LMS Recommends: Picture Your Prosperity!
I'll always be blown away by how quickly circumstances can change. One moment, your life is headed in one direction, and almost instantly you can be put on a completely different path. If you've been following me on Living My Someday for awhile, you know the last year has been tumultuous. We've been challenged in ways I never saw coming, but through it all, God has been with us, sometimes next to us, other times carrying us in His hands. It is with this knowledge that I've been able to maintain my focus on our future because I know what brought us to Denver is not the end of the story, but merely the beginning of an incredible testimony. There are no coincidences, only faith at work.
So, when I picked up Picture Your Prosperity: Smart Money Moves to Turn Your Vision into Reality by Ellen Rogin and Lisa Kueng, I knew there was a reason it was in my hands. I've read a number of books on financial wellness, but this book was different. Now, normally when I'm in the library, I like to take my time, drifting from one aisle to the next, allowing my eyes to linger over each title. On this particular day, however, I had all three kids with me, and while they're well-behaved, it can be easy for them to forget to use their "inside voices." The one year-old, especially, is a bit of wild card as she is prone to sudden bouts of ear-piercing screams (followed by mischievous giggles—I think she just likes to see us jump!). In an effort to be efficient, I walked directly to the bookshelf marked "Recommended", hoping I'd stumble across something of interest. The moment I noticed Picture Your Prosperity, I was instantly drawn in. As I perused the inside cover, I knew I'd found a book to take home and devour.
My judgement was further confirmed when I discovered the very first step toward living a life of abundance is visualizing your goals. See, I'm a daydreamer and always have been. I used to think this was a liability, but now I'm discovering how valuable an active imagination can be. The many flights of fancy I've had over the years were not a waste of time, but rather my way of crafting a future out of the present.
Just in case you're starting to think this is made-up nonsense or wishful thinking, authors Ellen Rogin and Lisa Kueng point to the RAS, or Reticular Activating System, a part of the brain whose job it is to filter information based on importance. It allows us to function properly without getting distracted by every little stimulus we encounter. To illustrate the RAS at work, Rogin and Kueng use the example of buying a car and then suddenly noticing that make and model seemingly everywhere. It's not that there are suddenly more vehicles on the road, but rather your new purchase has taken on greater significance. Because the RAS has the ability to uncover or hide opportunities, we have to train it to focus on what is relevant to our goals. This is one of the main reasons why creating a Prosperity Picture is vital to short-term and long-term success. Taking the time to visualize what you want out of life and regularly focusing on images that illustrate your goals is an important way to retrain the RAS.
The Prosperity Picture is separated into four quadrants: vertically, the columns are labeled More Money and Less Money; on the horizontal axis, the rows are labeled Sooner and Later. I've included the sample image above to give a rough idea of what your graphic could look like. The increments of time and money are completely up to you. I chose to think of Sooner as meaning five years or less, while Later corresponds to goals that may take more time to accomplish. My cut-off for Less Money is around $500; everything that will cost more than that is put into the More Money category. If there are goals that could fit into more than quadrant, you can have the images overlap or stick them where they fit best. Additionally, if you'd prefer to get old-school with it, grab some poster board, glue, scissors and a few magazines! There are no right or wrong ways to create your Prosperity Picture because it is all about what works for you.
However you decide to be creative, make sure you feature it prominently. Because I made my Prosperity Picture on the computer, I was able to save the image as my desktop wallpaper, which ensures I will see it multiple times a day. Viewing it instantly reminds me that I am blessed to have another day to move closer to my purpose. If you'd like to make a Prosperity Picture similar to mine, click the button below to download your free blank template + Canva tutorial!
Once you have your Prosperity Picture, the next step is to get brutally honest about your finances. You can't get where you're going without knowing exactly where you're starting from. Rogin and Kueng provide extensive worksheets in order to help the reader come up with their total net worth. Understandably, this can be a difficult step, but it is absolutely vital. The present is the perfect time to isolate and uproot any problematic behaviors in order to ensure they won't sully the future. This step doesn't always bring bad news; some readers actually found money they didn't know they had! At this point you can proceed toward the path that best fits your goals. Do you have debt to pay off? Do you want to set up an Emergency Fund? Are you ready to start investing? These questions and more are worth considering with regard to your unique vision.
Finally, the women behind Picture Your Prosperity passionately encourage the "...the idea of intentionally cultivating prosperity for yourself and others..." by becoming an Abundance Activist. The idea behind this concept is that by choosing to operate from a place of love, grace, and compassion rather than greed and fear, we can all thrive. It doesn't always involve money, either; a few quiet acts of kindness each day can make a world of difference because that mentality spreads. It can also affect those in our inner circles. If they see the positive change and amazing results, it gives them permission to take a step toward their own purpose and help the people they encounter.
What are your plans for the future? Have you ever written them down? If not, why not start now? Download the template and Canva tutorial, and get started! I'd love to read your thoughts below and see your Prosperity Pictures on Instagram or Twitter, using #PictureYourProsperity! It's a great way to connect with other like-minded folks and find support!