It is my life goal to inspire those who have become a part of my virtual family. So, as part of that goal, twice a week I post graphics and sayings to my social media accounts that I feel uplift and encourage. One of those says, “vision is about more than what you see.”
There have been several studies which show that what we spend time focusing on and thinking about becomes so much a part of who we are that our brain has a very difficult time differentiating that from things we have actually experienced. Its one of the reasons that if a person tells a lie enough times, they begin to believe it themselves, and by extension, if we tell someone a lie about themselves long enough, they will begin to believe it about themselves.
In the book of Mishlei (Proverbs), chapter 23:7, we find the famous verse, “as a man thinks in his heart, so he is.” Now, because I am a person of faith, any time I come across a new concept in the personal development space, I hold it up to the measuring stick of the Jewish bible. I ask, “does this concept clarify, reinforce and elucidate what is already found in Holy literature, or is it a contradiction?” Clearly, Mishlei 23:7 supports the concept that we become what we spend time thinking about. Our thoughts are powerful. This is a bi-product of being created “b’tzelem Elokim” – in the image of G-d.
Several years ago, I was introduced to the concept of a vision board. If you’ve never heard of a vision board, its where you create a collage of images that reflect goals you want to achieve in your life. They can be short-term or long-term but are usually big things that will be a challenge, and for which you need to keep a “vision” if you want them to happen.
Some time ago, I wrote a blog post about a train station in Jerusalem, and about how for more than a dozen years, to the casual onlooker it just looked like an enormous hole in the ground. But not to the designers, and not to the builders. They had a picture of the finished product to remind them of what their end goal was. They kept their “eye on the prize” and now, where there was once an enormous hole in the ground, there stands a huge, lovely, modern train station.
The vision board serves a similar purpose – it helps us to experience our goals as if they already happened, creating a virtual reality that propels us towards the goal. It helps us to endure the hole in the ground stage, knowing that a train station is under construction. If we don’t know what we are working towards, how can we get there? And if we don’t know what we want, how can G-d answer our prayers?
But even more than that, if we go back to the verse from Mishlei – “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.” Then by spending time focusing on the goals which are most important to us – the things we’ve put on that vision board – we become them. The things we focus on become our reality. Just in the past 3 months, without even realizing it was happening, I experienced two of the things on my vision board. It was a moving experience seeing my dreams materialize before my very eyes. If you’ve never created a vision board, you should, it’s a life-changing experience.