As a woman with an inherently black gardening thumb, this little saying really strikes a chord in me! Taken literally, there is a little bit of guilt and self-judgement, as I think of my withering balcony plants. Taken figuratively, however, there is a measure of pride, as I have unknowingly lived my life by this rule, and it continues to serve me to this day.
To me, the quote is a call to action. Instead of sitting around on your ass grumbling that you don’t like something, change it. Instead of sitting around on your ass “manifesting” things magically, actually do something about it.
As part of my Neuroscience for Business course at MIT Sloan, I was asked to put together a Leadership Action Board. Now, some may mistake this for a (woo woo) Vision Board, and I will certainly forgive you for that, as it looks suspiciously similar! A classical Vision Board is really a great first step in achieving what you want – finding pictures that resonate with you, of things you want to see, feel or experience, and then making a collage and hanging it in a place that’s personal, but where you will see it as much as possible. This keeps your dreams and desires front of mind.
A Leadership Action Board, on the other hand, is designed exactly for that – Action. This type of Action Board first challenges you to uncover what kind of leader it is you really want to be, and what your driving purpose is, what your legacy as a leader will be. Then, as you pull your various pictures into the collage, the pictures should represent these specific aspirations, whether they be to become more communicative, or open, or trustworthy, or fit & healthy, or strategic, or visionary, or focused.
Then, most importantly, the “action” comes into play. Hang this board somewhere where you will see it before you go to bed every night. This will allow the brain the best opportunity to absorb the vision you have created and store these desires where they are ready for access. Then, as the brain now realises you want to take action on these desires, it will allow you to consciously notice when an opportunity arises that will help propel you towards these goals, so that you can “do the thing” that will bring you one step closer to what it is you really want.
In essence, its not about pasting a picture of a big house on a piece of paper and waiting for it to manifest itself while you sit back. Its about telling the brain what to consciously focus on, so that you can take conscious steps to water your green green grass. The goals you actually really want, that will help you become the leader you always dreamed you had.
Now, you don’t have to create a vision board for this to be effective. But it is important to be clear on what it is you want – what is your “ideal image” of a leader? What do you need to do to get you there? What is your purpose as a leader? What do I want my leadership legacy to be? A certified coach can certainly help you unpick this, and allow you to become unwaveringly clear on what it is you want, and get some lovely compost onto that green green grass of yours.