“She who writes the movie owns the script and the sequel.” ~ Janelle Monae “Q.U.E.E.N.” – The Electric Lady
Last Friday I had the privilege of seeing sensational funkadelic R&B singer Janelle Monae, live in concert in Atlantic City. Not only was it a phenomenal musical experience, but it was inspiring as well. As I listened to her belt out the lyrics to her latest single Q.U.E.E.N., the lyric I referenced above really resonated with me. I’m a big believer in taking life by the horns. Too often we approach life as an experience that “just happens” to us. If you want something, speak it into existence and then do the work.
I’ve always enjoyed vision boards and I encourage my mentees and the teen groups that I work with to make them. Vision boards have the power to visually communicate the dreams that we may have trouble articulating with words. I try to plot out my goals annually, but this year I decided to do something a little differently and participate in a “vision board party”. Basically, what this consisted of was a small group of my friends getting together to make vision boards and chat about our goals for the year. Once we all finished our boards, we each took turns sharing our visions with the group. However, there was a lot of conversation that took place before the finished product.
If you haven’t done this before, I highly recommend that you do if you’re serious about your future. Here are my three biggest takeaways from this experience that really inspired me to take my goals to the next level in 2014.
There’s empowerment in numbers.
My mind is always going a mile a minute and I’m constantly writing down ideas; but there’s always that small voice in the back of my mind that questions if I’m aiming too high. Talking with my girls about the plans I have for my business and non-profit really made those ideas become more real to me. Their responses also helped me gauge how relevant my plans are to the population I’m looking to serve, since they are part of the group of young professionals that I’m looking to impact. And not only was it beneficial for me to bounce my own ideas off of them, but hearing their plans encouraged me to stretch myself a bit more and not low-ball my goals to accommodate my fears.
Speaking your dreams into existence establishes accountability.
I don’t know about you, but when I tell people that I’m going to do something, there’s this unspoken commitment that I’ve now made and I feel compelled to follow through. Why is that? Simply because I’ve placed a thought in someone’s mind about me and what I’m capable of accomplishing and it bothers me not to produce. So that’s why I always recommend to people who struggle with procrastination to share their goals with others and even be so bold as to ask that they be held accountable. This will help you stay motivated to make progress toward your goals.
Talking through your goals with others helps to establish a stronger plan of action.
I completely agree with the proverb, “iron sharpens iron”. Sometimes we work so closely with a project that we overlook obvious details. Or what’s more, there are times that there may be some aspects of our work that we are attempting to tackle, but don’t have expertise in. So for example, you may be in the process of starting a non-profit but have no idea how to file the paperwork. Perhaps someone in your group has experience with starting non-profits, or has resources that can help you get more information to get the ball rolling. Talking through these things as you plot your strategies will bring you another step closer to actualizing the things that you post on your vision board.
Lastly, I would recommend a quarterly check-in with your circle and do a re-cap of where you’re at with the goals that you set on your vision board. Schedule the meeting 3-6 months in advance so that way you can begin to set appropriate timelines for more of your immediate goals and hopefully have some awesome things to report at your next check-in meeting.
So the next time you’re feeling inspired and arts and crafty, invite a few friends and allow the collective brainstorming to begin. After all, more than two heads is always better than one.