In August 2008 I found myself searching. I knew I needed to make a change. I was working a full-time job that gave me no emotional fulfillment. It paid well, but took up much of my time. I knew I was headed for burn-out. Most people keep themselves from burn-out by taking vacations each year. Most of my life I have been an entrepreneur, traveling while I work. I had never been that kind of person who “takes vacations”, because I never needed one. I saw how important it was, and decided to make this change.
In these moments I use visual cues to help direct my focus. I grabbed old magazines, cut out things that represented the life I wanted, and pinned them to my bulletin board. Smiling people represented happiness. Cool cabin in the woods represented my dream of an “off the grid” home. The bulletin board was in my bedroom. It was the first thing I saw in the morning and the last thing I saw at night. Located in the lower left quadrant of the board was an advertisement for a vacation destination, a serene beach, turquoise waters, and sunshine (see photo above). I wanted to go on a vacation every year, relaxing on a beach — somewhere.
Three months later, I saw the worst economic crisis in my lifetime (Oct 2008). My job was scheduled to end in less than 6 months. I needed to save every penny. I remember looking at that photo of the beach and thinking, “I probably can’t afford that vacation now”. But, little did I know, the real work had already been done.
Two months later my sister called; she was living in Florida at the time. It was close to my birthday and she wanted to treat me to a cruise. I booked a flight, took time off work and spent some much needed time with family.
We “cruised” two days from Tampa to Cozumel and docked for a full day. My sister found a cool half-day excursion to some Mayan ruins. The tour took us down the coast to the Walled City of Tulum… right on the beach. It was gorgeous !!! Beautiful beaches with beautiful waters, soft ocean breezes. As I walked out on this rocky outcropping and looked down the gorgeous beach, I felt at peace. (see photo below).
We cruised back to Florida, where I spent a couple of days with my family before heading back to Vegas. Soon as I got home, I reminisced over my vacation photos, re-living the vacation before my dreary Monday.
Then it HIT ME ….. I saw it … I couldn’t believe it. There it was, the photo I took while standing on a rock outcropping (photo above). WOW… it looked VERY similar to the one on my vision board. I ran to the board, pulled it down and verified just how close it was to my photo.
Then I looked closer. Wait, it looks like the same beach because it is the same beach…. one photo looking north, one photo looking south. I was standing EXACTLY in the same place as the image in the advertisement. EXACTLY.
Since then, I have always used vision boards. I know the term of “manifest your destiny” and “create your life” are a bit overworked and becoming cliche. But I hope this story helps you realize that it works. The trick is to set an intention, consciously guide it to seep into your personal understanding, then allow your subconscious to do the work. Your subconscious works every moment of every day – even when you aren’t watching.
WHAT WORKED: Remember, I worked every day on visualizing this vacation. Then I gave up. But my subconscious didn’t. And it was my subconscious that led me to the opportunity to go EXACTLY where I had envisioned. It works. It really works.
WHAT DIDN’T WORK: I used my vision, intention and emotions to bring the vacation into my reality. BUT, my goal wasn’t just to have one vacation, my vision was to “take vacations every year”. I haven’t taken a vacation like this since. Although my subconscious mind created the single vacation, I did not do the personal work on myself, to BECOME the kind of person that takes vacations each year.