What does success look like, for you?
If you’ve seen ‘experts’ who share their get-rich-quick videos, your mind may be spinning with visions of Lamborghinis, mansions, and yachts.
Sadly, some of these gurus live up to their reputation as a band of merry sleazeballs who spew more slime than a Nickelodeon awards show.
I am NOT one of those pimping purveyors of personal development.
I am successful because I have my own vision of success.
Again, I ask: What does success look like, for you?
One of my favorite personal development tools is a Life Wheel (Google it, there are plenty of examples out there), which can show you the big picture of your life. The one I use includes the following.
Career: What you do to trade your time for money?
Financial: What you are doing with that money?
Physical Health: How effectively are you taking care of your body?
Emotional: Are you consistently experiencing the emotions you wish to feel?
Ethics/Morals: Do your thoughts, words and actions reflect your personal values?
Connection: Are you part of the world in a ‘real’ way (not just via technology)?
Spiritual: If you do believe in a higher power, do you devote time to honoring your faith?
Relationships: Are you putting in the effort to enjoy them at the quality you desire?
Does it seem overwhelming to focus your efforts in so many areas?
Fear not. They’ve been part of your life all along.
But before you decide where you want to go, it is critically important to know where you are, right now.
Here’s how I do it: Grab a pen and paper, head for a quiet place, and turn off all electronic devices. The world can do without you for twenty minutes.
Using the above categories as a guide, begin evaluating your current life.
Be honest. Be descriptive. Honor the emotions which bubble up as you write.
This is your starting line.
When you are done, here’s the second step:
In response to each, describe what you want them to be in the future.
Not sure where to start?
Describe, in detail, the ideal versions of your career, relationships, money, health, emotions, etc.
Once you’ve stopped writing, park your pen near each item and answer this one powerful question for each: WHY.
More important than knowing WHAT you want is knowing WHY you want it.
Your WHY is the fuel that will keep you going on days when the skies are dark and you’ve got solar-powered motivation.
Enlist the help of a good friend who can help gauge the validity of your answers, if possible.
If you find yourself flying solo, use a mirror.
Your best goals, and their WHY, will be smiling back at you.
You may be wondering: “So when do I get to find pictures?”
Go through your notes and start identifying the answers that are rocking your imagination.
Select at least one goal for each category described earlier in this article.
Find (or create) images that best represent what these goals look like, feel like, sound like…heck, even smell like. I have found my best sources to be the internet, magazines, brochures, etc.
When it comes to arranging your pictures, I suggest visiting a local craft store for a piece of foam board (mine are 11”x17”) and a glue stick.
Some people have developed ‘virtual’ Vision Boards, created electronically.
As simple as it may make the process, I prefer the strength of a hands-on physical product.
Which of your goals is most important or meaningful to you?
Place that one at the center, then make connections as your other goals build outward from there, strengthening your story.
Once you have finished the assembly, take a good hard look and breathe it in.
Does it move you? Does it fire you up with potential and possibility?
Does it inspire you to begin developing your plan of action?
Career: What new skills or connections will you need to invest in?
Health: Are there new foods or an exercise plan which should be engaged?
Relationships: Do your daily words and actions make you the best partner you can be?
You see where I am going, right?
One very important element of your success journey to be aware of: are you the right person, with the right strengths, to make each new goal actually happen?
For example: if you get winded walking to the sidewalk for your mail, and one of your goals is to complete a marathon in the next 12 months…you may wish to enlist the help of a nutritionist and physical trainer.
This is one of the biggest strengths of Vision Boards: they can draw the best resources into your life while showing your liabilities (habits and people) the door.
Once completed, what do you do with your Vision Board?
Keep the original where you can see it every day.
Take a picture of it. Make it the wallpaper on all your devices.
Print a copy for the visor of your car.
So, I will ask one final time:
What does success look like, for you?