Going from wishing how your life could be to actually making it happen is more achievable than you may think. I know this to be true from my own personal experience.
As a young adult, I experienced a succession of upending events in my life. The first was my parents’ divorce. I hadn’t recovered emotionally from that setback when my Dad unexpectedly died, leaving me rudderless. As I continued to flounder, I squandered several thousand dollars of inheritance.
I eventually was able to turn my life around, and, from a medical records business that I started with a single copy machine on my kitchen table, created MediCopy, a multimillion-dollar, top-rated company. Let me share my secret to rising from life’s lowest point to the pinnacle of personal and professional success.
In essence, it’s important to understand that every plan begins with the expression of a thought. Once you take the time to stop, focus, and determine your most desired dreams for your life, those dreams begin to take shape. By pausing to think through the direction you hope for your life to take, actions naturally and miraculously manifest.
Manifest With A Vision Board
A tangible, meaningful tool to focus on the future that you hope to achieve is a vision board. In fact, I’ve become such a believer in creating a vision board to define dreams and, by doing so, discover a way to pursue them, that I encourage the entire 200-plus-member staff at MediCopy to make their own boards each year. I even give them paid time off in exchange for this exercise. Many who were initially reluctant to take part soon found value in making a vision board as they witnessed the positive results that defining their vision generated.
I know that getting people who’ve never much dreamed to start dreaming can often be a hard sell. Some people are simply too preoccupied with paying mortgages, school loans, and other expenses to look beyond the month, let alone make plans for the year. If you’re someone who isn’t ready to make grandiose plans or imagine long-term goals, your vision board can include small steps, such as saving $10 a week or taking a short walk each morning. The empowerment you’ll find from accomplishing what you envisioned for yourself will build over time.
To create your own vision board, use a large poster board to document these nine components:
1. Early Memory Of A Dream Job
What occupation did you once fantasize about? Did you dream of becoming a singer, a fashion designer, or a veterinarian? Write, draw, or paste on pictures of that profession. Do you still have any desire to explore that occupation?
2. Moment When You Received Praise
Did a teacher tell you early on that you were a good artist, writer, or mathematician? Did a family member or neighbor point out your innate talent for helping others or working with your hands? Portray that meaningful moment on your vision board. Do you have occasion to express your talent currently?
3. What Makes You Special
What makes you different from the norm? How do you express — or suppress — that difference? Present how you honor or hope to honor that difference on your vision board.
4. Key Principle You Live By
What motto or saying represents the core value that defines your moral belief? Write or cut out the motto and place it on your board.
5. Your Ideal Family
If you’re lucky, your biological family members comprise your dream family. But for many, our “family” is composed of those we feel comfortable with and able to confide in. List those people who form your close inner circle.
6. Your Ambitions
Because thoughts have the ability to manifest themselves, take the time to dream big about your goals — both personal and professional. Choosing the images that represent your ambitions and seeing them displayed on your board regularly will help them become reality.
7. Your Version Of Success
Imagine both the professional status and the personal satisfaction you will experience when you realize your dreams. What rewards will come with success? Portray how your version of success will look and feel. What will be your key performance indicators?
8. Your Self-Care Practices
What do you do to feed your soul or recharge your battery? Recognizing that you need to take time for yourself in order to give 100 percent to your work and to others will remind you to protect that important practice of self-care.
9. Your Accountability Chart
To become your best self involves taking responsibility for your actions. Upholding your accountability to others leads to their accountability to you. Make a list of the people to whom you’re accountable on your board, and also list those you consider accountable to you.
Once you’ve completed the nine components, share your board with those in your inner circle — perhaps some of the people you identified in #5. Ideally, everyone else has also created their own vision board, and you can discuss what you learned from the experience together. You can also share how you expect to put action behind your vision and, in doing so, create a supportive team to help you along.
Taking time to create your vision board is an important step toward manifesting who you are meant to be and realizing your personal version of success. See for yourself how envisioning and defining your dreams helps them to magically take shape.
Elliott Noble-Holt has devoted his life to the advancement of healthcare information management (HIM). He is the founder and CEO of MediCopy Services, Inc., based in Nashville, Tennessee, that currently provides HIM solutions to more than 4,000 healthcare facilities nationwide. MediCopy and Noble-Holt have received numerous accolades, including the Inc. 5000 “America’s Fastest-Growing Companies in the U.S.” eight times, and Nashville’s Most Admired CEO award. His new book, Bald Bearded Boss: Manifesting Who You’re Meant to Be (Advantage Media Group, Nov. 9, 2021), describes his inspirational story from tragedy to triumph. Learn more at baldbeardedboss.com.