Chances are you’ve built a nice office for yourself as COO. It’s a comfortable space filled with everything you need to get your job done, whether it’s your laptop, favorite artwork, or pictures of your family when you need a bit of motivation.
Your office is the perfect spot to sit down and start mapping out the future of your company and your personal life. But, when I am working with COOs and CEOs, I absolutely forbid them from working on their Vivid Vision in there.
I tell them to get out of the office and go someplace inspirational. I’ve had clients work by the ocean, in the forest – heck, I wrote my Vivid Vision from the hammock in my backyard.
Sure, these places ooze inspiration, but they also lack a lot of the distractions that can be fatal to the process. The issue is that as a COO, or CEO, your office is brimming with distractions – emails in your inbox, ongoing phone calls, people popping their heads in the door. As a COO visualizing the future of your business properly, you need to focus. These interruptions can shatter your flow and drag the process out indefinitely.
Trying to conduct these visualization exercises in places like your office or a boardroom surrounds you with the minutia of the office environment. The hum of a copier, the murmur of phone conversations, even the white noise of the air exchange—these sounds can lock your brain into rigid, business-first thought patterns that will stifle the creativity it takes to really imagine a bright, exciting future.
A lot of my clients are decidedly left-brained. They’ve been successful their whole lives using rational, pragmatic thinking; just the kind of thinking that can sap all the energy and usefulness out of this exercise.
Where do you work on your Vivid Vision?
The idea is to dream about ‘where’ you can go without concerning yourself with ‘how’ you’ll get there. It’s easy to get caught up in asking ‘how’ when you are surrounded by sales charts and spreadsheets. Freeing yourself from your office frees your mind from the boundaries of business metrics. You’re able to fantasize without letting reality rain on your parade.
I also discourage you from using your computer when putting your Vivid Vision together. First of all, a blank word processor page is far from inspiring. Secondly, the distraction of email, the Internet, Minesweeper or other cyber-diversions is counterproductive.
Instead, use a sketchpad and a good quality pen. There is something truly inspiring about putting pen to paper. It really is a lost art. And once you get over the hand cramps, you’ll find the tactile feel of the pen irresistible, and the blank sheet will be more like a blank canvas that you’ll quickly fill up with all of your brilliant ideas and visions for the future. Then, once you’ve sketched a rough Vivid Vision, you can use your computer to put it all together.
Most of us complain that we spend too much time in the office anyway. So this is your excuse to get out of it. Enjoy the sunshine, breathe in the fresh air and visualize your perfect future.
Learn more about the process of creating your own Vivid Vision here.
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