Here it is, as promised–the tale of Linda’s vision board experience. (For more information on vision boards, check out Youtube. There’s a whole slew of stuff on there, some of it good, some of it wacky, per usual with Youtube. Use your good judgement.)
A few years ago, I decided I wanted to have a book reach #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Let me tell you, this is a BIG thing–lots of people have wonderful careers in writing without ever getting near that magical number. I can’t point to any real reason for setting this goal, because, although it’s a good marketing tool for publishers, it really doesn’t make that much difference in everyday life. It’s more of a personal best sort of thing.
I had watched “The Secret” at the time, and “What the Bleep?” etc., and I’ve always, since an early age, had an interest in creative visualization, affirmations, and the like. I was really young when I read Claude Bristol’s classic, “The Magic of Believing”, and I’ve read it many times since, along with books by Norman Vincent Peale, the master of positive thinking and many others. Some were great, some were wacky. Just like Youtube.
Just like life.
Did I always apply what I learned? No. I’m all too human, folks. But when I DID apply the principles, it worked, big-time. (Maybe that even scared me a little. Think Luke Skywalker, the first time he picked up the light-sword.) I’ve enjoyed a considerable amount of success in my life, along with copious amounts of failure that, for obvious reasons, do not get so much press. My problem, as I see it, is consistency.
But I digress. I decided to make a vision board–they used to be called ‘treasure maps’ and, essentially, they are collages of images that suggest the reaching of some personal goal–a figure in skinny jeans, a fancy car, a vacation home, whatever. Sky’s the limit.
So I made an 8×10 vision board, with a picture of myself, some flowers, my favorite photo of Dad and I, and a big #1 that I bought at Michael’s and painted gold. I added the words New York Times Bestseller List, of course and hung it up on my bedroom wall, where I’d see it often.
And it worked. “A Creed in Stone Creek” was the breakthrough book, occupying that coveted position for not just one week, but two.
Why then, as I suggested on Friday, would I do it differently this time? Well, the subconscious mind is a very literal mechanism, primitive in many ways. It does not reason, do irony, or get the joke–it just steers us toward whatever target we’ve set for it, the ultimate GPS. I used a black background, simply because I love the way black contrasts with just about any color, but I think my deeper mind read that as, roughly, “Okay, we’re going for #1. But it’s going to be hard (the black background) and there will be a lot of depression.”
The goal took about 2 1/2 years to achieve, which is not so bad in and of itself, but there was a lot of emotional turmoil, transformation, etc., during that time. Tons of internal struggle. By the time I actually made #1, I was nearly too exhausted to celebrate.
Now I’m making a new vision board. It’s large–18×24 wooden substrate–and I’m using cheerful pastels in the background. The goals are quite personal and have a lot more to do with my private life than my professional one. They mostly involve taking better care of myself, things like that. In other words, treating myself at least as well as I treat my beloved critters.
Those who know me will tell you that once I lock onto a mind-set, there’s no stopping me. And this mind-set kicked in, unmistakably, the day before yesterday, while I was writing my Morning Pages. There were probably a variety of factors–spring is here at last, prayer and journaling, lots of things, but the clarity came all at once. I knew what I wanted and how to go for it.
Hence, the new vision board and a whole new journey. If any interesting stories come out of this experiment–and that seems like a certainty–I’ll be sure to tell you, right here on the blog.
And that’s the news, friends. As of this morning, anyhow.
Decide to love your life, just as it is, problems and all. You’ll be surprised at what a difference that makes. And besides, it’s the only one you’ve got.
See you tomorrow.