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What are you focusing on?


As many of you know, I recently herniated a disc in my back which has forced me to slow down. My only choice has been to move SLOWLY. If you know me at all, you know that moving at a snail’s pace is not part of my DNA. Side story: My first job out of college, my co-workers called me Speedy, short for Speedy Gonzalez because I walked so quickly around the office.


While this disc issue has been a challenging time, I’ve had to focus on my health and adjust my schedule so healing can happen more quickly. The pain is definitely all consuming and I’ve had to keep my mind focused on other things. I usually walk my dogs or practice yoga to start my day to clear my head, but neither of these things can happen right now. So, during this slower time I’ve done a lot of thinking and visualizing to pass the time when I'm not catching up on work.


This visualizing reminded me of a podcast by Dr. Tara Swart. She is also the author of The Source – The Secrets of the Universe, the Science of the Brain. It’s a fascinating book and I find myself continuing to draw upon her practices and ideas to maintain a growth mindset. One quote from the front of the book says:


Our thoughts determine our lives, and either attract the things we want, or keep them at a distance forever.


Wow, isn’t that the truth?


This led me to think about how this relates to the college process and how what we choose to focus on is what the process becomes. So, if we focus on the “stress of junior year,” guess what junior year becomes? Stressful.


Dr. Swart discusses vision boards as a way of manifesting what we want in our lives and for our lives. She likes to refer to them as action boards rather than vision boards because the visions are nothing more than a vision if they aren’t tied to some kind of action. I’m getting a little philosophical, but hang with me, I’ve got a point to make.


I’ve decided to create an action board that includes some goals for myself, both personal and professional. Dr. Swart explains that if we place these action boards in a location where we see them every day, it allows our brain to focus our attention on the items on our board, and research shows the outcomes can be pretty astounding. She is a neuroscientist, medical doctor, and MIT lecturer. Much of what she shares is based on research which is why I continue to follow her work. This is a way of manifesting our futures, goals and dreams. This can be applied to many parts of our lives and also could be very effective during the college process, and I believe it can be an interesting approach to the college process as well.


If students create action boards that include their dreams, desires and goals and then assign specific actions to be taken with each item on their board, what would happen?


Students would see these goals every day and consider what action they might need to take to make that goal a reality. What if students focus on their goals without having any actions tied to them? What are they attracting? I’ve talked to students about this in the past and many of them want to put money on their vision board. The problem with this thinking is there isn’t any action tied to the vision of money.


It’s an interesting concept and I’m open to creating action boards with my students to test out the theory. And as the school year is just beginning, what a great time to create an action board with goals for the year!

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