How Vision Boards “Work”
Have you ever posted a picture of what you want and used it as a motivational tool? A “skinny” picture on the fridge or a sales goal at your desk are two good examples to stay on track and increase the likelihood you’ll achieve what you want.
Years ago, we simply put posters, ticket stubs, and photos of friends and dream vacations on bulletin boards. A vision board is similar, but less random and more intentional. The process includes choosing images that signify what we want and what we see in our mind’s eye. It is a fun and artistic activity. Some people post pictures on a poster board, some use a blank book, and some size it to fit inside a picture frame.
We have sayings such as “What you think about, you bring about” and “Achieving starts with believing.” There is a measure of truth to these adages – our involvement brings things to reality. It’s not only by sheer willpower that we achieve great things. 2 Chronicles 16:9 says God strongly supports those whose hearts are fully committed to Him. Indeed, He has given us everything we need for achieving our full potential. Once we get into action, a series of events occur within the body and work in our favor.
- Neurons fire away and produce feel-good hormones. Studies show that viewing art motivates the brain’s neural systems (yes, your vision board is art!). A thing of beauty is pleasurable, and when we view art, the body’s dopamine levels increase. The production of “happy chemicals” encourages us toward achieving goals.
- Clarity comes upon us. In addition to simply feeling happy, the actual process of creating a vision board helps us sort out and clarify our thoughts. Cognitive dissonance gives way to consonance, or clarity of thought. When we feel clarity, another dose of hormones courses through the body and we feel good.
- Cognitive bias works in our favor. The brain is cleverly looking out for us, its primary function is to keep us safe. This includes matching our outer world with our inner thoughts, emotions, and beliefs. When we mount pictures of our heart’s desire, it engages the brain to seek these things out for us. When we step out in faith to do something new, cognitive bias is the reason it seems the world rises up to meet us.
- Wash, rinse, repeat upward positivity cycle. When we take small steps toward our goal, happy chemicals are released. We are encouraged and continue onward. When we break large tasks into smaller ones and make progress, those positive hormones fire. When we celebrate small victories, it triggers more dopamine as well as endorphins that make us feel invincible.
- Mental preparation leads to achievement. The brain creates memories from repetition. Like wearing a groove, achieving previously difficult things eventually becomes natural. When we repeatedly visualize events such as closing a sale or giving a presentation, we essentially hard-wire the brain to experience successful results. Creating and regularly viewing a vision board helps lock in potential achievements.
It bears considering who gets the praise for realized dreams. Ultimately, it is God, the Giver of all good things, who deserves the glory! He has written eternity on our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and we aspire to please Him (2 Corinthians 5:9). We act on that motivation, the Holy Spirit supports us in the work, and God gets the glory. What an inspired and inspiring way to live!
To read more on the topic of developing vision, considering your vision in light of Scripture, vision boards and their use, and living by vision as a purpose-driven person, click here to order your copy of Vision: The Blueprint for Life Building today.