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Creating your board

In the previous step, Jennifer coached Benjamin through the process of creating his vision board.

montage of people in work environments

In this step, you’ll create your very own vision board. This will allow you to step back and see where there are trends, and to learn how and where your passions and aspirations align.

Follow your curiosity

The first step of a vision board is determining what you’re curious about. That viewpoint is very much reinforced in the book ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert.

In her book, Elizabeth explains how encouraging people to follow their passion can be very daunting and can often lead to people feeling bad about themselves. Some people find that they have many passions, whilst some don’t know if their passion could be a career. Meanwhile, others start to realise they don’t have a defining passion and that they don’t know what they want for themselves.

Instead, Elizabeth advises that it’s much kinder to tell people to follow their curiosity. It’s a more intriguing exploration and a more enjoyable journey.

In the same way, a vision board is an opportunity to stimulate and explore our curiosity.

The elements of the vision board

As shown in the previous video, the vision board is split into four quadrants:

  1. Jobs – the roles that interest you.
  2. Ideas and thoughts – habitual thoughts you keep thinking and coming back to.
  3. Hobbies – things you love to do in your personal time and that bring you pleasure.
  4. Creativity – anything that is a pursuit that you do that sparks creativity.

vision board based on example of student Benjamin

The vision board template, which is available in the Downloads section, contains the four quadrants listed above. Begin by putting words and visuals into the different categories. You can cut out items from a magazine, sketch a drawing or doodle. What you’re aiming for is a connection between words and images throughout.

The next step is to look at your vision board from a distance – take a step back and start to notice what words stick for you the most. Feel free to circle these.

Look at the words that resonate most with you, and begin to think about whether there is alignment. What is the connection?

Where you see those lines of connection on your board, take all of those words and visuals, arrange them into one line and begin to explore them further. You are going to create a statement about your vision, so look out for trends and consistent themes.

Perhaps you have written ‘making food’ under the Creativity heading, ‘event manager’ under Jobs, and ‘planning trips and experiences’ under the Ideas and thoughts heading. All these words resonate with events and may lead to the idea that you enjoy creating events in people’s lives.

Your vision statement

Once you’ve made an assessment of your most prominent words and visuals, you’re going to use all this information to create a clear statement of your vision. For example, you could start your sentence with:

“At this point in time, my curiosity is telling me that my vision for the moment is…”

The statement you create from your vision board is an intention to help guide you through the process of combining your thoughts with your aspirations. By doing this, you can begin to create a career and fulfilling life around them.

Have your say:

Spend a few minutes reflecting on this step.

  • Have you heard of a vision board before? Is this a tool you’ve previously used?
  • Do you have any questions about the vision board? Was anything unclear?

Share and discuss your responses with other learners in the Comments section.

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This article is from the free online course:

Essential Skills for Your Career Development

University of Leeds