Photography: Ben White
You're an executive. Vision Boards are a home-craft exercise you choose not to prioritise in your time-poor life. Every now and then a specialised workshop comes along, and as it's on the agenda, you get cutting and pasting and creating for a day. Those I.T. savvy executives amongst us, have downloaded an app to create a digital vision board. Done in 10 minutes. Tick that box.
What if I was to tell you that Vision Boards are only a small part of the art of creating your ideal future. Would you believe me? Or if I said that Vision Boards can be a total waste of time! Would you put up an argument?
The most compelling Vision Board is that which resides in your cranium. However, without a connection to this compelling vision, it is unimportant and without value to you.
Do you go to the bathroom at least once in your working day? Really... do you?
Do you go to sleep every night?
If the answer is yes - you have all you need to create and access a compelling vision board that will drive your designed and responsive behaviours and choices, towards your ideal future.
Dispense with the pin-board or pictures you would rather not share with work colleagues and so pin behind the bedroom door to gather dust and the digital page that you swipe-left to get through to your calendar so very quickly, and instead create a habit of visualization that drives your neurological and emotional responses towards your ideal outcomes.
What do you want? What do you really want? Unless you know this, you are living a life of chance. What role do you want, for what type of organisation? What are the styles of conversation you are having in that place and with whom? What is it that you are actually doing in that role, that lights you up and fills you with feelings of excitement and anticipation? What are the benefits of being in this place to your health, wellbeing, energy, wealth, lifestyle, family and friends?
Whilst using the bathroom, or on the train, or just before you drift to sleep each night, or whilst waiting for your coffee to come to the table; close your eyes. (Putting your hands to your chin makes this less awkward and looks 'as if' you are taking a moment if in public.)
Put yourself in the picture, (you can't see you in the picture - you are in the picture looking around) noticing what you see, hear and feel all around you in this space - the space where you are the most compelling version of self, doing what you desire to do, in the environment of your choice. What are you doing? Is there a scent? Is there a breeze? Is it warm or cool? Do you have a title? Are you still or moving through the picture? Who is around you and what are they doing or saying? Build this picture layer by layer, colour by colour, aspect by aspect. Attach and name all of the compelling. motivating feelings and emotions to the picture as statements of reality. "I am confident. I am calm. I am excited. I am successful..." whatever works for you. Construct the most amazing scene that includes every single facet of your desired outcome. Physical, emotional, psychological, financial, material...
This is your vision board. You go to it in your mind every day, at least once and more if you want improved results. You go through the habit of building the layers to the scene and connecting to the emotions and thoughts that reinforce this scene as being exactly where you want to be. It will take you no more than 3 minutes and gets faster the more you practice. Add music if you like. Breathe deeply and purposefully as you visualize.
Like a lighthouse, your mind is now a beacon for the opportunities that are around you to be leveraged. You will be 'tuned in' to the conversations and connections that feed your internal vision of that compelling place in your future. Just like popping a pin into a map to plot a course to travel, your internal vision and emotional connection to that vision is your pin. The decisions and actions and reactions you choose will feed into that vision of you and your future. A little like 'be careful what you wish for' it's as if the Universe grabs hold of that vision with an "I've got this" comment, as it moves you towards and into situations that align with your internal vision.
If you love to create and use a vision board - continue to do so. Make sure you add the emotional and psychological steps to connect to the pictures, so they become more than a pretty picture board.
If you have no idea what you want - spend some time in this space first. If you are clear on what you DON'T want, flip this to explore the opposite. Staying in 'what I don't want' tends to deliver more of exactly that.
You can create a life vision or a career vision or a health vision - it's for you to decide where your priorities are to be focused.
Remember, you can change your mind / visualization any time you like.