“Where there is no vision the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18
Some people have pictures of cute puppies as the background image on their computer.
Others put images of their spouses, girl friends or Harleys.
The above image is the wall paper on my Macbook.
I see it every time I open my computer, every time I shut down my computer and possibly hundreds of times each day.
My dreams, aspirations and vision of the future are impressed upon my mind and heart over… and over… and over again.
Why Is Vision So Important For Success
“Whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re usually right.” -Henry Ford
Have you ever noticed that we often get what we ask for?
Whether we ask for something consciously or subconsciously we will usually get what we ask for. Remember the verse… “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you…” (Matthew 7:7). I fully believe this. Though the verse doesn’t explain that often we get what we don’t want too… simply because we focus on it.
I can’t get an A on this project.
I won’t be able to make this free throw.
It’s impossible to land this dream job… live in a beach house on the ocean… live my own personal dream.
Whe do we so often think about what we can’t do?
It is well known that top athletes spend an insane amount of time visualizing their success. They see with their mind’s eye the winning shot they want to make or a tackle they must perform in order to win the game.
If top professional athletes do it at the peak of their performance, why can’t you and I do it to accelerate our full potential?
The answer of course is that we can… and its through using a process called Vision Mapping.
What The Heck Is A Vision Map?
A Vision Map is a visual collage depicting how you see your future. It is similar to a strategic plan that businesses have. Though individuals have used them for years to achieve what they desire.
Napoleon Hill in the revolutionary book “Think and Grow Rich“ is the first place that I heard about this concept. He told us to “Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.”
I believe that we need to have a clear vision of our future before we can achieve it. This is critically important for fitness. We need to see our future body, our ideal weight, who we are in the future… in order for it to become a reality. Have you ever pondered what life would like if you looked like Brad Pitt from the movie Troy? Or maybe Vin Diesel? Why have so many of us given up dreaming what… life… could… be… like…?
We settle for the status quo. We settle for good enough.
For much of my life I let circumstance lead me down the path that it wanted.
No more, I say.
“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.”- William Ernest Henley
It’s time to act.
It’s time to create the vision for our future.
4 Steps To Creating A Compelling Vision Map
1. Start with what you want or believe you are called to do
In order to create a compelling vision map you must get clear on what you want.
Make a list of all the things you want in life. For 15-20 minutes write constantly. Let your pen flow until you have filled at least 2 pages with a captivating vision of your future. Then bathe it in prayer. Ask the Lord that if it be His will… you shall obtain these things. “Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways and He will make your path straight.” Proverbs 3:6.
2. Search online for images of people that are accomplishing it or things that you want.
We are so blessed with the internet. There are tons of images everywhere of people achieving amazing things. Find inspiring images of people you respect and would like to emulate.
I am reminded of a famous quote by Isaac Newton. He accomplished so much and is often regarded as the most influential scientist in history. Yet even he stated, “If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
Find your personal giants to stand upon. And you will see further than you ever thought possible.
*IMPORTANT – You may wonder how to actually capture the image and save it do your desk top. Great practical question. On a Macbook its easy. Press “Command” + “Shift” + “4″ at the same time. This will bring up a little cursor… You then drag the cursor to the area that you want to take a picture of and then release the buttons… wholla! You can then copy and paste that image into your Keynote (macbook) or Powerpoint Presentation (Windows) application. Arrange them however you want and then take one final picture of the whole thing.
Once you have that final picture go into your system preferences, click on “Desktop & Screensaver” and click that image to save as your desktop wall paper.
3. Create a visual collage that inspires and excites you.
I look at my vision map every day. I see the body of Denis Minen and it gets me stoked. I look at Paul Bragg’s picture and think about his influence on the health community and I just want to jump up and proclaim the message that our body IS our temple that we must take of!
Your vision map should get you so excited about your future that you can’t sit still. It pushes you to work harder and longer and faster and with clearer intent.
If you have an image on your current vision map that doesn’t do that… find another one to replace it.
4. Put it in a spot that you see every day.
Here at A Shot of Adrenaline we often talk about accountability. This is so important for achieving success in fitness or any other important area of your life.
Put your vision map in a spot that you will see it every day. Your eyes register the images but more importantly your subconscious mind will pick up on the meanings behind the images. Your life will start to orientate itself toward achieving goals that will bring you what you want. To accelerate this effect, make sure that your map is in a high traffic area. That’s why I put mine on my computer.
So What Types Of Things Should I Put On My Vision Map?
The real answer to this question is… anything you want! Its YOUR vision of your future. This website is “fitness” based so of course I am going to encourage you to create your health vision but a vision map is certainly not limited to health.
Here are some common areas that you can include in your Vision Map.
-Spiritual – We are all spiritual beings whether we know it or not. We are called to bless others and honor God. Find some people you admire such as Mother Theresa or Nelson Mandela and put them on your vision map.
-Financial – A while back when I was building WorkIn Gym, my business partner and I met a high net worth investor who started Broadcast.com with Mark Cuban (Yes, the company that sold for several billion to Yahoo). He told us that you must get very clear on where you are in terms of your finances.
This is key… though after you have done this… find some images of houses or cars to help your subconscious mind imprint what it will be like to be financially free.
-Health – I have found that the most inspiring images to supercharge my passion for health have been through people. I remember the first time I saw Brad Pitt in Troy. I was like DANG!!! I want to look like that! Find your own “Brad Pitt” to inspire you to push through the difficult times of your workouts.
-Relationship – Many of you may be like me… “project orientated” and usually doesn’t put much focus on building relationships. I want to include this video below to show you what happens when you begin to wander away from people that you have a relationship with (Don’t worry… there’s a happy ending. )
-Family – Is family important to you? I hope so. Two days ago my wife and I ran (and biked…she’s 20 weeks pregnant) down to the Grand Rapids river. Along the river there are several office buildings. It happened to be 8:30pm and we looked up and saw many of the office lights on. She remarked that she was so glad that I didn’t have to work late.
We all have to make ends meet. I understand that. However, on your death bed are you going to be happy that you spent those extra hours at the office or are you going to wish you had come home early to spend time with your spouse and children?
Find an image that encapsulates that idea and put it on your vision map.
-Dreams/Aspirations- This is where you can go totally wild. I call this the “Classroom Day Dream” portion of the Vision Map exercise. When I was in school I spent so much time looking out the window and day dreaming what life would be like in the future. Often I thought I would be a superhero (yes this was when I was much younger) and preventing crime.
Put your “childhood” hat on and really day dream what you want your life to be like. Do you want an obstacle course in your back yard? Do want to visit the moon? What is it that you want? Find an image and put it on your Vision Map.
-Business- Many of you would love to run your business out of your home. Others want to build a iconic brand. Get absolutely clear on your business objectives and find an image to bring the objectives to life.
A Deeper Look At My Personal Vision Map…
Here’s an example of what my vision map looks like and the reason I have each image:
Denis is the king of exercise and my personal model. He is ripped and has a tremendous control of his body. If you have not seen in on YouTube, he’s a must watch.
For hundreds of years people have been using vegetables to increase their longevity and improve their health. I put this image on my Vision Map to remind me that I must be filling myself with high octane fuel (fresh vegetables) every day.
Paul Bragg is the individual that inspired Jack Lalanne to be who he was. Paul was delivering a speech on the importance of kicking the sugar habit and young Jack heard this speech and went cold turkey from sugar that day forward. He was known to challenge top athletes to races across the Rocky Mountains. In several of these races Paul not only won but the other contestants had to be hospitalized!
David is one of the most influential shakers in the Raw Food Movement. He is a nationally recognized speaker and health advocate. I have him on my vision map because I see myself doing the same in the future (and to a lesser extent now).
This is my beautiful bride, my true love. I am still captivated by her each and every day. I put a picture of my wife on my vision map to remind myself of the commitment I made to her on our wedding day… to honor and cherish her through good times and in bad.
Who wouldn’t want to live in this house? Right on the ocean. Step outside your front door and you are on the beach! Man, that is my dream! And yes, some day.. a reality (Lord willing)… because its on my vision map!
Many of you know that we are 20 weeks pregnant for our first child. I am scared… and excited. People have said that I will make a great dad but boy am I nervous. I put this picture on my vision map to help keep me in check so my “projects” don’t get in the way of “people”…. especially my family.
I am a huge advocate of Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek.
Not because it is cool to have to work only four hours per week but because having a virtual business means being free to run your own day. This image reminds me of it.
I am a strong believer in Jesus. He has rescued me from sin and hell and I proclaim his message without any regard to what people think. Ray Comfort helps me to remember that my true purpose here on earth is to share the message that (1) You have sinned against God (2) You deserve punishment (3) God gave his Son as a sacrifice for your sins (4) If you believe that Jesus is Lord, you will be saved from hell.
Francis has been an inspiration for me for a long time. He has written several books including Crazy Love which has inspired many, many people. You can learn more about him by checking out FrancisChan.org.
My Challenge To You… Use Your Vision Map Every Day
I would like to strongly encourage you to use your vision map every day. It does no good to put all the time and energy into creating something so important and storing it in some folder on your computer.
***3 Steps To Make Sure You Use Your Vision Map***
I would like to again reiterate 3 important steps to make sure you use your vision map.
1. Choose pictures that excite you - This might be the most important step. Each image that you choose needs to invigorate your soul to TAKE ACTION.
2. Place it in a spot that you’ll see every day - I recommend doing a computer based vision map and making your desk top your vision map. That way you are forced to see it several times each day.
3. Place it in a spot someone else will see it every day – There is actually another benefit to putting it on your computer… other people will see it! When you are being held accountable by others to reach your dreams you are much more likely to accomplish them.
Track The Blessings You Receive With a “Blessings Notebook” (The most crucial step of the Vision Mapping Process)
Consider each dream you achieve a blessing. But more than that… track your blessings. My wife and I have a notebook that is filled with ways God has answered prayers throughout our marriage. We put down everything from extra money that has come through at key moments to “mini-retreats” that we were blessed with that help build our marriage.
Here’s a picture of our “Blessings Notebook”…
Well there you have it! This was my Ultimate Guide to Creating A Vision Map. Hope you’ve enjoyed it and I look forward to hearing how God is blessing you with the achievement of your dreams!
King Shot Administer