August 10, 2015

Don’t Compare your Chapter 1 with Someone Else’s Chapter 20.


We’ve been told that a clear vision paves the road to success, but sometimes that vision poisons the soul.

Let’s say we made that vision board. We crafted a beautiful grocery list full of real foods. We’ve drawn up a fitness plan that will get us that body and healthy glow that we’ve been dreaming of.

We go to the gym.

We drink that protein smoothie.

We eat those greens.

We put in the work.

And then we get on Instagram to post our progress—and we get sidetracked by that epic strong and bendy yogi who just posted this seemingly impossible backbend/chin balance.

And suddenly, we’re eating ice cream right out of the bin and staring dreamily at that vision board while the fresh greens go bad in the fridge and the gym membership card gathers dust because we don’t want to embarrass ourselves by showing our face at the gym or on Instagram because we’re suddenly ashamed of where we are on our path.


Because we’re comparing our Chapter 1 with someone else’s Chapter 20.

So, how do we fix it?

First, let’s talk about that vision board:

We all have an idea of where we want to be in our lives or practice. We all have a picture of what we want to look like. We all know the kind of person we want to be. We hold those images sacred and keep them close to our hearts. Sometimes we print out pictures or quotes to post on the fridge or glue onto our vision boards. We guard them from the world and protect them from someone else’s judgments.

We love the image of what we could be and we are the first ones to tear down the people that we are right now.

Those images that we cut out of magazines and print off the internet, the images of that future we want so desperately, can become our biggest downfall.

We create those boards with love. We offer them up to the Universe and to the Divine (whether that is God, Goddess, etc.). We pour our hearts into them, thinking that the prettier we make them and the more descriptive they are, the sooner they’ll come true.

I once heard that “the Universe is a mindless vehicle” and “it’s our job to drive that vehicle in the direction we want it to go.” Often, people think that means that the work stops once they make the board or say a prayer or do a spell.

But, that vision board is really just meant to be the motivation behind the drive.

It’s the road map, telling us where we want to go and reminding us to keep going, because we’ll eventually get there.

Now, let’s talk about the work behind the vision:

We guard that idea of who we want to be, but it gets lost in the day to day of our lives. We want to be more fit, but we don’t put in the hours and years of dedication that the girl in our favorite picture did. Did you know that the busiest and probably most successful time for a gym is the end of the December and beginning of a new year, because everyone wants to buy a membership to become that man or woman of their dreams?

And people show up for a week or two, but when you walk into the gym in February it’s like a ghost town because people lost the motivation and drive to show up and keep going.

We want instant gratification, but the biggest, best dreams take work.

Just like you never get in the car to go to another state without directions or a GPS, it’s hard to get anywhere without knowing the desired destination.

So, use that vision board. Put it in front of the treadmill and run towards it when you workout. But, don’t just make it and walk away from it.

Work for it and don’t get discouraged when you see that amazingly bendy and strong yogi on Instagram, because this is your chapter one. This is your start. This is your chance to make that dream come true.

Finally, let’s talk about how we should never stop dreaming:

There is no one single book, just like there is not one single way to get from Baltimore to New York. There are hundreds of different roads and detours. There are also a lot of distractions on the way from Point A to Point B. Those distractions aren’t always bad.

Keep working and allow yourself to be guided to what works best for you. Maybe you’re allergic to that trendy healthy food. Maybe you hate to run. So, you find a new favorite healthy food and you take up Zumba or dance or yoga or pilates.

Keep working.

Keep growing.

Keep dreaming.

Let that dream evolve as you do.

Don’t throw away the vision, but don’t forget that success takes sweat.

And someday, if you keep working, you’ll be at Chapter 20—probably already dreaming of Chapter 40.


Relephant Read:

I’m looking forward to the Girl I want to Be.


Author: Stacy Porter

Editor: Alli Sarazen

Photo: Courtesy of Author

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