A wise man once told me, “Surround yourself with successful people, ditch the losers who aren’t going anywhere they’ll just drag you down with them.”
I think that’s one of the best pieces of advice I ever received because it was true.
Once I got rid of the toxic people in my life I started to be more successful.
But I had to do more than just surround myself with successful, positive people. I had to learn to think positively as well. Negativity brings everyone down and in hard times it can be difficult to see things in a positive light. But until you do, things will not change.
One of the ways I learned to focus my dreams and goals was through vision boards.
A vision board is a tool that uses the law of attraction to attain your goals.
The law of attraction means that “like attracts like”. If you focus on positive things, positive things will come to you. If you focus on the negative, then negative will come to you.
This sounds like a very new age thought but it’s been around a long time.
The New Thought philosophical movement developed in the United States in the 19th century, following the teachings of Phineas Quimby.
In 1887 Ralph Trine’s In Tune With The Infinite has this passage, “The law of attraction works universally on every plane of action, and we attract whatever we desire or expect. If we desire one thing and expect another, we become like houses divided against themselves, which are quickly brought to desolation. Determine resolutely to expect only what you desire, then you will attract only what you wish for.”
In The Master Key System published in 1912, Charles Haanel wrote “The law of attraction will certainly and unerringly bring to you the conditions, environment and experiences in life, corresponding with your habitual, characteristic, predominant mental attitude.”
Rhonda Byrne’s 2006 film and 2007 book, The Secret, put vision boards in the spotlight. She emphasized that you should not just think about what you want to obtain but also infuse the thought with the emotion associated with that wish. Combine thought and feeling to see the wish as reality. See your desire as though it was already real. This is what attracts the universe to make your vision manifest as reality.
You must use positivity to think, dream, desire and put those things out into the universe.
Thoughts are energy. Thoughts are things.
Study results published in Psychology Today found that “Mental imagery impacts many cognitive processes in the brain: motor control, attention, perception, planning, and memory. So the brain is getting trained for actual performance during visualization. It’s been found that mental practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence and self-efficacy, improve motor performance, prime your brain for success, and increase states of flow – all relevant to achieving your best life!”
Creating a vision board, or a manifestation board as they are often called, is a way to focus your energy and thoughts on the things you want. Take your desires and manifest them into reality.
A vision board is a representation is a concrete representation of your thoughts, desires, and goals.
Jack Canfield, the creator and bestselling author of The Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, believes in the power of visualization, “Creating a vision board is probably one of the most valuable visualization tools available to you.”
Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, said: “Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true.”
We can manifest what we want with the power of our minds. Thoughts can create reality.
If we put our thoughts and desires out in the universe in a meaningful way, in a way that makes us and the universe believe – this can help bring those things into our lives.
Vision boards put our thoughts and desires on something real, something concrete- taking our mental thoughts and putting them on something tangible. This is a way of manifesting them as reality. You can look at something real every day to remind you of what you want.
Critics of vision boards say they don’t work because you can sit and dream about something all day long and it isn’t going to make it real.
I tend to agree. You still have to work for what you want. Like Henry David Thoreau said in Walden, “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”
To me, this means go ahead and dream big but work towards that goal. Figure out what you can do to make your dreams come true. Set goals. Create milestones.
You can work this into the creation of your vision board.
A manifestation board should be a collection of things you want to bring into your life. Choose things that you want that are reasonably achievable. If you are flat broke a mansion in Beverly Hills probably isn’t a realistic goal. However, a moderately larger house (or a house in general if you don’t already have one) can be achievable if you envision it realistically.
Be clear about your goals. New job, new body, a better relationship, nice car- be specific and envision exactly what you.
To create your own vision board start by creating a list of what you want- dreams, goals, wishes, desires - these can be items you desire like a new car, new house, places you want to go, achievements you want to reach, like a new job, a promotion, a book deal, etc.
I often create separate lists which will translate into individual boards for things. I have a physical/health board, a career board and I’m working on a vacation board and dream house board.
For example- on my career board I have images of a woman typing, an open book, a contract, money, more money and the images for bestseller statuses. So my manifestation board not only includes the end goal of what I want (money and being a bestseller) it also includes steps that will get me there.
For my body/weight loss board, I include body love mantras, images of my ideal weight/shape, and a focus on being healthy along with some dresses that are my end goal for a cosplay ball and a masquerade ball. By looking at this board I see where I want to get and know what I have to do to get there.
To me, this is the optimal way to plan and create a vision board. By focusing on not just what you want but how you’re going to get it.
Once you have your lists in place, start collecting images for your board(s). You can find images on the internet and print them out or cut out images from magazines.
I love to use images, words, and quotes.
Images give us a direct visual of what we wish to acquire. I love finding images that are a perfect fit for my vision boards. Photos of vacation spots, a fancy bed set I’d love to add to my bedroom, art to hang on my wall, the dress I want to fit into. Images are power, use them wisely.
Words are personal and can invoke feelings and experiences within us. As an author words hold much meaning for me so I choose carefully when adding them to my boards. I often use words that are written in bold colors and fancy fonts.
Quotes are one of my favorite things to put on a vision board. They can be from books, songs, movies, a favorite teacher, a grandma, or from history.
Most of us have a favorite quote that is filled with meaning for us. I have several that reach in and touch my soul. These are the ones I like to add to my boards, the ones filled with meaning that fit the situation and will motivate me towards a goal or invoke a sense of already being there.
You can also use self-affirmations. These are things you have written to self-sooth, to create a specific feeling within yourself. The best way to word self-affirmations that are in a positive light start with “I am…” I am worthy. I am brilliant. I am successful.
Other items you can add to your board are poems, postcards, souvenirs from places you have been and would like to go again, lists, stickers, bookmarks, feathers, beads, wine corks, anything that represents the things you want and the feeling of having them.
Above I have pictured digital vision boards I created with Pixlr’s collage feature. These are images I created for this article. My real boards are large physical creations.
It is very important that your vision boards are real tangible things you can feel and touch- and look at every day.
Cork boards are great for short term wants. You can switch them out with new desires and needs quite easily, just take that image down and pin up a new one.
You can create a vision board with a simple poster board from the dollar store and whatever craft supplies you have on hand.
Or you can create an elaborately framed board that looks like a work of art.
The most important thing about a vision board is what you do with it after you make it. Put it where you can see it every day- several times a day. Every time you look at it let it invoke feelings in you. Imagine how you will feel when you reach these goals when you have achieved or received the things on your board. Imagine yourself there- see yourself on that vacation in Hawaii, see yourself getting the promotion at work, see yourself signing the contract on that book deal. Feel it, experience it, make it real.
The power of intention is truly remarkable. Feel the universe sending your desires to you. Manifest the things you desire most.
Use your vision board as a daily reminder to feel your dreams and work towards your goals.
If you achieve a goal, remove it from your board and put up something new. Celebrate every milestone, be grateful for what you have and the things you acquire. I also recommend creating a new board every 6-12 months.
And remember positivity and the law of attraction are always in play.
By seeing yourself as successful and living a life of abundance more success and abundance will come your way.