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Life moves forward through desire
Q: Are you crafting a vision for what’s next?
Several years ago I went through a training at work on writing a bold vision for the upcoming year. It required me to place myself 12 months into the future and write as if I had accomplished all these things in my life. At the time I was struggling to find meaning in my current job. Team politics and corporate bureaucracy had taken the place of innovative ideas and moving fast. So I wrote down a one page vision that included what I was known for, the culture of my team and ways in which I saw myself growing. At that moment, I didn't know how I was going to accomplish all these things in the next year. But a year later when I looked back on it, I found that more than half of it had come true, including a new job supporting the leader of Google’s Ads business.
Last year as I was struggling with motivation during the pandemic, I decided to take a stab at writing another 1-year vision for 2021. It was a way of pulling me out of my day-to-day and painting a picture of what I could aspire to. I turned the vision into a 90-day action plan and forced myself to take small concrete actions. I created a list of friends and colleagues that I could reach out to to help me with my larger goal of gaining clarity on my career plan. I blocked off time on my calendar to start a consistent meditation practice. The year did not end up like how I had drafted it but it got me moving in pursuit of my passions.
A couple of weeks ago I sat down to write my vision for 2022. At a high level it gives me a sense of calm to see my words on paper. It renewed my excitement for building community through conversations. For the past 2 weeks I have been spending time reading about web3 and DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations). The technology seems to be geared around communities taking collective action and being rewarded for participation. I could be going down a rabbit hole but for now, it is exciting to be learning about this latest frontier of technology.
When there is turmoil in my head over what I am doing, I hope my vision will be a beacon of light guiding me to make the right choices.
“Create the highest grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.” - Oprah Winfrey
In October of 2015, while on a work trip to New York City, I was invited to join a friend on an overnight trip to Hudson, New York with her book club friends. The ladies had planned a fall foliage hike followed by a Saturday activity that was described as a “low-key, amateur vision board workshop”. Having never done a vision board before, I was intrigued by the concept.
A vision board is a visual representation of your goals - the direction you want your life to go in. I started by taking some time to reflect on my hopes for what I wanted next in my life. Following that, I sifted through old magazines, tearing out images and words that jumped out, and crafted a visual story on a large poster-size paper. Back then all my goals were related to my personal life - I wanted to get married, get fit, host friends and family more often, live a balanced life, get creative and spend time in nature. I put the poster up on my closet door and every morning it inspired me to take action.
A couple of months ago, while cleaning out our garage, I found the poster from 2015 and was reminded of the power of this exercise. Many things I hoped for actually happened. I got married in 2017, we hosted parties in our garden that looked a lot like the image in the poster (bottom left), we had our baby a couple years after and my husband’s home town in Tunisia looks a lot like the barren mountain and beach image (bottom right).
Life moves forward through desire. In the past 5 years, I have manifested the two most important people in my life. I believe this vision board was one of the things that helped. Recently I revisited this exercise, for the first time since 2015 and crafted another vision board for myself. This time my career took center stage. Looking at my new poster back on my closet door reminds me of what matters most and what lights me up. It helps to look at it, especially on the days when self-doubt comes to visit.
If you are curious, here’s an article that can help you craft your own vision board.
“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” Anonymous