trees with yellow leaves by a creek

Brene Brown shared the concept to “paint done” as a manager or leader. This means not just saying make X by Y date, but rather paint a clear picture of what success looks like for the work and at a minimum what is required to be in the finished product. Another way of looking at this concept is her phrase, “clear is kind; unclear in unkind.”

Recently, I began to apply that concept to my life, and especially my career thanks to my work with Coach Maddie. She helped me understand and use the tool of manifestation. While I knew the term, I didn’t connect to it. It’s creating a clear picture of how you want things to be in your life. You can “paint done” for your life with a thoughtful written statement, through a vision board of pictures, or with a vivid mental picture. Being clear on what you want, how you’ll feel, what you leave behind shifts your brain – “painting done” for your life enables your brain to start to work on solving for it and helps you take action to get it. And yes, action is required.

Working with Maddie I created a future state – what I would see, have, experience next in my life. It was a simple paragraph comprised of short sentences a kindergartner would write. It mentioned work, relationships, and emotions – a 360 of me. I read it before and after bed, to end and start my day. Easy peasy. Then eerie, cool, and specific things took shape that clearly connected to my vision. So many in 10 days that I began to write them all down to help process it all. It was quickly clear to me that reality starts with intentions from your heart and ideas in your head. Thinking put energy into motion. Wild! 

To help me continue to paint done with my life, I pulled together questions from books, trainings, and conversations to help me build a robust image: 

  • What is your tennis ball? What do you repeatedly chase after with joy?
  • What would fully doing this look like?
  • What impact do you want to have in/on the world?
  • What do most people come to you for?
  • What would you like to stop doing?
  • When do you feel powerful?
  • How would you like to be seen or acknowledged?
  • Where do you feel passionate, free, or energized?
  • What do you want?
  • What are you ready / not ready to change?
  • Imagine your issue is resolved, how did you get there?
  • What’s the easy way forward from here?
  • What emotion do you want more of in your life?
  • When you look around who is with you?
  • What haven’t you admitted out loud yet?
  • Who do you have to be?
  • Imagine it’s already done, tell me about it?
  • What do you notice about your body?
  • I’m allowing myself _______________.
  • Describe a day of success.
  • What’s in my way?
  • How will others feel after they engage with you and your brand?
  • Who are your partners?
  • List 6 things that would be on your calendar in the future that would excite you?
  • If you don’t, what would be missing in the world?

What I find most exciting as I envision my future defined through carefully selected words, images, and desired emotions, is that I own it. And, because I created it, I can change it. I can try my vision on, see how it fits, identify what’s missing, and modify something. It can evolve as I do.

I look forward to seeing what you think of next.


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