When last have you come across an old vision board or list of life goals that you set for yourself, only to realize that you have done little or nothing in the way of making good on those once confident promises to yourself?
Feeling disappointed, frustrated, deflated and p-ed off?
Stop! Don’t throw your vision board away just yet.
Maybe, just maybe, your vision for yourself is not outdated or naive.
Let’s take another look.
This blog post is about revisiting and refining your understanding of the life goals you previously mapped out on your vision board, listed on paper, or bounced around with friends during an inspired conversation. (But for the purposes of brevity, I will only refer to your “vision board.”)
PLUS: Once you have read this blog post, complete the short goal-related survey at the bottom of this page and I will email you more helpful content about achieving your most valued goals.
I’ve taken the liberty of making two assumptions when writing this blog post for you.
Firstly, that you already have a good sense of what you want in life.
Secondly, that you previously expressed one or more of your goals in a “code” that needs some deciphering before it feels more achievable. (Keep reading, this is what I will help you with.)
Dusting off your old vision board
Here are a number of images you might find on a vision board:
- a seven-figure bank balance
- an expensive convertible
- a glass of wine
- a singer’s microphone
- a piano
- a novel, and a
- a toned physique
We could interpret all these images literally – cue feelings of excitement that are quickly replaced by overwhelm and anxiety.
“How the hell am I going to achieve any of these goals with the current economy? Never mind with my shoddy bank balance!”
“Let me rather put this thing away before it stresses me out even more,” you think to yourself.
Pause, breathe, let us take another look
I’d like to encourage you to sit with the discomfort you are currently feeling (be it anxiety frustration, or dismay), to breathe and allow us to think about what you are actually seeing in front of you.
Is it not possible that these images represent:
- a feeling or
- a state of mind which you believe you would attain if you were a millionaire, had a fancy sports car, were a wine-maker, singer, pianist, author, or a frequent gym-goer?
- What is it about each image that appeals to me?
- Take note of all that comes to mind and write it down.
- Do not discount any thoughts at this stage.
- Have you perhaps not made some of these images a reality in your life because you were interpreting them too literally?
Examples of deciphering the meaning behind images and personal symbols
Perhaps you associate being a wealthy businessman with a robust self-assuredness and the ability to speak calmly and clearly.
Perhaps you associate convertibles with freedom of movement and being more in touch with nature than you currently are.
A glass of wine might represent a time in your life or a feeling that you would like to recapture – e.g. an appreciation for the finer things in life or socializing with an old group of friends who kept you feeling inspired.
The symbol of a toned physique might be less about whipping your body into cover model form but about the structured living and commitment displayed by those who devote time and energy to their health – regardless of the demands of work and family.
Selecting your destination of choice
The more we understand what we really want, the easier it becomes to plan for the journey ahead.
It is no use we plan for a journey that takes us somewhere we don’t really want to go.
By stepping back and thinking about the meaning behind the images on your vision board you get one step closer to understanding what you truly yearn for in your life.
A literal interpretation of our personal goals is one of the reasons why we may fail to actively pursue change and personal growth – personally, professional, spiritually and otherwise.
In this blog post I have posed the following to you: “Maybe what you actually want is to embody some of the associated feelings, qualities, and outlooks on life that are related to each of the images you find on your vision board.”
Trust yourself and the vision you have for your life. And if you keep falling short of realizing a goal, ask yourself whether you are interpreting that goal too literally.
Using a mobile device to access this post? Click here for the mobile-friendly survey. I’ll send you some free goal-related content to thank you for your time.