I used to be restless.
Moving from one idea or one place to the next, I could never figure out what felt right.
My restlessness led me to pursue three different degrees at three different colleges without ever finding my path or getting my degree.
What was I supposed to be doing with my life?
Having a beautiful family gave me purpose, but after the sleepness nights ended, I started wondering again. Is this all I’m here for? Motherhood is wonderful, but what happens when they grow up?
To escape these thoughts, I turned to busyness. I was constantly moving without accomplishing anything important. At the end of the day, crashing exhausted into bed, the thoughts would come back again.
Even busyness couldn’t drown them out completely.
I found Jesus in a movie theater eight years ago and found hope in him, but it didn’t take long before I was restless for him too. God, why am I here? I want my life to matter.
Do you wonder too?
After six years of intentionally simplifying my life, raising a crew of kids and walking through an adoption process, I’ve realized the ultimate way to get clear on what you want is being honest with yourself and vulnerable with others.
Also prayer, lots of prayer.
I have an extremely powerful exercise that I’ll share in a minute, but first I need you to know if you don’t dig down and get honest and vulnerable with yourself, it’s not going to work well.
If you don’t know how to slow down your life enough to dig deep, start with this seven-day challenge and then come back.
Ready to be honest? Let’s get started.
Decide right now that you’re happy exactly where you are.
If you can’t, stop wondering what you want to do with your life and take action.
Without a clear picture of where you want to go, you’ll end up staying restless or somewhere you don’t want to be.
While reading about creative entrepreneurship, I came across a technique called a Vivid Vision. Also referred to as a Painted Picture, this exercise will help you brain dump all the amazing ideas stored up in your head.
Swipe on some red lipstick, stomp on self-doubt and bravely begin to envision what a life well lived means for you.
What is a painted picture?
Cameron Herold laid out exactly what a painted picture is in his book Double Double.
Essentially, it’s a vision. A vision of the next three years on this planet.
While he was talking to business people who want to double their business growth in three years, we can apply the same exercise to our lives. Not to double our income, but to grow into the passionate, purposeful women we desire to be.
This is a blueprint to write a mission for your life.
Remember I said you need honesty and vulnerability?
Once it’s written, you need to share it with those closest to you.
How to do a Painted Picture
It’s time to take your first brave action.
Pick a day on your calendar and schedule your painted picture day.
Don’t read about how to do it until you have that time scheduled.
Pinkie promise it’s scheduled?
Cameron generously offers the first chapter of his book free, which includes how to do a painted picture. Read it and remember to translate business to personal or family. Think through what is important to you, what matters most, how do you want to make the world better, where should your focus be, what are your dreams, how are you uniquely created to make a difference?
Seven Tips to Creating the Ultimate Painted Picture
Pray for wisdom, guidance and a heap of bravery
Stay honest and vulnerable
Focus on where you want to go, not how you’ll get there
Avoid distractions - take a few hours away to write this out
Share it with someone
Post it where it can be seen
Refer to it often, especially when you need to make decisions
Can plans change?
Yes! Your vision will continue to grow as you grow.
How to get to what’s important will become clearer as you start walking towards your vision with your values infiltrating every step.
The beauty of your soul will be unleashed in the world when you begin to realize how brave you truly are.
Remember that purpose looks more like a daily exploration on the ordinary trail of life. Occasionally a breathtaking view is stumbled upon and sometimes an unexpected muddy pit will sink you to your knees. But for the majority of the time the trail is gently twisting and turning, filled with small obstacles to watch out for, and, when you're paying attention, the quiet magnificence of life stands out.
Tell me in the comments below when you’re creating your painted picture so I can cheer you on!