I’ve never been into the idea of a vision board. Why? Maybe it’s my aversion of committing to any kind of definite vision of my future (oh shit! That’s big and scary, let’s leave that for another blog post). Maybe it’s that I’ve just never understood the practical application or even the larger concept of visualization as a tool in personal development.

Yeah, let’s talk about that.

From the outset it all sounds a little like “woo-woo”.

“Just sit and imagine what you want your future to look like, what does it sound like? What does it smell like? What does it look like? Think hard enough about your future and it will become your reality.”

I just couldn’t quite wrap my head around it. I wasn’t seeing a cause and effect, barely even a correlation, so I never put much weight in it.

Last December my friend and co-creator Mary from The Art of Story Project gave me a copy of “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod. Part of the miracle morning involves doing visualization every morning. Because I was committed to doing my miracle morning every morning for the month, I did at least five minutes of visualization a day. Here are four things I learned from my first 155 minutes of visualization:

  1. My visualization didn’t have to be on a grand scale. I could visualize my week, my day, the rest of my morning.
  2. My visions can change. I wasn’t carving my destiny in stone every morning. I was just working on accessing the things I want to achieve, and putting them at the forefront of my thoughts.
  3. A vision board might actually keep me on track with my vision for the future…
  4. The final big lesson that I learned is that it was for me. I could get out of it what I wanted, I could use it how I needed at any given time.

All that being said, it was still a difficult concept to attach much weight to outside of my commitment to do it for 31 days.

It wasn’t until I was driving and thinking one day (one of my favorite past times) that it suddenly clicked. I was thinking about a music video I had Directed a few years ago (this one to be exact.) and all of the trials and tribulations we had gone through to make it a reality. The whole video stemmed from one vision I had had while listening to the song. It was of the main character, Frog, standing in a circle of sparklers, holding his abdomen where he had been wounded. It was at night so everything was illuminated with the sparklers; Frog staring into the camera, eyes glittering in the light. That was it. And from that we got that video^ (Funny thing is, we never did get the shot that instigated the whole idea!) That video took a lot of hard work and a lot of time from a lot of people, here’s a few of the challenges we faced to make it happen:

  • Got a crew of 12 to come with me 3.5 hours south of PDX to the band’s property
  • Spent the night in below freezing temperatures in yurts without heaters
  • Shot for 18 hours straight with a one hour break for dinner
  • I was put out of commission for two hours due to dehydration
  • 19 people shooting in and around a single wide with no other out buildings
  • It snowed

We came together and created something that started out simply as a vision in my head.

Holy shit.

That’s what it’s all about! I do this shit everyday!

That was the big AHA for me. As a visual artist I constantly have ideas and visions in my head, that I then diligently work on to make a reality. If I can do that with creative ideas, why can’t I do the same thing with my own life. I had the tools to access visualization all along! I was just looking at it all the wrong way. Now I work on applying the pre-vis I use in my creative work to the visualization in my personal development.

SO if you’re like me, and have trouble accessing the idea of visualization for personal development, take a moment to think back on all of the projects you have instigated or been a part of. Think about how those started as an idea, then as you talked to it more, it became a vision, and as you put in the work, little by little, day by day, it became a reality. Think about how you included other people to help you achieve your vision. Then think about what you could achieve in your life with the same focus and commitment to creating your reality. It’s possible. As creatives we already make the impossible possible, let’s work on making our perfect creative lives a reality!