What do you want to be when you “grow up”?
Remember when you were a little kid and knew exactly what you wanted to be when you grew up? You could always answer this question with confidence whenever asked. I’m going to be a doctor, a teacher, a veterinarian, you might have said. Then as you got older, the question got harder to answer because the world had opened up possibilities you hadn’t considered. Now maybe when asked, you just didn’t know the answer or hedged your bets. This happened to me. I changed my major three times in college. Just sayin’.
Making a vision board is one way of being able to answer that question today because hey, aren’t we all – at whatever age — still trying to figure out what we want to be when we “grow up?” The question sounds different when asked in adult-speak and usually goes like this: What are your goals and plans for next year? Where are you going and what are you going to do? Making a vision board is a way of answering those questions for the upcoming year.
Before I tell you why I do a vision board every year, let’s start with a definition:
A vision board is a poster board or other visual tableau (bulletin board, canvas, website, photo gallery) where you place images that represent something you want to accomplish, experience, have, attain and/or places you want to visit, move to, live in and/or people you want to meet, emulate, inspire and love. The images can be literal or symbolic. You are the artist of your vision board and your life, and you create the symbolism.
Sound fun? It is. It’s all about what you want, your vision for yourself – not anybody else’s vision of you or for you.
Vision boards are about expressing your dreams in images, feeling good, being hopeful and experiencing more than you thought possible. The process of creating the board is as intentional and fun as having the finished product on your wall, your phone, or your computer screen for you to soak in all year by looking at it lovingly, joyfully, gratefully and daily. It’s a daily reminder of your life’s direction.
Why do a vision board?
Why do a vision board? Because it is an act of self discovery. I create a vision board every year because:
* I want to know myself better.
* I want to be surprised and delighted by my own life.
* As much as I think I know what I want in my head, my heart actually knows me best and creating a vision board is way to discover what I really want.
I create a vision board every year to discover my dreams and my heart’s desires. Our desires and our dreams speak to us in images. (Think of your actual dreams upon waking. Do you remember them in words or pictures?) Pictures express a feeling to us immediately and often instill action. The process of selecting and placing images on a poster board is a way for me to discover what is going to make me happy. When I finish my board I’m looking at a new version of myself. It is a “getting to know me” experience that I enjoy every year and look forward to the surprises awaiting me.
Find images that inspire and thrill you, or make you curious.
Certainly every year I have plans and I place those intentional plans on my board – for example, images that represent visits to my son who lives in a different city, work events that are scheduled, a continued commitment to healthy living, or a vacation. But often there are images I find in magazines or on a photo site that inspire, thrill me, make me smile or wonder; they call out to me so I put them on the board even though I’m not sure what they represent. I know I’ll find out why they are there at some point. This process of creation reminds me that while there are many things out of my control, I am in control of my thoughts and can express my feelings, beliefs, attitudes, dreams and desires by placing images that represent them on my vision board.
I can answer the “what do you want to be when you grow up” question by pointing to my completed vision board and saying, “Next year, I’m going to be her.”
So the question for anyone wondering “why do a vision board” is better asked like this: “why not create the life you want to live next year by doing a vision board?”