Has there been a time when you know you want something different, but you don’t know exactly what it is?
Or you want to solve a problem, but you know you won’t get a different result if you use the same approach you’ve always taken?
Basically, instead of boring and ordinary – you want different.
You want something extraordinary.
These are the same expectations that I bring to my own work.
For instance, as an entrepreneur, I grapple with how I define success for myself (there’s no performance review checklist that’s already been created for me by ‘the powers that be’).
So using a conventional, logical way of creating my definition of success, I’d sit down with my beverage of choice and list all the ways that I measure success and answer “How do I know that I’m successful?” But instead I decided to do this…
I created a vision board.
I parked the logical linear thinking part of my brain and let imagery, colour and intuition be my guide. I flicked through magazines until something sang to me, then cut the images out. I suspended my judgement and didn’t worry about how it related to my question. I just trusted that every image had some meaning and held a clue to how I defined success. After a while, I stopped searching, put all of the collected images together, and arranged them before pasting them on to a sheet of cardboard. I then used the images in front of me as prompts and clues to answer how I define success. You can see part of what I created above.
So what has this got to do with being extraordinary?
Well, I could have taken the common route of list making and dot points (and probably ended up with measurables relating to money, follower numbers, and good feedback). Instead I chose the riskier, less travelled path where I wouldn’t know where it would lead me – I used my big picture intuitive thinking to create this vision board.
So by creating a vision board I came up with some success measures I would have expected to come up with (like being of service, learning and gaining knowledge) but there were also a few surprises, such as feeling confident and proud, being true to my values while helping others achieve their goals, and maintaining my wonder and fascination with the world). By using my vision boarding approach, I shifted my perspective and my answers were out of the ordinary, no longer just the obvious, a lot richer, and felt more personal to me. Also, I can use my answers to drill down some more to work out how they translate into indicators and something I can measure.
Vision boards are just one of a whole suite of creative tools that I use in my work to help clients get a different perspective and stretch beyond the obvious solution.
I would love to write more blogs about some of my other creative tools but it’d be more useful if I could use them to tackle problems and questions that are relevant to you.
So what I’d love to hear from you is –
What questions, issues or situations do you have that would benefit from an approach that gets more extraordinary answers?