The Vision Board – have you got one?

vision board

A few months back, as part of my management development program at work, our trainers gave us a large blank board along with a stack of magazines and told us to make a vision board. For those of you who don’t know what a vision board is, it’s a board where you paste images and messages depicting the kind of life you’d like to live. People are asked to make them as guidance for their careers or when they’re completely lost. For me, a vision board is something I’d associated with my post-university pre-quarter life crisis days. A few years back, I was 2 years out of university, underemployed and inexperienced in the heart of the recession…and really not sure what to do with my life. I knew *what* I wanted to do: everything. But what did I want most?

At the time I’d put together a vision board and put it up next to my desk for a year or so — early 2009 – end of 2010. I don’t know where the board is now, 3 years later. Still, I recall a few key images I’d pasted on my vision board in 2009, specifically a woman with a very confident smile wearing a leather jacket and holding a camera. That is the one image I remember from the board I used to look at each day. My desk and that wall with the board were directly across from my bed, and even before I’d leave my house for meetings I’d look myself up and down in the mirror next to that wall and see the board out of the corner of my eye. I couldn’t ignore my vision of myself as a strong, capable woman. Sure, there were motivational messages on there, photos of my family, blue skies, pens and whatnot…all the things I love and want more of…but it’s that woman’s face that I remember.


Now the concept of a vision board has come up again. Why haven’t I made one since? Maybe because my life has been pretty stable and, dare I say, predictable since arriving in Dubai. That doesn’t mean it’s been easy. There are still a lot of things I should achieve. What else is life for, right?

So in May, when our trainers told us to get started on our vision boards, I felt a little unsettled. I spent an evening early in the summer with a glass of wine cutting out scraps from magazines. Images I didn’t even realize I’d be drawn to. They were abstract, some of them, and included the likes of Lana del Rey (’cause I think she’s hot), a man in a hot air balloon with with no balloon and a girl dressed like a rockstar from an issue of Vogue. I was certain my “vision” would look like a mess once I started gluing them down.

I let the summer pass and these scraps sat in a folder. I moved apartments and brought the folder, magazines and board with me. I  I used the blank canvas as a base for a spray paint project with friends and when it dried I put the stained board behind my couch. There was no vision board and there was no vision. A few weeks back I finished reading the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People as part of my training program. I’m not recommending it because it’s really lame writing however the concepts, I reluctantly admit, are helpful. This includes the idea of having a “mission” in life. That’s a whole other blog entry but it is the reason I picked up the folder again. So I started laying things out on the board.

The weirdest thing happened. Everything fell into place on the board. It was like the cut up pieces moved around for me and a short time later…it resembled almost all the things I need badly right now, all the things that have been at the back of my head and wanted to get out. It’s what I’ve wanted and not been able to say out loud.

Since then, other strange things have happened. I don’t like to talk about them out loud but I’ve felt the energies around me shift. I mean, I’m always fluffy about being positive and affirmative thinking but I don’t think things work that quickly. I just feel that right now I’m in charge. So I’ve started telling all my friends about vision boards, and guess what? A lot of people want to see how their vision will turn out. So here’s a quick how to:

You’ll need:

-about 5 magazines
-scissors and glue
-a large board (or cardboard from a box could work
-your imagination, openness and trust in yourself:P

If you’d like to learn more about vision boards and how to make one yourself, Oprah’s site covered this in depth some time back. You can also visit WikiHow for a proper vision board step by step and to find the above image.

For friends and acquaintances in Dubai (eg. anyone I follow on Twitter/FB/LinkedIn) I will be hosting a vision board party at my apartment in September. Shoot me an email if you’re keen on joining! I have tons of magazines and my friends are awesome.

On that note, here’s a cute .gif I found while cruising the web for the above images.

Photo credits:

alligator from

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