There is no magic formula when it comes to our successes in life. We all have our own unique blueprint—our purpose—that makes us who we are and who we will one day become.
As I write this, I look at a half-finished vision board, a board that visually represents my goals for the future. I’m in the process of updating the one I put together three years ago, because not only have my priorities changed, but so have my goals.
Vision boards are a common tool used within the Southwestern Family of Companies for shaping personal goals into a more tangibly visual form. It’s a fun, creative exercise for picturing goals and future lifestyles in a manner that can continually remind us of what we are working for or toward.
For one person, those goals may be something measurable, such as achieving a monetary level of income. For another, they may be something immeasurably significant, such as rebuilding a lost relationship. They could even be, and often are, something materialistic. What is true for everyone is that what is put on a vision board is a pictorial or graphic interpretation of what we see success looking like in our lives. We can become what we envision.
At a recent seminar in Orlando, I looked on as college students shared their vision boards. One thing I noticed immediately was how their vision matched their stage of life. Many of their vision boards had pictures of dream cars, of houses they hoped to have one day, or of exotic places they would like to travel.
Correspondingly, the vision boards for older, more established folks tend to contain fewer material things and more practical things. Seemingly, as we age and grow, so do our priorities. While material items may still be important, values, family, time, and service tend to take on greater significance.
For me, a top priority is the ability to make an impact on others, which includes my wife, daughters, and extended “family,” such as my coworkers and the college students I work with and mentor. What does this look like on a vision board? Well, it can take many forms. It can be inspirational words or phrases. It may be photos of the books I’ve written or ideas about the next ones to come. It might be quotes that come from my writings or blogs as they relate to where I see myself going. They all demonstrate opportunities in the form of growth—personal, professional, and spiritual. And, yes, I’ll have a few “experience goals” too.
Regardless of what our goals are, a vision board can help crystalize our goals and remind us daily to keep reaching for them. What might you put on yours?