision board, you make it interesting and inspirational, and just looking at it for a few minutes (or even seconds!) each day will be enough to remind your brain (at a conscious and other-than-conscious level) what is really important for you.
Here’s an example of my first vision board. I started out by scribbling this down in a notebook at Date With Destiny back in December 2006. I then used Microsoft Office PowerPoint and Clip Art to trick it out! It is now printed on 4 foot wide poster board, and is hanging on my living room wall. Not a day goes by that I don’t see this thing.
Next up, I created this Vision Board in May 2007 with more of a creative and visual feel. It was produced as part of a Goal Setting Workshop that I led for the Seattle PowerGroup. We had about 20 people all setting goals and building vision boards together. Wow, what power there is in doing this type of activity with other motivated people!
Lastly, this vision board I created about eight months ago, again, as part of another Seattle PowerGroup vision board workshop. This time, I took a few of the key themes from my previous vision board (fitness, health, yoga) and expanded on them.
How To Create an Outstanding Vision Board
There is really no right or wrong way to create a vision board. The most important thing is to be in a positive and upbeat mindset. Below are a few general guidelines that I follow:
- I generally like to start by thinking about goals. I will take out a sheet of paper and think about all the things I want to see, have or experience in my life. I put on some good music and write for 10 minutes nonstop!
For those who have never written for 10 minutes nonstop…this is a big challenge. I’ll usually get a list many pages long. Be sure to think about things relating to yourself, your family, your career, education, health, wealth, relationships, etc.
- I then look at the list, and write a 1, 3, 5, 10 next to each item, based on the number of years that I wish it to take to manifest each thing in my life.
- I then review the list, and circle the top 3 goals for 1 and 3 years. These are things that I will focus on right now. I write a paragraph for each of these 6 items, focusing on how my life will be different once I have achieved the goals. I also like to focus on how other people’s lives will be better as a result of my progress as well!
- Now the fun begins…I get as many magazines as I can find. If you can do this friends….even better…since they may have magazines that would be useful for finding great quotes and visuals.
- I then just start ripping out photos that resonate with me. Don’t worry about arranging things or cutting them out nicely. Just pull things out that FEEL GOOD.
TIP: For financial goals, I like to just make out a check to myself for the monthly income I expect to make at some point in the future!
- Now, I sit back, and start arranging the images and quotes on my vision board. I’ll usually use a piece of poster board that you can pick up from any drug store for less than $1.
- Once I have an arrangement, I use a glue-stick to make it permanent and use colored markets to draw or write in more quotes.
- Lastly, I put the board in a place where I will see it daily…right now, I have 1 vision board on the wall right behind my computer (which I use daily) and two others sitting on my living room table. Not a day goes by that I don’t see them!
That’s it! I hope this was helpful for you and motivated you to make your own vision board. They are a ton of fun, and a great little project to do with your family or friends on a lazy weekend.
If you have a vision board already and would like to share it, please leave a comment to this post with a link to it! I get motivated by seeing what other people are dreaming about…so please do share!