Chances are you’ve built a nice office for yourself. It’s a comfortable space filled with everything you need to get your job done, whether it’s your laptop or pictures of your family when you need a bit of motivation.
It’s the perfect spot to sit down and start mapping out the future of your company and your personal life.
And that’s why I absolutely forbid my clients from working on their Painted Pictures in there.
I tell them to get out of the office and go someplace inspirational. I’ve had clients work by the ocean, in the forest—heck, I wrote my Vivid Vision (formerly Painted Picture) from the hammock in my backyard.
Sure, these places ooze inspiration, but they also lack a lot of the distractions that can be fatal to the Vivid Vision process. Your office is brimming with distractions—emails, phone calls, people popping their heads in the door.
To visualizing your future properly, you need to focus. These interruptions can shatter your flow and drag the process out indefinitely.
Trying to conduct these visualization exercises in places like your office or a boardroom surrounds you with the minutia of the office environment. The hum of a copier, the murmur of phone conversations, even the white noise of the air exchange—these sounds can lock your brain into rigid, business-first thought patterns that will stifle the creativity it takes to really imagine a bright, exciting future.
A lot of my clients are decidedly left-brained. They’ve been successful their whole lives using rational, pragmatic thinking; just the kind of thinking that can sap all the energy and usefulness out of this exercise.
The idea is to dream about ‘where’ you can go without concerning yourself with ‘how’ you’ll get there. It’s easy to get caught up in asking ‘how’ when you are surrounded by sales charts and spreadsheets. Freeing yourself from the office frees your mind from the boundaries of business metrics. You’re able to fantasize without letting reality rain on your parade.
I also discourage you from using your computer when cobbling your Vivid Vision together. First of all, a blank word processor page is far from inspiring. Secondly, the distraction of email, the Internet, Minesweeper or other cyber-diversions is counterproductive.
Instead, use a sketchpad and a good, quality pen. There is something truly inspiring about putting pen to paper. It really is a lost art. And once you get over the hand cramps, you’ll find the tactile feel of the pen irresistible, and the blank sheet will be more like a blank canvas that you’ll quickly fill up with ideas and visions for your future. Then, once you’ve sketched a rough Vivid Vision, you can use your computer to put it all together.
Most of us complain that we spend too much time in the office anyway. So here is the perfect excuse to get out of it. Enjoy the sunshine, breath in the fresh air and visualize your perfect future.