Let's chat about Vision Boards: If you are in business, if you are a dreamer, if you are goal-oriented, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen something about or been told about vision boards...
What is a vision board? Simply put: “A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Literally, a vision board is any sort of board on which you display images that represent whatever you want to be, do or have in your life.” http://makeavisionboard.com/what-is-a-vision-board/
You don’t have to look very far to find thousands of sample images, articles and tutorials on the life changing magic of a vision board. Vision boards are based on the Law of Attraction. The idea that your mode of thinking directly affects what the universe gives you. If you put positive mental energy into the universe, you’ll be the recipient of positive outcomes. The more focused you are on your ideal outcome, on your goals and dreams, the more details you see when visualizing it, the quicker it will manifest in your life.
My Vision Board... Thousands of highly successful people use vision boards. Particularly if you are in network marketing, it is THE buzz right now. I have goals, I have dreams and I have things that I truly want to accomplish in my business and in my personal life. So I trained, I studied, and I made a vision board. Of course it was cute and up-cycled (made from an old window!). I put up pictures, quotes, Bible verses, places I want to go, things I want to see and goals that seemed out of reach (dream big!). Then, just like the trainers said to do, I studied it. Every morning and every night I would focus on my vision board, pray for and will those things to happen. If I just concentrated enough, I was sure that my powerful brain would come up with a way to make it all happen.
But one day, or maybe it was a slow slip over time, I started feeling very negative when I looked at my board. Even though I had accomplished several things on my board, many of those goals still weren’t happening for me. Those little negative voices started popping up in my head – “you can’t do this” “your dreams are too big” “ you don’t deserve it”. I pushed them down. But they kept coming back. I re-focused and tried to stay positive. Eventually, I just started to feel like a big, fat failure every time I looked at the board. So, I did something drastic. I took it down. It just wasn’t for me, and NOW I think I know why.
Why I took down my board... Before I get too far, the reason I took my board down wasn’t because I gave in to the negative thoughts or gave up on my dreams. I am not knocking the success stories behind the boards, and I am not criticizing those who use them. For some people, it works. If you love your vision board, go ahead and stop reading and have a wonderful day! This article is not meant to offend you.
But the older (and hopefully wiser?) I get, the more I realize that if I am feeling a certain way, then there are others out there that feel like that too. Maybe MY story can help someone else. Let's back up a bit. My story...
The very first vision board I made, I told myself that “I will put this up, and I will pray. If God wants this for me, it will happen”. I don’t believe that the universe is a wish granter. I believe in an all-mighty and powerful God that CREATED the universe. So I tried to “tweak” the ideas behind the vision board to make it fit my agenda. I was still wanting. I was just trying to disguise that ‘want’ behind a facade of religion. Do you think God was fooled?
2 Timothy 3: 1-17 tells us “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. ...”
When I looked at my vision board, I felt like a lover of money, a lover of self, ungrateful.
Maybe my vision board wasn’t working because I wasn’t being righteous enough? “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matt 6:33 So I added more Bible verses to my board, and prayed more. THERE! NOW I am seeking the Kingdom. Surely God will let this happen for me now!
But what is Matthew 6:33 really talking about? If we back up a bit in that same chapter, we see that Jesus is talking about storing up treasures in heaven vs. treasures on earth. He tells us that we can’t serve two masters, and He tells us not to worry about the trivial things of this life like clothing and food. He tells us that God takes care of His creation, that we are more valuable than the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. Then he tells us to seek the kingdom first and all these things will be added to you.
God is not some great wish-granter in the sky. When we are righteous and seeking Him, He has promised to provide our basic needs on earth and treasures for us when we are IN HEAVEN. He isn’t promising a vacation to the Bahamas and a million dollars, or that our every wish and desire would be fulfilled. And let’s face it, there are many earthly treasures that look good from our human perspective, but they are not good for us. They have mighty power to turn us into very ugly people.
When it All Changed... One night, all of these thoughts came crashing down on me and it all became very clear. I was putting so much focus on the things I wanted, that I wasn’t being a good steward of the things I already had! My goals seemed good on the surface: work harder on being a good wife and mom, help those in need, trust in the Lord. But guess what? I was focusing so much on what was on my board, waiting for those magical opportunities to do good, that I forgot to look around me and actually BE a good wife, a good Mom and help those in need.
God is so good! “The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:1-4
Every day, I have opportunities to share myself with my family; to be a good Mom and a good wife; to be a daughter in Christ! He has provided me this social media platform to share with my readers. He has given me a wonderful gift of a love and knowledge of nature and it’s healing powers, that I can teach to others in need. I can use these gifts He has already given me in a wise and righteous manner.
My ideas of what success looks like have changed drastically. That doesn't mean that I just gave up on my goals and dreams. But I have definitely shifted and re-focused them. Even still, no matter how much I re-focus, my goals and dreams cannot compare to what God has in mind for me!
Content is NOT Complacent... Many mentors in the world of “successful people” teach that if you don’t have your mind set on goals, then you are being complacent. You will never move forward. But there is a BIG difference between being content and being complacent.
In God’s word, He is quite clear that He wants us to not only be good stewards of what He has given, but also to work hard to multiply those gifts. Just look for the word “work” in the Bible, see how many times and how it is used, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Look at the parable of talents in Matthew 25. Jesus tells a story of a master who entrusts wealth to his servants. Two of the servants went to work and doubled their money. One servant dug a hole and buried the money. When the master returned, he praised the first two and rebuked the third, calling him wicked and lazy!
What does this mean, really? “From the time of the creation of mankind, each individual has been entrusted with resources of time and material wealth. Everything we have comes from God and belongs to Him. We are responsible for using those resources so that they increase in value. As Christians, we have additionally the most valuable resource of all – the Word of God. If we believe and understand Him, and apply His Word as good stewards, we are a blessing to others and the value of what we do multiplies. We are accountable to the Lord for the use of His resources.” https://www.gotquestions.org/parable-talents.html
Is Balance Possible? So here lies MY question: Is it possible to achieve balance between making our jobs, dreams, goals into idols, and being content and not becoming lazy or complacent?
I know it is possible, but I have a LOT of work to do and I have a lot of trust I still need to give back to God in order for that to happen. I still see myself as a “baby” Christian. I have so much to learn, and I know that if I continue to store up my heavenly treasures, then it will all work out, according to HIS plans. God is BIGGER than my Vision Board...
Maybe, just maybe trust means that I shouldn't limit my dreams, my goals and my plans to what my mind can come up with. God has plans for me that go FAR beyond what I could ever imagine. Maybe He is too big, and too amazing, and too wonderful, and too powerful, and too mighty to FIT on my little board. Oh wait... HE IS!!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11