I wasn't going to do it this year, to be honest. I have been doing vision boards (aka dream boards) with my Galli Seidl Real Estate team since our first company retreat back in 2015. I'm a big believer in activities like vision boards and intention setting. I'm a huge advocate for doing mindset work on a regular basis. Experience has shown me that mindset work (BEING) is often a more significant contributor to the accomplishment of something than the actual DOING work. So why wasn't I going to do a vision board this year? I don't really know, except that maybe on some level I thought my writing practice was a replacement. I often dream and scheme up visions when I write.
Lucky for me, my wonderful teammate Emma made sure that a vision board session was on my calendar. (Example of the power of a team and community and why I'm a better WE than ME). Emma and I had our annual vision board day last week and it brought me back to why I love doing them. We had a great morning putting the boards together, sipping tea, enjoying good company, and sharing our vision of what each of us would like to see transpire in our lives in the year(s) ahead. We always end by giving a quick little presentation of what our board of images and dreams represents to us.
I have been reflecting on how much my vision board has changed since 2015. When my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) was to grow our real estate business to $300M in sales/yr, my vision board was consistently split into quadrants--the segmented pieces of my life--all occupying separate space on the board. Business. Family. Finance. Personal Growth/Health. As much as I adored the vision contained in each of these separate quadrants of my life, they always seemed like fragmented and compartmentalized pieces of my attention that didn't play well together. I'm not sure if I intentionally separated the compartments of my life, but I believe today that it was pretty symbolic of how fragmented and out of alignment I felt. The compartmentalized visions for family and personal growth/health played well together, but they didn't mix with my BHAG for business. I'm not implying that these have to be misaligned goals/visions for everyone; but they were very segmented in how I saw my life.
It wasn't until I completed my vision board 2 years ago that I realized I no longer had a compartmentalized poster board with quadrants for the different areas of my life. It was one vision for how I wanted to feel and BE. This year's board was the same. The finished poster board of images is no longer a reminder of what I want my career and finances to look like. It's a reminder of how I want to feel, cheering me on to take risks to become the best version of me. It's not void of ambition to do Big things, but it's more about becoming than doing. My family, business, finance, and personal growth vision all interplay in one display without separation.
So why do a vision board?
-- Self Awareness. I don't necessarily know what will land on my board. I don't set out looking for specific things, necessarily. I just go with whatever jumps out at me when looking through magazines (pretty much the 1 time of the year I pick up a magazine so it's kindof fun and relaxing!) Even though I do it without intentional awareness, themes always emerge. It's insightful to see a visual display of a vision as it emerges. I gain a new sense of awareness every time.
--It plants a seed. It doesn't always happen that year, but I'm amazed how many things from my past vision boards are now part of my present reality. It's not necessarily in the way I originally interpreted the vision, but something grew from that initial seed. The best example I have of this was an image that was on my board 5 years ago. It was a picture of a strong, powerful, 40ish year old woman practicing yoga. She was doing a side crow arm balance with a relaxed expression and in large letters, the image said The Balance Before the Balance. This was such a symbolic vision for me that I often think about. At the time, I was desperately needing more balance in my life. I was practicing yoga at the time, but certainly not arm balances. Though it had absolutely nothing to do with the arm balance itself (which is now a part of my yoga practice), I had no idea that a few years later I would be setting out on a new and very intentional journey of finding that inner alignment and balance that I was craving when I created that first vision board.
What seeds are you planting?
**I will have to do a future post on another great tool for gaining alignment and action toward a vision. The tool is found in a book called Vivid Vision by Cameron Herald. It's quite different from a vision board, but it's an awesome tool for creating a vision around a business or project. I am working with my brother and his team at myh2b.com to create their Vivid Vision and it's been a really cool process. More on that another time.**