Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pinterest - The Coolest Tool for Vision Boards

I've been noticing that people are finding my blogs by way of Pinterest. Apparently, people have "pinned" various images from my sites onto their boards and other people have found the images interesting enough to click on the attribution links back to my blogs. 

This has happened often enough that I decided I should find out what Pinterest is all about. So I requested an invitation to join. A couple of days later, I was accepted. Minutes after I set up my account, I was hooked. This is just so much fun!

About the best way I can describe Pinterest is to say that it is social media for visual people. The concept is simple. Users create virtual "boards" and then pin images onto them. Each board is a collection of photos and/or videos that relate to a particular interest: art, food, products, favorite places, travel, fashion, etc. Unless users specify otherwise, their boards are searchable and other "pinners" can re-pin the cool images they've found onto their own boards. You can read more about how the service works on Wikipedia.

When first I started "pinning," I thought of it as a sharing process. But what struck me a couple of days in was that I was creating at least one vision board in this process. (I'll back up here just a bit to explain for those unfamiliar with the term that a "vision board," or treasure map, is a tool you use to visualize the life you want to have. The typical process is to cut images of things you love out of magazines and then glue them onto a poster board. The idea is to focus the subconscious mind on those images of happiness and success, thus developing a mindset that matches and eventually brings about those outcomes. Even people skeptical of this process have been astonished to see their dreams come true.)

When I was looking at other people's boards to get some ideas for my own, I saw that lots of people have a board with images of places they would like to visit someday. At first, I passed on that idea because I haven't had much of an interest in travel for a while. But then I remembered that I would like to visit London, and I've long wanted to go to the Highlands in Scotland and see where my McKinsey/MacKenzie ancestors came from. Soon I was realizing that there are several places I want to see. It is time to give up the story that I don't want to travel. Every time I look at my "board" I see my desire looking back at me. And my interest is beginning to expand - the law of attraction in action.

So that's one kind of vision board - one that looks toward the future. It occurs to me, though, that there is another version, the vision of my past, that is shown on these boards. I see it especially on my board titled, "Favorite Places." As I add images of places I have seen in the past 60+ years, I see a story of what my life has been. I, of course, get to choose the version of that story as I decide what to include on my board. Satisfying memories? Or a lifetime of regret? My choice. And I'm going with the happy memories.

If you would like to see what I have pinned so far, you can find me here on Pinterest. To visit the main Pinterest site, go here.