I know what you’re thinking: “Vision boards, really?” Yes, vision boards kick all kinds of ass, but not for the reasons you are probably thinking.
“Vision Boards” were, as far as I know, made popular by a book called The Secret. The Secret brought the concept known as “The Law of Attraction” to a modern audience, despite being very old (Think and Grow Rich anybody?).
The idea behind them is that by focusing on the things you want, you’ll manifest them into your reality.
I was introduced to my first “vision board” during a recent workshop on personal branding. There I was, sitting around a table of complete strangers, feverishly combing through old magazines for pictures and ideas that would reveal my dreams, and in some ways — my very identity.
I was scared my vision board would suck. Everyone had tons of pictures. I turned my paper vertical so I wouldn’t have to include so many pictures.
Vision Boards Are Lame, Make a Values Board Instead
As the rotation started and people began to present what their vision boards meant, I started to realize something profound: these weren’t visions, these were declarations of PERSONAL VALUES.
The people in the room were telling the others what they held as personal values. “I have a picture of a plane because I like to travel,” one of the participants said. “This has nothing to do with planes, and everything to do with the feeling of being free,” I thought to myself.
Others had pictures related to nutrition and healthy living. These were value statements placed on health.
Why does this matter? It matters because values are those things that guide our actions.
Values provide a compass for your life and give you direction. Success means living and embodying those values in an authentic way.
Your Values Are A Reflection Of You
Using the vision board that I crafted, a series of themes started to emerge. I had pictures of an airplane, a fitness athlete, and a musician (See below).
I value health, freedom, and art. Something that stood out to me was a quote by Sylvester Stallone that I had glued on. It said,
If you don’t have a mountain, build one and then climb it. And then after you climb it, build another one, otherwise you start to flatline in your life.” – Sylvester Stallone
The weird thing about this was that I had a picture of a guy climbing a mountain on my vision board.
I realized that I need goals at all times — a fucking mountain to climb — or I get lost.
Creating Your Own Mountain
Understanding your values is great, but they don’t really matter unless you have goals to actualize them.
This is where the power of questions come in.
Looking at my vision board, I came up with the following questions to put everything together:
- What does this value mean to me in my life?
- What does the ultimate expression of this value look like (Blow it up by thinking big!)?
- How will I get there (skills needed)?
Here’s What I Came Up With Using My Values Board:
1. Health – I help others reach their fitness and health goals. (blown up) —> I help people create massive physical transformations, people seek me out as an expert in this field.
- How will I get there?= Personal training and nutrition classes
2. Freedom – I seek the freedom to travel and be financially free. I’m an entrepreneur and teacher (blown up) —> I help others realize their own freedom. I teach people how to build thriving businesses from the ground up and travel the world.
- How will I get there?= entrepreneurship, teaching and consulting.
3. Art – I seek to create and build things that touch and transform. I’m a writer and storyteller. (blown up) —> I consult with large organizations around the world and help them create new stories, stories that inspire change.
- How will I get there?= Learn storytelling, writing, consulting and the dynamics of business.
This is by no means a perfect process. In fact, I wrote this from the notes I took during the workshop; it’s choppy and awkward sounding at best, but it’s a good starting point.
A series of themes popped out right away: consulting, writing, and teaching. You might also see lots of overlap within the themes of your values.
Now, this is where the fun begins. Pay special attention to your “How will I get there?” questions.
Go over to Udemy and take as many classes necessary to help you understand and learn these skills.
Build Your Mountain. Climb It. Rinse and Repeat…
A lot of people don’t know which mountains they should climb, or even worse — they’ve been climbing someone else’s mountain.
This process has helped me understand who I am, what I need to learn, and most importantly — WHY it matters.
Take an hour out of your day, make a values board, and go crush it!
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