Vision Boards – Harness the Power of the Mind

Why is it that vision boards can have such an impact for some? Why do we at Harmony Arts care about them enough to teach children how to use them? The answer is simple, and Gandhi explained it beautifully when he said, “A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”

Before you let skepticism raise its megaphone, I’d like to share a story. Imagine a freshman on the women’s high school varsity soccer team. She’s clearly the smallest on the pitch and appears at first glance to be the weak link on the team. There are just minutes left on the clock and the opposing team is up 1-0. After back-to-back blocks from her team’s keeper, the petite freshman receives the ball and quickly dribbles up the field. Just after crossing midfield, she’s slide tackled from behind and the whistle blows. Normally the big, strong left back takes the kick from this far out, and the freshman lines up with the defense to try heading the ball into the net. This time, however, the coach yells from the sidelines for the tiny freshman to take the shot. She’s never shot the ball off a free kick from this far out. Can she even make it from here? She closes her eyes and imagines the ball soaring above the players’ heads, past the keeper’s outstretched arms, and into the net. She imagines the ching! of the ball pulling the net tight against the goal and the cheering of the spectators. Her mental practice is interrupted by frantic shouts from the team. “Hurry up! Shoot it! Shoot it! Hurry, hurry, hurry!” She looks at the scoreboard, only to see it counting down the final seconds of the match. 17, 16, 15… Without a second thought, she runs forward and takes the shot… and makes it. Her goal ties the game, requiring overtime to determine the winner. Her team, though previously seconds away from defeat, scores in overtime and ends the game victorious. This is the power of the mind. We are misled if we believe the imagination is a weakness. On the contrary, it can be one of our greatest strengths, but it must be trained. The best time to learn healthy habits is in childhood. Though change is possible, it’s remarkably easier to develop healthy habits and beliefs from the start than to try to correct them later. So, what does this have to do with vision boards? They are simply a tool to train the mind. Having a picture of one’s goal serves to stimulate the imagination so the individual’s mind, vesting it with an increased ability to brainstorm ways to accomplish that goal. The more fully one can become immersed in the imaginative experience, the more real it feels. The more real it feels, the more we empower ourselves to bring it to fruition. This helps us confidently address and work through doubt, criticism, fear, and other hurdles that might otherwise slow us down or even keep us from trying altogether. This is problem solving. Used in conjunction with other tools (such as music, journaling, and verbal affirmations) the vision board helps us access, exercise, and unleash the power of the mind in healthy, progressive ways–thus our reason for including vision boards and declarations in our princess and hero music camps. We are quick to recognize that children have an incredible ability toward imagination. There is no better time to hone the skill and create an abundance of possibilities. But why does a music studio care about harnessing the power of the mind? On the other hand, why teach music if one of our goals is to help children access, develop, and harness the power of their minds? The ability to hear music in one’s head generates the ability to see music notation in one’s head. This requires a great deal of imagination, down to intricate details. If we want to visualize a goal, we need to be able to see it down to the details. Music fosters creativity on many levels, but the ability to utilize the imagination to exercise change and improvement in one’s life is one of the greatest benefits of the arts. Music feeds imagination in a myriad of specific ways that can impact a person’s life, but that’s a topic for another time. The musical benefits are just the beginning. The purpose of teaching children to use vision boards is to teach them how to set and achieve their goals, but more than that, it’s about helping them develop healthy habits that will enable them to set realistic goals and achieve them without the hindrance of poor or false beliefs about themselves. Oftentimes we stand in the way of our own success, and the solution can be as simple as using tools that enlighten and empower us–tools that help us achieve our goals and ultimately become our best selves. We want to help our students learn to harness their mind – to be intentional about what they do, and learn that if they can imagine it, it can become real.  Stay tuned for more articles about how to create and use a Vision Board! -written by Maree Richardson Zollinger -edited by Nan Croney