I spent some of this past weekend at the Portland Pen Show, where fountain pen collectors from all over the country buy, sell, trade, and admire new releases by pen manufacturers and vintage models lovingly preserved or restored from the 1960s, '50, '40s and earlier.
When I began collecting fountain pens, I made a collage in Photoshop and put it on my computer desktop. The pens I wanted to purchase were there for me to look at every moment I was at my computer. All day long, I stared at those pens, imagining how each one would feel in my hand; what I would be writing; how others would look at them and at me.
According to some gurus who recommend vision boards, I should have some of those pens in my collection, right?
Well, I don't. Does that mean I did something wrong in my "vision board"?
No. I listened to feedback as I made my collection plans. After I created the vision board on my computer desktop, I learned that some of the pens I wanted weren't worth having. Some turned out to be too large and heavy for my hand. Others, although pretty to look at, had flaws that prevented the ink from flowing evenly. Nevertheless, I now have a fantastic collection of fountain pens that bring me a lot of joy.
Knowing your outcome is a terrific starting point. By making your goals visible, a vision board can help you stay focused and motivated. Make room for course corrections, though. Be willing to say, "This -- or something better!" By focusing too exclusively on one factor, rather than the big picture, I've missed opportunities.
Treasure your goals; stay flexible and alert.