I started out to write a quick post about “vision boards” and their usefulness as inspiration to achieving our goals. In fact, I had purchased three corkboards a few years ago with the intent of doing it with my daughter and/or son – together. Yet, still they sit in the closet with additional craft stuff with all the special papers, stickers, and doo-dads to bedazzle them. What I ended up with here is an essay about using Vision Boards that suggests it really is more about the work of identifying what goes on it than the board itself that is important. Finally, this piece is also a cautionary tale about Destination Addiction, the idea that happiness or success is a place to get to. Hopefully, the ideas here and reflections will convince you to be intentional in setting goals, envisioning yourself achieving your dreams, and experiencing joy and contentment along the way.
My ‘vision’ was that I would place this board in a prominent place, maybe even my office at work, definitely somewhere that I would see it frequently and be reminded of the destination. Realizing the chances of me getting out scissors, tape, glue, and stickers was pretty remote, I figured it was probably something I could create on the computer. Presto!! Microsoft Publisher to the rescue. But I needed to identify steps to share with all of you. So…I started where I always do, with research.
The first few articles I came across talked about the impact of visualization and what our mind can attract into our lives by constant thoughts. One great read with steps and additional resources is from Cheyenne at mindvalley blog: https://blog.mindvalley.com/vision-board/ I began under her direction to complete one, maybe two boards. I needed one for personal growth (to stay in my own lane and not own someone else’s troubles) but my main focus was really to envision myself with a successful blog living the life I defined as successful.
That meant I needed to define success. Simple, success is freedom – autonomy. It meant being able to be me without apologies or justifications. Bit by bit the pieces started going on to my document. Clearly, the ideas of John Dewey’s educational philosophy were proving fruitful. As one program that uses vision boards recognizes, it is learning that happens through interaction between the learner and the environment. I am actually interacting with the computer program, manipulating icons and words, getting the right colors and fonts to convey the meaning I wanted.
The more I worked on my projects, the more I learned about myself and my vision. I started wondering more if the board was the end result or if it was the journey. Intentionally thinking about what success would look like, what would make me happy, what I should strive for, became the purpose of the vision board. Deep thoughts, I know!! LOL I can hardly wait to share them with my good friend Marybeth who suggested the value of vision boards to me in the first place!
After I had created two (the first one didn’t feel quite right somehow) I became reflective. If I put this somewhere that I would see it often, what is the message I would get? I recall a couple more conversations I’ve had recently where we’ve discussed redefining success. What is it really? Okay freedom to be my own boss, certainly. But also more flexible time schedules. I want to spend authentic moments with friends and family do things that bring true joy. I want to be free of fear and anxiety that I am running out of time to be ‘THE’ success I had desired.
The final bit of research I hit on was about ‘Destination Addiction,’ a term coined by Holden (2010) that has caught on in the world of psychology. Individuals who suffer from Destination Addiction believe that success is a destination. It’s what happens when we are anxious to get through days or events as we wait for the good times, the happy times, to come (Chadha, 2017).
I am reminded of the Nicholas Cage movie called “Click.” If you fast forward through all the mundane or painful parts of life (or boring ones, as we all are sitting through hours of graduations, weddings, and school programs), you have no context for the peaceful ones! “Destination Addiction implies getting addicted to the idea or belief that possessing a better job, more money, lavish house and expensive car will make us more happy and successful” (Chadra, 2017). It also implies that we can’t be happy without these things or events.
Ultimately, I hope you take away from this little essay the idea that you can and DO control your own destination. Most of the time we are winging it, like trying to get to Utah without a map! Now you should be asking, why Utah? My point exactly. If you could go anywhere, where would you go? If you could be anything, what would you be? On your way to where you are going, if you came across a cool sight, would you stop? Park in the look-out and take in the view?
The board is a tool, the map maybe. But now that I’ve picked out where I’m going, I’m gonna crank the music up, sing loud with the windows down, and enjoy the ride! WooHoo
Chadha, N. (2017). An Overview of Destination Addiction.
DePass, A. L., & Chubin, D. E. (2017). Institutional Responses: Colleges and Universities. Understanding Interventions, 6(1).
Holden, R. (2010). Are you the tortoise of the hare? Heal Your Life, August 30. Located at: http://www.healyourlife.com/are-you-the-tortoise-or-the-hare
Kometiani, M. K. (2017). Creating a vital healing community: A pilot study of an art therapy employee support group at a pediatric hospital. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 54, 122-127.
Young, N. J. (2017). Open Doors Field Trips: Making Connections with Minority Students Through the Creation of Vision Boards. In Service Learning as Pedagogy in Early Childhood Education (pp. 93-109). Springer, Cham.