The Oscar nominations came out a few days ago. And while I’m not a person who throws big Oscar parties and dresses up for the big event, I do print out the list of Best Picture nominations and make sure I see them all in the weeks leading up to the Oscars.

While I was clicking around and reading a little about some of the Oscar backlash and some of the surprises and snubs for this years nominations, I came across an article describing Oscar winner Octavia Spencer’s advice for finding success.

I’ve admired Octavia’s abilities since I first noticed her in the movie The Help. Once an actor has “Oscar winner” in her resume, success should naturally follow, right? But Octavia credits something else that has helped her as well.

She’s a huge believer in vision boards and uses them regularly to help manifest her goals and dreams. And while I too have used vision boards throughout my life, I found her approach to be a little intriguing.

Instead of creating a vision board and hanging it up by her desk where she can see it every day, she uses a different approach. She starts by creating her vision boards in a place of love and happiness. She sets her intentions by creating a happy place – lighting candles, drinking a great cup of coffee, watching a favorite movie or listening to favorite music. Then she designs her boards from that happy place, and protects those dreams by putting it into the back of the closet or in a place that’s all her own. She doesn’t focus on the vision board; instead she sets the intention and lets it go.

She also doesn’t solve all her problems, or create her life’s ambition in one vision board. Instead she focuses on a few things at a time. You can have more than one vision board, after all.

So What Does A Vision Need To Have?

You see, there’s a funny thing about goals and dreams. We all have them. We all want great things out of life. But some of us actually achieve our goals and dreams, and others, not so much.Exceptional Life Exceptional Vision

What’s the difference?

That’s where Octavia’s vision board concept resonated with me.

Whether you vision board out your goals and dreams, write them down on a to-do list, or simply think about them on a daily basis, two traits will lead to success more than anything else: passion and enthusiasm.

Look at the greats in the world; the household names we all can associate with. Would you say Sheryl Sandberg, Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton, Danica Patrick, Taylor Swift or Octavia Spenser are anything but passionate about what they do? When they are doing what they love to do, do you think they are anything but enthusiastic about their results?

Here’s the thing. Most of us say we want an exceptional life, but most aren’t willing to do what it takes to make it all come true. If you look at the greats, they are razor focused in on what they want, and spend as much time planning on achieving those results as they do with the follow through to make sure it all comes true.

Do you spend more time planning your annual vacation than you do on what you want your Big Idea and future business opportunity to do? Then you are limiting the potential of what you will truly achieve.

The only way to be truly passionate about your life and your future, and wake up every morning enthusiastic about every task on your to-do list, is to create a vision of your future so tight, so succinct, that nothing will get in your way. That’s where the power of vision lies.

“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision.” ~Ayn Rand

So You Want To Razor Focus Your Vision?

Define Your Purpose

“I have no idea what my purpose is.” I hear that a lot. Some people are in love with so many ideas, they have no concept of how to define it. Some people simply don’t know what gives them purpose, and therefore have no idea what road to venture down next.

I get it.

Instead of looking at things from the end, focus in on what you want today. What do you want today? Oprah wanted to be a teacher. Danica Patrick wanted to drive cars.

While they started down their original path, each of these people became intensely aware of what was going on around them. They awakened to new possibilities. They never said “no” to the opportunities presented to them along the way.

Be Specific

Lets say you decide you want your dream car. So you vision board it. With you in the center, you may have all kinds of pictures and words surrounding you with your intentions.Audi TT

  • Red
  • Leather seats
  • Audi TT Roadster
  • Convertible
  • Road trip to Malibu
  • Two new clients will pay the monthly lease!

The more you surround yourself with the details, the more you can see it. The more you can see it, the easier it becomes to place it into your life.

I want you to notice something about the details I’ve included above. The color, the options, the model and the make are the easy details. You can pull them off the manufacturer’s website. Stretch beyond the simple details and include some that stretch you as a person and allow you to see your dream as it becomes a part of who you are.

When you picture the road trip to Malibu, you can see the ocean breezes in your hair, the little hotel you stop at for the night, and the enjoyment you’ll feel as you travel down the highway.

When you take the time to figure out how much income you’ll need in order to pay for the monthly lease, you’ll start the process of believing its possible to bring this into your life.

Think Big!

There’s a difference in the way you think.

If you want a new car, you can purchase a Nissan Versa that starts around $12,000, or you can choose the Audi TT that starts around $45,000. (Of course, you could just as easily dream REALLY big and focus your intentions on a $34 million car as well 😉 )

The key is to stretch beyond what you think is possible, what you’ve ever believed to be possible, and use that to set your intentions from the heart.

I remember the first time we established packages for our wedding photography all those years ago. I “stretched” and created three choices: $500, $800 and $1200. The only reason I include a $1200 package was because a mentor told me to stretch and put a “dream package” on my price list; the package I would be thrilled to have a client purchase. I designed it, created the brochure … and sold the first one in a matter of days.

You see, part of achieving it is seeing it and believing it. Once I designed the package, believed I could sell it, set out the intention by actually marketing it … the matter of selling it became all too easy.

So what prevented me from increasing my prices again and again, even adding a zero to the end of my “top package” and charging what most would consider to be an exorbitant amount of money for wedding photography? Just my beliefs. Once I conquered my fears of what was possible, I realized I could Dream Big – I discovered there are people willing to pay it, as long as they felt I was worth it.

Vision … It’s all in the perspective. If you see it, you believe it, you can achieve it.

So the only question becomes, what are your Big Ideas?

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