Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Visions of opportunity

Vision Boards
Recently I produced a Vision Board for what I'd like to achieve artistically. The areas I excluded were writing and creative workshops. I like to write novels and plays and I'd like to deliver all manner of creative workshops all of which I've started but I've a long way to go. In the meantime I need the balance of regular work to be able to do these things so that I can afford materials for the materials for artworks but still have the time to do them. Striking a balance between work and private interests is important.

So I'm currently working on to producing a Vision Board for the broader picture of where I want to be in the future to include what sort of home, the type of social life and personal relationships I'd like to develop and the sort of career I want to aim for etc. Vision Boards are a way to focus our ideas, dreams and ambitions.

Rather like the Mindmaps we can scribble our thoughts down to help give us focus, the only difference is that they tend to involve gather pictures as a visual reference. The concept behind both is for them to bring to the front our our minds what is of most importance to our well-being. Vision Boards though, are specifically a starting point for what we ultimately want to achieve. By sticking them on a wall we can then set about devising the journey that could take us there. There is nothing to stop us deleting one target and replacing it with another at any point, and most will evolve that way as and when different things interest and inspire us.

So now we have the end goals on the wall to remind us of where we want to go, it becomes a question of how to achieve it. Quite simply for 99% of the population it involves taking things one step of the time. Vision Boards can become a means by which we assess the merit of taking something on e.g. if I was a person interested in a career involving cars I could sit down a list of the possible jobs that were connected with cars. The list might look like this:

  • Mechanic
  • Car Designer
  • HGV driver
  • Sales Rep
  • JCB, Forklift or cherry picker operative
  • Tank mechanic
  • Racing driver
  • Toy maker
  • Administrator or Manager
  • Photographer etc.

Determining on where my interest in cars is would help me to decide where to start and it would help me to aim for roles which provided the next opportunity toward that ultimate goal. This may alter due to the experience I gain. Then I'd look at the skills and experience I have and which I have enjoyed using the most and compare the two lists noting where the gaps are so that I could look for courses and experiences to fill them.

For each area of my life I would do the same. It's slightly trickier when it comes to a place to live or close relationships, but even there the exercise highlights what to be looking out for.

Aspirations are important to have as it provides us with a direction to head in. They need to be tempered with reality though as to where we are now and what opportunities are about, but without them I believe we are all in danger of stagnation and depression.

Finding Opportunities
In a training course I went on last year I tried out a new game to highlight opportunities to help increase people's motivation for finding them. I took a balloon and the idea was for the group to keep it from touching the ground and to see how long they could keep it up in the air. We counted the number of touches before it fell to the ground - 56!

The second time I said the balloon represented 'opportunity'. Like the balloon, opportunity doesn't stay in the same place, we can miss it, we can let it burst or fall. The score was 79 this time! For the second game though I told one person they could only touch the balloon if it came their way and they were not to move from the spot they were standing on. I told another person they could only touch the balloon if it was above shoulder height. Understandably they didn't get to touch the balloon nearly so often as the others in the group.

Both these people represented limiting the our possibilities. By only looking at possibilities of becoming a racing driver I would be missing other opportunities of working with cars; opportunities that could later lead to my becoming a racing driver. I would be preventing realizing my own dreams.

The point being, we need to move in the right circles to increase the chances of the right opportunities coming our way, we need to keep our eyes and options open to all possibilities if we are to stand a chance of fulfilling our dreams.

Good luck in achieving your goals and keep your eyes open as there are possibilities out there.

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