One day, a man was working in his home office when his five-year-old son came in and inquired about some ‘dusty boxes’ lying in a corner. Now, these contained his old vision boards, and in order to explain the concept of vision boards to his son, the man pulled out one. To his surprise, on one of the boards was a picture of a gorgeous 7000 square foot house that he had cut out from a magazine in 1995. This was the exact same house that he had just purchased a few weeks prior. It was the house he was living in currently. He was actually living his dream!
This true story of successful entrepreneur and author John Assaraf is a testimony to the phenomenal power of vision boards. His explanation of the same in the DVD of ‘The Secret’ is no secret.
But, what are vision boards? How do you create one for yourself? And, once created, how do you use them?
A vision board is a board which has images and text that clarify your dreams and desires. It is used as a visualisation technique and is believed to exemplify the universal ‘law of attraction’.
A vision board brings together images and thoughts of important goals in your life in a visually appealing way. It literally gives you the ‘big picture perspective’ of your life. To put it in the words of Christine Kane, president of Uplevel You, a company for entrepreneurs and creative people, “your life changes to match those images and those desires”.
How do they work?
“When you put your attention on something, you experience more of it. Maybe it is created by a magical force of attention. At the very least, you are going to selectively pay attention to these things you like once you selectively start to gear yourself to focus on them more” says Martha Beck, Life coach and columnist with O, The Oprah Magazine.
Vision board believers suggest that the universal ‘law of attraction’ is the driving force behind their working. According to the law, everything that we are attracting in our life is through the images we hold in our minds [or in this case, our vision boards].
Shamala Chavan, a Mumbai based practitioner of the Infant Siddha Program, [a parenting program] is a staunch believer in vision charts. “Not only have I benefitted from these, but so have many parents who come for my course. Having a vision itself is a direction. If you enhance that by putting it in words and on paper, and by repeating it, and looking at it several times, you are emotionalising it and activating the law of attraction” she mentions.
Thoughts are taken to have frequency and power. These thoughts and images become potent tools. And, if we know how to use them, we can affect great changes in our lives. The vision board is a starting point. It is the one place where these images and thoughts converge.
The whole process of making the vision board can be quite cathartic. You get some time out with yourself and it’s a great starting point for your dreams
Making a vision board
Keats knew what he was saying when he said that “a thing of beauty is a joy forever”. Vision boards need to be magnetic and meaningful. Don’t your dreams deserve a creative expression?
Broadly speaking, you could make your vision board in the following steps:
- Begin by browsing magazines, images and words in order to come up with those that you find inspirational. Spend a few quiet moments thinking about what you want from your life and come up with a list of words and images that will be the main ingredients of your vision chart.
- Use your intuition and select the images that feel right. You could even browse images online. You may get the sense that some images or words are speaking to you and somehow attract your attention. Chances are these are the right ones for you. You may then group the images according to themes. The key is to feel the images and not be bound by whether you think they are practical or not.
- Arrange the images and text on the board and keep re-arranging till you feel satisfied that it represents your innermost wishes and visions for your life. Then, glue all these images and text to the board. At this stage you may also edit out the images that you feel are not relevant for you at the moment.
- Put a happy and beaming picture of yourself right in the centre. Or, use one powerful quote in the centre. This acts as a kind of ‘peg’ and holds the chart together.
- Lastly, hang the board where you can see it often. Strategically position it so that each time you see it, it can evoke happy feelings in you. Spend time viewing it at least once a day. Some people also take images of the vision board and put it on their laptops or computer screens.
The whole process of making the board can be quite cathartic. You get some time out with yourself. However, if you want to get it done with a group of like-minded people, so be it! Mommy blogger Colleen Lanin, invited a group of gals for a vision board party. And there was the task accomplished!
Updating your board
Change is constant and as we move on in life, so do our dreams and ambitions. It may be a good idea to return to your board from time to time to take stock. Maybe you could do it every New Year’s or on your birthdays to give some kind of continuity to it. Review how far you have
accomplished the goals you set out to achieve. If not, where did you go wrong? You may then use this opportunity to update your vision board and tune it to match your current life scenario.
Sharing the board
Whether you should have a common vision board with others or restrict it only to your own desires is a matter of personal preference and comfort. Sometimes, we may have shared goals. For example, parents may have shared visions for their children and so it makes sense to have a common board that both partners believe in. However, there are aspects of our life that are independent of others. In such cases, we need individual boards. A family can have a common board with corners representing individual goals and the centre representing common goals.
There is also the question of whether to share your board to others. Again, it all depends on your comfort level. Some people like to keep their dreams to themselves, but there are others who do not mind sharing it with others. To each his own! Neither is right or wrong.
When they don’t work
One reason why vision boards don’t work is that they are too cluttered. That, according to Evelyn Lim, author of Abundance Alchemy, Journey of Gold and vision board coach could prevent you from focusing on it effectively. If this is the case, rework your board and make it clutter-free.
For vision boards to be effective, they must reflect your innate self. According to Beck, “To really work, a vision board has to come not from your culture but from your primordial, non-social self—the genetically unique animal/angel that contains your innate preferences”. Hence, many boards that fail to achieve the goals set out do so because the ‘visions’ projected were not actually what the person really wanted but was motivated by external conditioning. You can avoid this pitfall by being completely honest with yourself as you make your board.
Beck also feels that “one cannot continue to push what is already set in motion”. Once your vision board is done, let it be! No need to obsess over it! Give it time to work its magic.
Sometimes people give up on vision boards too fast. Moreover, they need to realise that they also have to help themselves. Complete lack of effort from their side is not going to get the universe moving.
A vision board needs enough attention to work. You may not obsess over it, but you’ve got to give it the focus that it deserves. Thus, you must place it where you can see it often, for maximum effectiveness.
Weave in technology
If you happen to stare at your iPad or computer screen more than the walls of your house, you may as well install an app or a program that allows you to view you vision board on your screen. Happytapper.com has phone and iPad apps for creating vision boards. A google search will reveal lots of sites to help you with vision boards for sourcing images and quotes and also for actually creating one, online.
This was first published in the October 2012 issue of Complete Wellbeing.
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