It takes more than a vision board for all your dreams to come true.
I was clearing my Google drive this week and I found this vision board I made on 20 Feb 2019:
If you don’t know my story, I’m an accountant-turned student music therapist in Sydney. After working as an accountant for 5 years, I ditched my corporate job in early 2020 and went back to full time studies in music therapy. Yes I had a calling and urgency to fulfil my vision, but it all happened after the first shot of teargas in Hong Kong, June 2019. Basically from graduating in late 2014 to mid 2019, I was just your regular millennial whining about my day job every single day. I was in quarter-life crisis. I was lost. I didn’t know what to do with my life. I stumbled upon self development area and read “4 Hour Work Week” in 2019 that changed my life for the first time. I drew this vision board that time, thinking I should really quit my job and make a living being a musician.
The only action I took that time was to grow my YouTube channel. I didn’t know where it would bring me, but I was willing to keep my uploads consistent. I started from posting once a month, then twice, eventually posting weekly now. I did not have a clear path and process that time. All I knew was that I didn’t foresee myself being an accountant for the rest of my life. I needed to quit. Following what happened in Hong Kong in 2019, I took no hesitation to quit my job, quit my profession, pack my bag and pursue another field back in Sydney. It wasn’t even a tough decision to make. I was more than ready to turn a new page in life. All the years learning music, and even posting weekly covers online, helped me take the leap of faith. Most people who get accepted into the master of music therapy degree own a bachelor of music, music teaching or psychology degree. I had none. But I had what it took. I showed my effort and my attitude during audition and I got accepted.
When I created my vision board back in Feb 2019, I did not know things would turn out like that. I did not even know what music therapy is. I did not foresee studying a master degree. I only imagined what I would like to do, how I would like to feel and how life would be ideally.
And I was mind blown when I saw the vision board this week. I achieved 90% of what I wrote. Just not in the way I expected. Let’s put aside how ugly it was (I stumbled upon Google Drawings and thought I would give it a shot – I didn’t know Canva exist) and take a good look. I now start my day with intention. I have a solid morning routine. I get to make music every single day – in my studies, placement, and my side hustles. I work out regularly. I technically don’t need to work for money now. I don’t own a hedgehog, and that’s because there’s no domestic hedgehogs in Sydney.
I am literally the future self I envisioned to be last year.
I'm a strong believer of having the power to create the future we want.
Similar to Benjamin Hardy’s future self article, this is exactly what I did.
You have a vision in mind first. You think of who you are in the future in tiny details. Feel it. Imagine how life will be like. Then you map the process to get there. From there, your future self sets your current identity and changes your behaviours and actions. You no longer feel lost. You no longer hit snooze. Every day you take action to get closer to the goal. The more you do, the more clarity you have. You always have to take the first step.
I cannot emphasise clarity enough. Why live your life in auto-pilot mode when you have the power to write your future? I encourage you to think about your ideal life. Don’t be scared by the huge gap between your current and ideal stages. You will get there. Your current self is the future version of yourself last year. You have progressed and improved. You can close the gap by taking consistent actions. Have the discipline, consistency and grit, and success is guaranteed.
I remember when I decided to go back to Hong Kong for good in early 2018, I told myself in the airport that the next time I returned I would be a better version. Life is indeed interesting. But what I have achieved isn’t just pure luck. I would not be able to jump from accounting to music therapy just by luck. I put in the hard work and effort. And life is much more satisfying when you enjoy the fruits of your hard work.
I now have a bigger vision board. And from the different small successes I had this year, I am more motivated to hustle in order to get closer to my goals. I am so different from last year. I know I have the power to achieve bigger things. Environment doesn’t define my ability.