Because of @IAmSteveHarvey I created a vision board for myself and then I created one for the staff in my office. I was reminded of this vision board exercise after watching a video of Steve Harvey addressing one of his audiences about taking risks and making decisions that can provide a “way to soar.”
One evening I saw Steve Harvey on the OWN network talking to Oprah. He said that he and his wife have a vision board with some ridiculous goals. I decided that my vision board would include some things I really could see happening for me and some ridiculous goals that make me do a happy dance if they happened for me. I encouraged my staff to do the same. It has been really cool to see people vocalize their goals. It is also interesting to watch people limit their dreams because the dream or goal seems so ridiculous. We have seen degrees earned, jobs obtained, special appointments and honors received, and a book published.
I learned from this exercise that when you dream big and have limitless expectations of yourself those around you begin to believe that big dreams are possible and emit an energy that is electrifying and contagious. The people in my office began to see potential in each other that they either didn’t see before or just didn’t verbalize until we started the vision board. They expressed hope for their peers and others who came into the office. They encourage each other to do what Steve advised his Family Feud audience to do – “Jump.” What has been really cool is watching coworkers enter my office to add dreams to someone else’s vision list because they don’t think that person dreamed big enough for themselves. When my book was published, I sent text messages to some of my coworkers with the announcement and one of them responded that it was time to check one more thing off of my vision board. The next morning that employee walked into my office, said good morning and went to the vision board to put a check next to “publish an ebook.”
I also learned from this exercise that when you dream big and say it out loud (or write it on a vision board for the world to see) there will be haters and minimizers. A person walked into my office one day, looked at the vision board and laughed a hearty laugh then said, “Who do you think you’re gonna be, Oprah?” Honestly, it made me mad and aggravated, but what it didn’t do was make me change my visions for myself. Like I said, I made the vision board after watching Oprah interview Steve. I decided that it would be stupid crazy to dream about spending time with both of them so I wrote that I wanted my husband and I to have lunch with Steve Harvey and his wife and that I wanted to shadow Oprah for three days. Heck, if my life of village building for young people is gonna be fruitful and multiply, I need to be around people who are doing that successfully. Oprah and Steve are putting in the work and their messages of village building for young people is global and effective. So, I am letting the haters hate and I am moving forward with my plan to take my message to those who need to hear it.
The vision board opened the dream door and when I committed to enter I found kindred spirits who wanted only the joy of seeing me succeed. I was so used to being the encourager that it overwhelmed me to receive encouragement and support of my gifts. Recently, Steve urged his Family Feud audience to live their gifts. He quoted the bible saying that, “Your gift will make room for you.” I am living “in my gift” right now and I encourage those around me to do the same. While I couldn’t see a book publication for years, I met a stranger in an airport who connected me to his friend, a publisher, and less than three months later I was a published author. Because I vocalized my desire to have warmer, more inviting digs in my office for those we service, other departments gifted us with cool furnishings and my staff and others have dedicated time and energy to this office makeover. I am so excited about living “in my gift” right now!
I have seen some benefits of making one jump, but after listening to Steve’s monologue about making a “jump” I don’t believe that I have made the biggest jump yet. I think that in life we take safe jumps in order to make sure we can see where we land. The last “jump” I took came as a result of a situation that forced a crisis-like response. It was not a calculated jump. In retrospect, I think that there was a benefit and safety in the fact that everyone knew what prompted me to jump into this situation. The fact scenario gave me a built in excuse if it didn’t work out well. At this time, that move seems like one of those moments that you stick your toes in the water to test the temperature before you jump into a pool. In those moments, you learn something from the test, but it’s not a full commitment to the journey. Prior to the book publication, I had been posting to this blog, but the blog was nameless and faceless. Putting my name on the book and on my blog felt like a major a jump to me, but now I know that it’s not the biggest jump I will make. It was not a full commitment to the journey of village building for young people and those who share the earth with young people. It was not the most full and purposeful extent to which my gifts could be employed to deliver the message.
I will update my vision board and make official the “jump” plan. I will take the “jump” that appears not to have a safety net. I will take the “jump” that appears to have no built in excuses. I will take a “jump” that is contingent on me using my talents and gifts to achieve the successful delivery of the excellent villager message. Making these proclamations feels as scary to me as the time I did a trust fall hoping that a group of high school students would catch me. It feels like the anticipation of the drop on a rollercoaster after you make the slow, deliberate ride up the incline that delivers you to the highest point on the most revered rollercoaster. It is my expectation that when I take that “jump” I will experience what I expect from the rollercoaster drop: a euphoric, gratifying, perfect ride that inspire me to ride again. Moreover, I expect that the “jump” will breed encouragement, empowerment, and enlightenment for those in my space much like the excitement, entertainment, and enjoyment spectators experience when they watch the rollercoaster enthusiasts make the big drop.