Why do Successful People Use Vision Boards?

Do Vision Boards Help You Succeed Faster?

Are Vision Boards just another form of wall decoration or could they help to motivate you and inspire you daily?

According to the neuroscientist  Tara Stewart, Vision Boards are behind many successful executives and business owners. She is kept on by top executives for her use of Vision Boards. These executives are from:


Linked In



and the Stanford Business School.

1. What is a Vision Board?

A vision board is a visual tool which helps us maintain focus, clarify and conceptualize on whatever we want to do or be. It also has been scientifically  shown to help us overcome fears and hesitations in realizing new ambitions.

For example if you are starting a new online business your vision board would be full of images of what your life would look like when you are successful.

(More ideas on starting online in free factsheet HERE)

2. The Difference Between A Goals Board and A Vision Board

There is no rule that says that you can only have one Vision Board, but it’s important to be clear about which type you want to create.

You may choose, for example to have a motivation and inspiration Vision Board in your bathroom or bedroom, and a Goals Board in your remote working space.

Know the difference between goal setting and vision

A Goals Board is full of targets which are SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. This type of board highlights steps or milestones that you need to achieve towards a particular journey, e.g., Losing weight, or meeting your revenue targets.

However, goals can be long term as well as short term, and this type of board is useful when planning out the year ahead.

3. Visualizing Results in your Vision Boards

hat does your dream house look like?

A Vision Board is an opportunity, to feel like you have succeeded and get used to that feeling in advance. Your are preparing your mind and body for a different experience. Instead of looking at the specifics of a long-term objective, you can focus on how you feel about a certain dream you want to accomplish.

For example, meeting your revenue and sales targets may be important to you because you want to go on a 3-month long-haul holiday this year.

So, your vision board would be full of what the holiday would feel like – not just the actual location or all the steps you have to take to earn enough to make that vision a reality.

Images could include possible locations, where you would stay, who you would want to go with, food you would eat etc.

It’s also important to put yourself in the picture – literally, so you can clearly visualize yourself having the experience.

How do you want to feel on holiday?

Vision boards are also helpful in clarifying your “WHY?”.

You may begin with the idea of wanting to visit remote destinations, but later decide you would also like to see more historical monuments, or learn new skills, like scuba diving as you want to feed your intellectual curiosity as well as enjoy a better climate or physical environment.

4. Vision Boards For Health Goals

You can create vision boards for your general health and fitness dreams too. Again they will not be a list of milestones you need to achieve – rather how you would feel, or what you would do if you achieve your goals.

Examples include:

  • Vision: having a healthy body which is fit and flexible (losing 10 kg is a goal)
  • Vision: living in complete financial freedom (paying off credit card debt -is a goal)

Vision boards are not, however, just about your work or income goals, they could also be about how you give back to your community, for example:

  • Helping the hungry

This is a humanitarian vision (distributing food in the local food bank is a goal).

5. How and Why Vision Boards Work

The brain automatically puts a higher “value” on images rather than words, which may be a part of a “To Do“ list.

The more you look at these images the more these images are considered by your brain to be important.

The science behind vision boards explains how they act as a way of priming your brain to see opportunities, especially if you look at Vision Boards before you fall asleep.

Something called the “Tetris effect” happens in the transition to sleep, and the time just before you wake up, in your brain.

The Tetris Effect

This effect, named after the video game from the eighties, is the process where images are embedded in your psyche.

After a while your brain will automatically begin to focus on what is relevant for these images and filter out information that is not relevant.

Vision boards are a visual reminder of your desires every time you look at them, which will be many times a day if you place them everywhere!

Every time your brain registers these images you reinforce the idea that this vision is something that is within your grasp.

It’s almost like selling yourself something – just as you are sometimes persuaded by the ads you see to try a new product or service. This idea, this new vision of yours, is something you are persuading yourself that you can have.

6. How to Create A Vision Board

Start by collecting significant images

The process of creating a vision board gives you opportunity to dig a little deeper into exactly why you are craving this new asset or experience.

It could be, taking the example of a dream house, that what you really want is a more enjoyable life at home.

For some people that will mean more physical space, for others it could mean a better scenic location or neighbours.

The questions to ask yourself could include:

  • What would make living in your home (and working) space easier?
  • Are high end interiors and furnishings essential or could you renovate after moving in?
  • Would you enjoy a remote location in a building powered by sustainable energy? Or a large apartment in the middle of a busy city?

Creating a vision board will reveal your “Why?”

Once you know your “Why?” your goals will evolve organically.

You could also create your Vision Board in a free design software called Canva:

Drag and drag images and change colours using CANVA

To find out more about CANVA, which is a free design software, follow this LINK HERE

7. Create A Vision Board With An App

If you don’t want to create a Vision Board the traditional way and cut out the things you want from magazines you can create a vision board using a special App.

You can get Vision Board Apps both for Android phones and Apple phones, so you can create a Vision Board when you are on the move or away from your desk.

One app that includes a tutorial is simply called “Subliminal Vison Boards”. Another one created by the amazing Louise Hay is available for free.

Pinterest of course is custom made to collecting inspiring ideas and creating Vision Boards, and you can keep them private by clicking the “privacy” tab.

8. Where to Put Your Vision Board for Maximum Impact

Highly visible places are the most effective, like next to your bed, on the back of your toilet door, in the kitchen, or above your desk.

According to the neuro scientist Tara Swart, seeing these images multiple times, makes them familiar.

As they become part of your daily world, you are no longer fearful of potential new situations or people that may result in your success in achieving this vision.

This will make it much easier for you to take healthy risks and embrace opportunity to make your visions real.

9. Successful Vision Boarders

There are many success stories of business individuals using Vision Boards and there also some incredible examples in the fields of entertainment and the media.

Jim Carey is a great example, who when pursing his career in LA once got booed off stage.

Instead of giving up he wrote himself a check for 10 million dollars, and labelled it for “acting services”, and stuck it on his noticeboard. His career turned around and he got the result he desired.

Another example is the actress Katy Perry who made a vision board as a child at school with a picture of her accepting her Grammy award.

She has not actually won one yet, but she has been nominated over 15 times!

Famously interviewed on Larry King Life, John Assaraf is another example.

He talks about how he used to visualise for 2-3 minutes every day with his vision boards, and how he ended up living in his dream house three years after he had pinned a picture of it to his board.

John had completely forgotten about it until his young daughter brought it to his attention, by discovering his old vision board in a forgotten box many years later.

Forbes also talks about how business entrepreneurs use visualization for success in many different fields.

It works.

Why not create your own Vision Board today, and see what happens? It is a fun activity and can be a team effort, or even a family activity.

Whatever happens it can be useful to remember this famous quote by Henry David Thoreau:

“What you get by achieving our goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”

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