“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” – Joel A. Barker What you read above is the combo -- the "secret sauce" for success. The power of vision is an undeniable part of the achievement recipe. And if you appreciate the power of vision, you can appreciate the power of vision boards. I remember my first run-in with vision boards years ago. We had a BBQ at our home and capped it off by watching The Secret. The film was based on the best-selling book about the law of attraction. When it was over, we scheduled a vision board party as a followup. The party was a simple concept. We sat around an ever-growing pile of magazines, poster-boards, scissors, and glue-sticks. It looked like a third grade crafts lesson. I have a degree in child development and education and it was, at that point, the largest collection of collage materials I'd seen in my life. For 8 hours, fueled only by mimosas and muffins, we cut and pasted and laughed and dreamed and hoped. When it was time to stand up from our mess of glossy clippings and sticky posterboards, we fought the pins and needles of numb legs. By then it was time to recite what our pictures and words symbolized and why they were important to us. There was synergy in that room -- it was electric with unlimited possibilities. Here is a picture of the first vision board I ever did in January, 2007.
I decided to hang my vision board in my bathroom, right in front of my toilet. As you can see it was full of images of Africa, safaris, Maasai villages and Mount Kilimanjaro. I pasted the word "Volontour" front and center. I knew that, if I travelled, I wanted it to be for a higher purpose. It took 7 years for me to bring this vision board to life. When I did, I came home to create an experience board with almost exact matching pictures taken with my own camera to match those I’d cut out all those years before. It was a powerful affirmation of hope's endless potential. I want to share a few points about this particular board. My big dreams when it came to Africa were to: visit Kenya, climb mount kilimanjaro, and visit the Maasai Mara so I could make a difference. I knew that you could visit Kili either through Tanzania or through Kenya. I knew as well that you could get into the Mara (A.K.A. The Serengeti) through Kenya (the Mara side) or Tanzania (the Serengeti). To be safe, I put both words on my board. You’ll notice that Tanzania is larger because that’s what I found in the magazine. But Kenya, in my heart, was my focus. On my first trip to Africa, I spent 7 days in Kenya and 14 in Tanzania. Be mindful of what you are putting on your vision boards and be ready for them to come into existence. This is a picture of my latest vision board. I placed it over the other one, as I had a few tweaks to make.
The last mountain I climbed was Mt. Princeton in Colorado and at 14,192’ of elevation, the entire terrain was jutting stone -- just like the photo. The Cessna C220, is a plane I dream of owning one day. I dream of parking it in Kenya to fly people and goods to and from villages. As we boarded this plane to from Nairobi to the Maasai Mara on my last visit to Kenya, the only available seat was the co-pilot’s seat. Based on my conversation with the pilot about my pilot training, he asked if I wanted to fly a bit. It didn't take much convincing. I gave him a hell yes before he could rescind the offer. I’ve already flown over the African planes as I’d visualized for so long. We have 26 children that we sponsor all over the world, many of whom I’ve already met. Because I know I’m committed to coming back to Kenya every couple of years, 18 of them are from Kenya. As I sat in my bathroom the other day, counted, for the hell of it, let the number of Maasai children I have on my vision board. Seventeen. One short. Then I saw front and center the picture of a young Maasai boy. That made 18. Be mindful of how detailed you're being in your goals. I actually talk about the specificity of goals in my book, The Why is the Way. In the book, I share the story of my grandfather who’d had a stroke at the age of 84. After the initial shock, his doctors determined the best course of action was to keep him in the hospital for intensive physical therapy. All the new patients took part in a physical therapy orientation where they shared what they wanted to get out of it. Most people gave the typical answers: I want to walk again; I want to walk so I can go back to work; I want to be able to lift my arms. When it was my grandfather’s turn – the oldest one among them –his answer was “I want to be able to run after my great grandchildren and play outside with them like I always have.” Very specific. I’m happy to say that, against the odds, he made a full recovery and enjoyed a life of activity and playtime with his great grandchildren for 10 more years. What we focus on matters. It doesn’t happen magically either. I’ve been working my ass off the whole time; I’m dedicated to making an impact and impact requires the finances which requires a certain work ethic. Fortunately for me, I’ve never had an issue with that as it’s part of my DNA. As Joel Barker implied, that intersection of vision and action can change the world. Maintaining my vision on what is most important has helped me change the world for 26 children who would not have access to an education otherwise. My next milestone is one hundred sponsorees. And as soon as I get close, that number will go up. If I maintain the vision and take the necessary action to achieve it, it will come to fruition. If you already have a vision board, great! I'm glad you understand. If you don’t have one – get one done as soon as possible.