The power of a vision

vision1.pngWhat would you do if you knew you would not fail? This is a commonly asked question, but have you ever taken time to sit down and really think about it? What kind of person would you be, what kind of life would you have? As I write this, I take a moment to reevaluate what it is that I would do. Take a moment to reflect on this question and write down what you would do with your life if you were guaranteed success. Do you have goals? Are your goals written down? Do you believe that the God who created this amazing universe can bring your dreams to pass? Whatever those dreams may be, whether they are career related, relationship goals, health and fitness goals, He wants you to have the desires of your heart.

Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California, recently studied the art and science of goal setting. She gathered two hundred and sixty-seven people together — men and women from all over the world, and from all walks of life, including entrepreneurs, educators, healthcare professionals, artists, lawyers and bankers. She then divided the participants into groups, according to who wrote down their goals and dreams, and who didn’t. She discovered that those who wrote down their goals and dreams on a regular basis achieved those desires at a significantly higher level than those who did not. She found that you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams simply by writing them down on a regular basis. The likelihood that you’ll transform your desires into reality goes up even further if you share your written goals with a friend who believes in your ability to succeed.1

It was the spring of 1996 on a sabbath afternoon when my sister and a friend of ours decided to take a road trip to East Lansing, Michigan; home of Michigan State University. I was 14 years old at the time, a sophomore in high school. I had been in the country for less than 6 months at that time. I was in awe as we took a tour of the campus. I stood in front of the Administration building on the big ‘S’ and said, “This is where I will come for medical school.” It was my dream. I put that picture in my ‘scrapbook of life’, and I looked at it often to remind me of where I was going. Such that when my life plan took a detour, I never once doubted that I would be able to achieve that goal.

Vision boards are crucial to goal setting and achieving your dreams. It serves as your image of the future – a tangible example, idea or representation of where you are going. It represents your dreams, your goals, and your ideal life. A vision board refers to a board of any sort that you use to build a collage of words and pictures that represent your goals and dreams. By placing visual representations of your goals into one space, you can easily visualize them frequently. Remembering to look at them daily and imagine them as if they have already come true is one of the best ways to achieve what you want in life. The bible says in Proverbs 29:18, Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. Dream big. Allow God to write your life story, ask boldly for what you want and go for it!


The year was 2008, I was a second year medical student. I always knew I wanted to be a surgeon, but for some reason that year I chose my specialty. I do not remember what prompted me to make that solid decision when I had plenty of time to decide on a specialty considering I would have to go through general surgery training first before doing a subspecialty.  I remember reading about transplant surgery and wondering how many osteopathic physicians went on to specialize in transplant surgery. I came across the University of Nebraska Medical Center abdominal transplant surgery page and the chairman was an osteopathic physician. I wanted to go there to train. I read everything I could about him and the program and looked up all the people who had trained there. I placed this on my vision board and continued to imagine myself being accepted to that program for fellowship.

Now fast forward eight years later when I am interviewing for fellowship programs. I had the privilege to interview at the best programs in the country. From Mayo Clinic to Johns Hopkins, from Stanford to Baylor, from University of Wisconsin to University of Minnesota, from Duke to Georgetown. It was an amazing experience and I met world renowned transplant surgeons. I interviewed at fourteen programs and my last interview was at University of Nebraska. The night before the interview at dinner with the faculty, I felt at home. This was where I belonged. The interview day went well, there was no doubt in my mind after my day was over that I wanted to train there.

I called my parents when I was at the airport and told them that was my # 1 choice. From talking to the other applicants that day, they all really liked it and wanted to go there. Some of these applicants had multiple publications in transplant surgery and the most impressive CVs. I fasted and prayed about it and then let it rest in God’s hands. On June 15th, 2016 I got the news that I had matched at Nebraska. One of the most exciting day of my life. My dream had been realized. Joel Osteen says, “keep your visions in front of you, take the limits off of God because God will do more than what you are dreaming about.”

Joel Osteen goes on to say, “All over your home, you should have pictures up that inspire you and scriptures verses that encourage you.  Maybe it’s a key on your key ring for the new house you are going to buy. Or a picture frame on your bedside that will hold your wedding picture. Whatever you are believing and dreaming about keep something in front of you that reminds you of what God has promised. If you can accomplish your dreams in your own strength, with your own talents, then your dreams are too small.” Why do we limit God?3

vision3Steve Harvey said on an Oprah interview, “If I didn’t have a vision board, I would be in trouble. You got to keep it in front of you. It’s on my laptop, it’s the screen on my phone, it’s on my ipad, it’s on my desktop.” He talks about creating a vision board early on in his career and seeing the things he had on his board come to pass.

Most of us have heard the story about Jim Carey writing himself a check for $10 million for ‘acting services rendered.’ He kept that check in his wallet and eventually he achieved his goal, he surpassed his goal. This is someone who was struggling as an actor, but never gave up on his dreams. You are a daughter or son of the most high king. Why do you limit your father. If our earthly parents do their best to provide for us what we ask of, what of our father who loves us more than our parents could ever understand. I am a mother and I want the very best for my children. I can not imagine myself loving them more than I do, but I know God’s love has no boundaries

Terri Savelle Foy summarizes concisely the importance of writing your dreams down. Adapted from “Dream It. Pin It. Live It.”

In 1993, a nine-year-old girl was asked by her teacher to make a vision board. She pinned a photo of the singer, Selena holding her Grammy award. That little girl grew up to become an international pop star-one. That little girl was Katy Perry.

It was 2006 when a 36 year-old woman sat in her guest bedroom and wrote five impossible things she wanted to pursue: (1) writing books, (2) co-hosting a TV show, (3) hosting a women’s conference, (4) helping troubled teenagers, (5) launching a ministry outreach to France. All five were achieved by 2011. That woman was me.

The point I want you to understand is this: You will NEVER leave where you are until you SEE where you’d rather be! A vital component to your success is to surround yourself with what can be not just what is. That’s the power of vision.  One of the best tools for harnessing this power is a vision board. A vision board adds clarity to your dreams and desires. It helps you concentrate and focus on your life goals . . . those things God has placed in your heart to be, do, and have.

Vision boards and vision board parties have become popular over time, but so many people do not realize that God is the One who wants us to be clear on our vision. Where there is no vision, the people perish. (Prov. 29:18) Let’s break that scripture down in more plain terms—perish means die! Vision keeps you alive. It takes you from where you currently are to where you long to be!

Back in Genesis, God told Abraham, “Go outside and look up at the stars, for as many stars as you can see, that’s how many descendants you are going to have” (Gen. 15:5). He later told Abraham to look at the grains of sand because it also represented the number of his future descendants. God wanted Abraham to have a picture of it in his mind. Consider this: Abraham lived in the desert. What was he surrounded by all night long? Stars. What was he surrounded by all day long? Sand. God knew it wasn’t enough for Abraham to hear about his future, but he also needed to see where he was headed. He was literally surrounded by vision. Ultimately, he became what he beheld.

When you create your vision in the form of a vision board, a vision book, or even an app on your smart phone, you are seeing yourself the way you want to be. I have been using vision boards for years as a tool to apply my faith, and they have helped to keep me in a state of continual progression. It’s not that the board itself causes your dreams to magically appear; it’s what the realization and clarity of your dreams does to you that makes it work! Personally, I have experienced the fulfillment of a wide range of dreams (and even personal desires) in my life by consistently having my dreams clearly visible before me.

What’s in front of you is far more important than what’s behind you. Sure, you learn from your past. Yes, you turn your messes into a message to help others. But you shouldn’t spend more time reliving, rehearsing or remembering the past when God has so much for you to accomplish in your future.

Paul said in Philippians 4:13-14, “This one thing I do forgetting those things which are behind and reaching for those things which are ahead, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus.” This principle should be applied to every area of our lives. Reach for those things which are ahead! In order to reach for them, you have to be clear on what those things are. So, before you start cutting and pasting away, put a demand on your faith to dream bigger and get clear on what you need to pursue!


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