When I help people create their vision, I start by asking, “What is it that you ultimately would like to achieve in all the important areas of your life?”

Most people do not have a clear vision for their career, their health, their relationships or other aspects of their lives. The majority say it is a big challenge even to think the thoughts of what represents their dream situation, simply because from where they are right now, they do not know how they can make it happen. They tell themselves it is unrealistic to dream, and let that prevent them from connecting with their dreams.

I always start by asking people to pretend they get a visit from Aladdin’s genie, who says: “Your wish is my command.” Pretend that you know it is going to happen and all of a sudden it is much easier to imagine what you really would like to create in your life.

Children do not need a visit from Aladdin’s genie in order to identify what they want, but as grown-ups we find it harder to imagine something without knowing how to get it. Remember always what Stephen Covey says: “Start with the end in mind”—first!

Some people find their own vision from reading or listening to other people’s visions, reading biographies of people they admire or participating in mastermind groups with people who have a clear direction in their lives.

Another powerful way of defining your vision is to look at pictures representing the important areas of life. Pictures affect us in an emotional way. When you see a picture that symbolizes or shows exactly what you want, you become crystal clear about your vision.

A well-selected picture inspires you to think about and feel what it is like to live your vision. It helps you take daily actions that eventually bring you to where you want to be.

Let me share with you my own story using a picture. Eight years ago I was diagnosed with a thyroid dysfunction and was told I had to take a prescription drug for the rest of my life. As an alternative health care practitioner, I was determined to get rid of the medicine and be healthy again. After six years of trying “everything,” I cut out a picture of a woman’s upper body, replaced her face with mine so now it looked like I had a healthy throat again. I wrote, “I am one hundred percent healthy” under the picture, and I watched it several times a day for months.

After five months, I was able to reduce the medicine and eventually quit taking it. This was more than two years ago; today, I am in perfect health. I am living proof of what can happen if you become crystal clear about what you envision.

BIRGIT SEMUNDSETH is CEO and Founder of My Masterboard,
a tool that helps networkers envision their goals in a fun and effective way.