If you are one of the millions of people who saw the movie, The Secret, you might remember a scene with John Assaraf, a successful author and – I love this – “Spiritual Entrepreneur.” That term, “spiritual entrepreneur” speaks volumes, and I feel as though I, too, follow that path.
In The Secret, he talks about an experience where he and his little boy, Keenan, who was 6 years old at the time, were unpacking boxes some vision boards of his after moving into a new home. One of the vision boards included a photo of THE VERY SAME HOME that he was sitting in at that very moment.
Now, The Secret doesn’t go into quite as much detail as John does in his book “The Vision Board Book” that I have open in my lap as I type these words.
But, before I continue with John Assaraf’s story, let’s review what a “Vision Board” really is.
What is a Vision Board?
In its simplest form, a vision board is a collection or “collage” of photos, words, and/or other images that represent the life or parts of your life that you dream about having or attaining. A “dream board,” in essence. It’s about putting something “concrete” together that you can refer to and see often. Some people refer to them as “treasure maps.” They can be physical “boards” – images mounted on poster board, for example, or they can be electronic – like my “Mind Movie” example that I share with you here on this site.
Now, popular culture will fluffily maintain that a Vision Board will help you attain your dreams.
At the risk of having the entire fan base of The Secret send me hate mail, I have to step away and disagree that staring at a Vision Board for hours each week will make my dreams come true.
Here’s the way I look at Vision Boards, and where and how I believe they can be valuable tools in our search for the life of our dreams.
Ok. In a nutshell, I feel that the whole idea is to get these images of what is important to you to “sink” into your subconscious. Then, while you go on with the rest of your day, you may glance over at your images – for some it may be a little film clip called a “Mind Movie” that you watch a couple of times a day – and then quietly ask yourself an “action question,” such as, “What has to happen for this to come true in my life?”
One medical doctor mentioned something that I thought made more sense than every pop culture icon I’ve heard yet on the subject. He, (Dr. Neil Farber), subtitled an article with “Vision boards are for dreaming, action boards are for achieving.”
Here at CASedge, you may have already seen my mantra a number of times: COMMITMENT + ACTION = SUCCESS. Notice the “Action” part?
I truly believe that far too many people who place great faith in the Law of Attraction but DO nothing other than sit around dreaming about stuff are not going to see success.
I am sorry if this seems harsh, but SOME kind of action has to transpire if we are to make progress and ultimately succeed. Note that word “Action” is in the “Law of Attr-ACTION.”
Now, I’m NOT saying that you cannot contemplate and think about the things you desire. However, I think far too many people forget that “action” may come in the form of some inner guidance or intuitive “nudge” that’s telling you the next steps you should take.
Even a lottery winner like Cynthia Stafford, who talks about how she visualized winning 112 million dollars had to actually go out and buy the darned ticket.
Joel A. Barker, a well-known author and lecturer who introduced the concept of the “paradigm shift” in the 1990’s is quoted as saying: “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.”
So, NOW WHAT? Do we bother with Vision Boards or not??
I say that the Vision Board can be a valuable tool and part of the strategies you can use in your desire to transform your life into what you really want.
Personally, I have a number of vision boards; however, mine are now in electronic format.
I originally did the whole “buy a bunch of magazines with images of my dream life and cut ‘em out and paste ‘em to a big sheet of paper and stare at ‘em all the time” thing a few years ago.
I found that I didn’t quite have as strong emotion involved using the magazines. That’s primarily because they didn’t always show exactly what I was REALLY envisioning for myself. The generic photos and images didn’t resonate with me at a deep level.
One of my current vision boards shows a particular lake house that I just fell in love with. It was for sale at the time, and so I kept going back to the real estate listing, and finally downloaded a few pictures of the house. As it turns out, at this writing, it’s not for sale, but I still have the photos.
This might be a good time to talk about some more of John Assaraf’s story…
According to the story in his introduction to his publication, The Vision Board Book, in 1995 he had found a photo in Dream Homes magazine of what was his dream home, and he cut it out and included it on his vision board. At that time, he had cut out any text that might have identified the house – where it was or who owned it. He had, at the time, no idea of where this place was.
On this day when he and Keenan were going through the vision boards, he happened upon this particular one with the house photo. He thought, as he looked at it, that it seemed “familiar” to the one he had just purchased. As he looked more carefully at the photo, he realized that it was the EXACT house he was sitting in. He hadn’t recognized it as such beforehand, because the photo was taken from the air, and therefore not in any way he could have seen it before buying it.
What I love about John Assaraf’s thoughts about Vision Boards is how he refers to them as a type of “cookbook,” which is to say, not something you just put on a shelf and read.
He talks about it as a “practical guidebook” to use in order to help you “cook up a storm that will ultimately make your dreams come true.” (Assaraf, xiii)
Notice he says “cook up a storm…” “Cooking” implies ACTION. Yup. There’s that word again.
If you look deeper into John’s backstory, you will find that this is not a man who simply made vision boards and things came true. In John you will find an exceptionally driven, hard-working, action-taking man who may dream big, but he acts even more.
Make a vision board. Make one that INSPIRES you to ask the questions about WHAT it is going to take to move you towards your vision.
Yes, making your vision board can and should be enjoyable. Just make sure you are prepared to take the next steps necessary to move towards attaining your dreams.
This is serious stuff; after all, we’re talking about your life!
Now, we have numerous other articles on the topic of vision boards, since this particular article is getting a little long… Take a look at the menu in the upper right hand of the page for more about stuff like vision board software (you’ll see what I’ve been using), along with vision board ideas and some additional words of wisdom. See you on the next pages!
Assaraf, John. The Vision Board Book. New York: Atria Books. 2008. Print.