As I’m writing this I’m looking at my vision board (if you’re not familiar with what that is, don’t fret, I’ll touch on it more below).
On it are several things (goals) I want to see manifest in my life. At the top it reads very simply… ‘Vision Board — with the saying, “Thoughts Become things”. By the way, I’m fully aware that some folks would read that and make the assumption that just because a person thinks they want something, and give thought to it, that it is simply not enough to necessarily achieve it. To which I would concede, that’s partially true.
Notice I say only partially true, because we’re not just talking about fleeting thoughts here. What I’m referring to is one’s dominant thoughts. Those thoughts which are so ingrained in our mind that we naturally, and often I might add, more easily take the necessary actions which are needed to see them through to the point at which they become a reality. There is a BIG difference between a dominant thought and simply thinking you’d like to have something.
When it’s a dominant thought, it sticks with you (think of it like the difference between Super glue and the Elmers glue you used to use in grade school). You are always asking yourself how you can go about making your particular endeavor a reality, and when you find that one plan of action doesn’t work out as you’d hoped it would, you don’t run for the hills thinking, well I tried that and it tanked so I quit… No, when something is a dominant thought you understand that each attempt is simply a part of the learning process from which you can grow — and by trying another approach you will get that much closer to what it is that you truly desire.
So hopefully you’ll give me the benefit of the doubt and believe me when I say there’s a lot of truth in the saying “thoughts become things”.
Now here’s the rub… Assuming that’s true, that the thoughts and ideas we focus on most become real and tend to show up in our lives it’s worth pointing out that the old saying doesn’t discriminate. Listen up, because it’s that important. Here’s what I am saying… if you’re focused in on negative things, you’re going to see negative results and events creep into your life. Just the same as if you were focused in on positive things or events.
Unfortunately, the reality is that it works both ways.
Here’s a little illustration to make my point. Recently I was having a conversation with someone who was telling me about their new manager. This person was just absolutely sure that it was going to be a disaster.
They’d literally made their mind up before the new manager had ever even appeared in the office for the first time. Well guess what? The first week was absolutely terrible! This person almost transferred to another department.
Fortunately, time was given (ironically, not that long) and low and behold, things weren’t nearly so bad after all. Isn’t it funny how life works like that? You see, this person was so absolutely sure it was going to be awful that it literally became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Quite simply, her thoughts, became her reality.
Now I’m happy to report that the last time I talked to this person she told me she was surprised that it might actually end up being a good thing. Now she’s seeing things through a positive lens, and guess what she’s getting? You got it, more of what she’s focused on.
Now I will say that in absolutely every instance this might not work out exactly as I’ve said. However, I think the quote by Zig Ziglar makes a terrific point with regards to that. He says, “positive thinking won’t let you do everything, but it will let you do everything better than negative thinking”. While I may not have gotten Zig’s saying quite right, I think the point is made just the same.
So assuming you’ll concede that our dominant thoughts (either positive or negative) tend to become our reality — doesn’t it make sense to think (and take action on) the things you want to see in your life, rather than those you don’t? Remember, either way you’re going to get something… so it might as well be of your choosing don’t you agree? 🙂
Now before you think I’ve broken my promise from above to cover vision boards, here’s a quick overview, it’s by no means exhaustive, but I think it’s worth mentioning in case you’re not familiar with them.
First, there are any number of ways to make your vision board as elaborate as you’d like. I won’t attempt to say you have to include all the bells and whistles on yours for it to be effective. It’s a personal preference.
Personally, I’d have to admit that the one I’m currently looking at of mine is pretty blah — but it isn’t the design or layout that’s powerful, it’s the thoughts/things that are on it. It’s a piece of cut out cardboard where I have included some written goals and pictures which represent the things I’d like to see transpire in my life.
Again, it’s not particularly attractive, but that’s not really the point. What is important is that when I focus on those things on my vision board, my mind can more easily go to work doing the things which will drive me towards taking the necessary actions which are needed if I want to see those things become a reality.
Consider it a powerful reminder of what you want to achieve. Plus, like your success journal (hopefully you keep one) it can end up being quite an incredible source of personal validation as you’re able to see quite literally, the things on your vision board come to fruition in your life.
So that in a nutshell is what makes up a vision board. Again, nowhere near an exhaustive overview, but I think it gets the point across. Needless to say it can be an incredibly effective tool to use in your personal journey towards achieving your goals.
Vision boards work, because they help to keep us plugged into those things which we want to achieve. But like anything, you can’t just keep your vision board hidden away where you never see it. Think of it like a billboard, but instead of advertising (which are things others want you to notice) you’re putting thoughts about your goals and dreams — those things which are important to you into your mind on an ongoing basis.
One, create your own vision board. Include pictures, or write something, anything that will represent what you want to achieve.
Two, in addition to the more traditional vision board mentioned you could play around with what I call a mini-vision board. Take some 3×5 index cards and basically do the exact same as you would with a vision board. The index cards approach will be a lot easier and convenient to carry around with you then a traditional sized vision board would be. Remember the old out of sight, out of mind saying.
Finally, whatever you do, do something. The more you keep the things you want firmly in mind — and sight, the better the chance you will give yourself of making them a reality in your life.
— To your success, Josh Hinds
* Josh Hinds is the author of Why Perfect Timing is a Myth: Tips for Staying Inspired and Motivated Day in and Day out! and It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!