“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
–PROVERBS 29:18 (KJV)
Take a minute to survey your surroundings. What do you see? Every single thing that you can see, hear, or touch first began with a thought. Someone had to think of the structure of the building you’re living in, the chair you’re sitting on, and the clothes and shoes you’re wearing. Inventors and designers such as Dr. George Washington Carver, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Lewis Latimer, Johann Gutenberg, and Steve Jobs had innovative ideas and visions which transformed the entire world.
For example, thousands of children across the world have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch every day thanks to one man – Dr. George Washington Carver, who created peanut butter.
There’s a story of about Dr. Carver’s vision: One day, when Dr. Carver went out to pray (as was his daily practice), and asked God why He made the universe. The Lord replied that it was a mighty big question for a puny man. Dr. Carver tried a smaller question, “Why did you make man?”
God kept narrowing the scope of his inquiry, and Dr. Carver finally asked, “Mr. Creator, why did you make the peanut?” With that, the Lord was satisfied, and told him to go into his lab and find out. In a Spirit-filled rush of discovery, Dr. Carver separated peanuts into their shells, skins, oils, and meats; and, found all kinds of amazing properties and possibilities! He discovered 200+ uses of the peanut, including milk, cheese, soap, and grease.
Successful people always have a vision. They can see beyond their present circumstances and envision a brighter future. Vision is powerful, and you need to get a hold of the vision you want to have for your life to create the positive changes which are necessary to move forward.
Every decision you make is guided by vision. Every crossroad you encounter must answer the question, “Does this
align with the vision I have for my life?” Vision requires great courage and faith. A perfect description of faith is found in Hebrews 11:1: “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” A tool that can put your faith in action and keep you focused on your dreams is the vision board.
A vision board is a clear visual manifestation of all your desires and goals. You want a big home? You can get it. You want a family? You can have it. You want a car, a great job, and money? Yes, you can have them, too.
Every year, I create a vision board; and, by the end of the year, most of the things I had envisioned in my mind came true and manifested in the physical realm.
Creating a vision board is simple. You don’t need to be elaborate. To create a vision board, you will need the following items:
1) poster board, glue, tape, scissors, markers
3) personal photos, magazines/newspapers
As you create a vision board, you will need to have a mindset of a child. You will color, cut, and paste. As you remember, childhood was a time of great imagination, and we seemed to be much more content. As we get older, we find it to be more and more difficult to believe in our dreams. Yes, we need to have a childlike faith to remove any barrier that prevents us from achieving our dreams.
Molesey Crawford, a motivational speaker, once said, “Contrary to popular belief the sky is not the limit. The best kept secret of life is that there are no limits. The only limits which ever exist are the ones we create in our minds.”
What do you hope to accomplish in your life? You can only go as far as your vision takes you. Lupita Nyong’o once said, as she accepted the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, “No matter where you are from your dreams are valid.”
Don’t limit your vision, but keep in mind that you need to be specific. For your vision board, choose images which express the vision you have for your life. Do you want to get married? If so, cut out pictures of wedded couples or a wedding dress. Do you want to graduate from high school or college? Cut out pictures of a person donned in graduation apparel.
Do you want to own a house? Cut out pictures of a beautiful house. If you like to travel, find images of the places where you would like to visit. Remember, you can use the internet to find and print the pictures. Only use images which represent the life you want.
Now, that you have gathered all the pictures. Think of some affirmations. You can handwrite it on your board, or print it on some colorful paper. As previously mentioned, affirmations are powerful statements which declare to the world who you are. Always use positive “I am” statements when you create affirmations. For example, “I am confident. I am victorious. I am beautiful.”
When you have gathered all of these materials, it’s time to arrange and paste them on the poster board. Remember this project is about YOUR personal vision. It’s how you envision your future! When you’re done creating your vision board, date and sign your name at the bottom. Place it somewhere you can see it every day.
Try this exercise: For a few minutes, every day, look at your board and visualize that you have already acquired everything. Maintain an attitude of gratitude and positivity. All your dreams can come true! Believe it.
Cindy Similien-Johnson is the founder of CSJ Media Publishing, and author of the bestselling e-cookbook series and popular cooking classes, "Cook Like A Haitian." She's also the founder of the women empowerment grassroots initiative, Goal Chic.