Why Vision Boards (alone) Don’t Work!

Vision boards don’t work?

Don’t get me wrong, I think vision boards are great. They have a place. They have a purpose. They’re fantastic. However, a vision board by itself isn’t enough because what’ll often happen is people think it’s a fun exercise, which, it is. It’s wonderful to dream. It’s lovely to plan. I love doing stuff like that.

People go through the process, they have this nice board, then they say, “Now what?” And then nothing happens. Then the vision board usually gets stuck behind something else and maybe every once in a while, you pull it out. Some people keep it in front of them, but by and large, I find that it’s an inconsistent process in terms of how people apply vision boarding in regard to how to make it actually turn into reality. A vision is great, but reality is way better.

The more clearly you can visualize what you want and define it, the more likely it is to happen. A goal such as, “I want to be rich”, is much less likely to happen than a goal such as, “I would like to make $500,000 a year”.

Be definitive in what you want

If you look at your vision board and it’s a little bit vague fix it! Don’t just say, “I want to travel more.” Where do you want to go? How long do you want to be there for?

I’ve had a 25-year goal to go to the Maldives, specifically The W Hotel. I know I’ve got a plan and it’s in the works and I will be going there. But for 25 years, I’ve had that goal in mind. It’s 25 years because it’s so fricking expensive to go out there!

Step one in making a vision board become a reality is be specific.  For instance, part of my vision board is saying, “I want to go to the Maldives to stay at The W hotel for 10 nights”.

The second thing you want to do is to actually believe that it’s possible. My goal for The W hotel, has been 25 years in the making. I am totally okay with that because there’s been a lot has happened in my life that has prevented it from happening thus far. But that doesn’t mean that I have to get rid of that dream. I still have it out there.

Don’t stop believing!

You may not know how something’s going to happen, but you must believe it’s going to happen – or you can kiss it goodbye. Just having that one little switch, you tremendously increase the chances of it actually happening.

For instance, say I put something on my vision board, like the Maldives, or meeting Mark Cuban, or being on stage with Dean Graziosi and Tony Robbins, or writing my book. All of these things are on my vision board and other than the Maldives, they’ve all come to pass.

My version of a vision board is sticky notes. When I want something, I use a sticky note and stick it right beside my computer. Every single day I’m staring at that goal. I tried writing a book six times and nothing had ever happened. But that’s okay, I still wanted to write my book. I took a little sticky and I wrote the word BOOK on it and stuck it next to my computer. Every single day, I’m feeding into my brain the word BOOK.

Now, if I was feeding to my brain I’ll never write a book, what my brain looks for is proof that I will in fact, never write a book. If however, I look at that sticky note and I say, “I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but come hell or high water, I’m writing a book,” my brain says, “Oh, that’s what you want. Okay.” And then it’ll find opportunities for me to actually be able to go ahead and do that.

And that is exactly what happened. I had the little book sticky note and I would look at it every day. I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but I’m going to write a book. That’s going to happen. This is my reality. It’s going to be my reality.

One day on Facebook, I saw an ad for a publishing company, and thought, “Oh, this might be it.” Gave them a call. Bam! Wrote my book, international bestseller, number one in six countries and eight personal development categories. It’s still selling. It’s still helping people, and I am so glad that I did it. But if I didn’t believe that I could write a book, even if I didn’t know how, it would never have happened because I would have told my brain to find proof that it’s not going to actually occur.

This wasn’t just a one-time thing. I’ve done it for other things. I wanted to meet Mark Cuban. I didn’t know how it was going to happen, but I put Mark Cuban on a sticky note that said, “Well, it would be really nice to meet him.” Turns out he was in Vegas at the same time as me, staying at the same hotel, hanging out at the same bar. So I went up, said absolutely nothing intelligent, but I met Mr. Cuban and I had my dream come true! What I’ve learned is that by putting these reminders all over for myself and continuously feeding it into my brain, a vision board is useless, unless you see it every single day. I mean every single day. When you see it, you say, “I believe it. I don’t know how it’s going to happen sometimes, but I believe it.”

Luck is when opportunity knocks and you answer

People aren’t lucky. They simply believe in what they’re doing and then when the opportunity presents itself, they do something.

When I saw that ad for that publishing company, I could have just let it go by, but I didn’t. I said, “Oh my God, that’s it. Give them a call.” It may or may not have been the perfect thing, but I gave them a call and it turned out that it was. And I’m extremely grateful to Best Seller Publishing for having been a part of my life and for bringing me this opportunity. But it’s the same thing with Mr. Cuban. I could have just said, “Whatever,” and not gone up and met him and thought, “Oh, well, maybe I’ll be annoying” or “Maybe he doesn’t like people.”

I thought, “I don’t care. I’m going to go and I’m going to do something about this.” I didn’t bother him. I just went, took a picture, said hi and he was extremely gracious about it. But again, I could have said to myself, “Oh, there’s the thing that I wanted. It’s been on my vision board all my life, but I’m going to make all these assumptions as to why I can’t go ahead and do something.”

I could have made an assumption that maybe Best Seller Publishing is too expensive. Maybe I can’t afford it. And I might not have clicked on that ad. I might not have set up that call. But because I didn’t make those assumptions or I was aware that I was making the assumptions that allowed the opportunity to actually happen. That’s when my dream, my vision, turned into my reality.

I wanted to meet Brendon Burchard, I did that. I wanted to be on stage with Dean Graziosi, turns out I was on an electronic stage as part of their global release of the Knowledge Business Blueprint. Again, I just said I want these things and then I believed in my abilities to do something when the time is right because I believe that it’s possible.

If you have a vision board, if you have a goal, if you have not defined it specifically, go and do that right now. If you want a better life partner or a life partner, the more specifically you define that person, the more you feed into your brain what to look for.

Reticular activation is a thing

It is a very, very powerful thing. What it means is simply that your brain will look for what’s relevant to it. For example, you buy a red car, everyone has a red car. When I got pregnant, everyone was pregnant.

Reticular activation is part of our brains’ processes because there’s so much information we take in, millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions of bits of data every single day, our brain can’t pay attention to everything except what you feed it.

So feed it “I believe this is possible. I believe this specific thing is possible”, and your brain will look for the opportunities. It’s kind of like fishing. You cast it out and you say, “I don’t know what’s going to come back, but something’s going to come back. And when that something comes back, I’m going to do something with it.”

That’s the attitude of the elite.

That’s the attitude of people who are really content with life.

They’re the ones that aren’t stressed. They aren’t overwhelmed.

Why? Because when you don’t make assumptions, when you don’t create fears and obstacles for yourself, you literally cannot be overwhelmed because you know where you’re going. You know specifically what you want.

You don’t get distracted by other things. You don’t compare yourself to others. You don’t look around at what anyone else is doing because it doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing

What matters is what’s right in front of you. What matters is how specifically you know what you want; how you believe or don’t believe in your ability to get that. And if you don’t know how to do it, you trust in your own abilities; you bet on yourself to say, “If I need to learn how to do something, I can do that.”

Back to Mark Cuban.

He said one of the number one reasons why he was successful is he refused to stop learning. When he was couch surfing in his twenties, he taught himself how to code because he figured that that was the future. He didn’t know how to do it. He taught himself and then he sold companies up until the point where he’s now a billionaire.

You can surf a couch in your twenties and be a billionaire by your forties or fifties. You can also surf your couch in your twenties and continue to surf couch into your forties. It has a lot to do with how you go about setting goals, believing in the goals and taking action when the opportunities present themselves.

Because if you believe in something, the opportunities will be right in front of you, even if you don’t believe in what it is that you’ve put up. The opportunities are still right in front of you.

The difference is whether you see it or not, and believing in what you want has everything to do with whether you see it and whether you take action.

I encourage you to write down exactly what you want. Put it somewhere you can read it every single day. And I mean every single day. I want you to look at that vision board or that description or that sticky, and I want you to say, “I believe that that’s possible. I may not know what’s going to happen, but I know that if I continue to read that, to feed it to my brain and to believe that it’s possible, that an opportunity will present itself.”

And because through reticular activation, you will do so. When the opportunity is there you will see it and you’ll be excited, and you’ll take action. I invite you all to go and find your own Mark Cuban.