Sunday, May 22, 2005


What does success look like to you? I’ve been pondering that question lately as I look at websites for Life/Career Coaches while thinking about the next transition in my life. What does the future holds? Everyone seems to be selling success. What does success mean? As I approach what feels like the middle of my life (although I can’t really be sure where the middle is), and I am enjoying my husband, grown children, and even grandchild, I find it difficult to imagine where we will be or what we will be doing five years from now.

I have a very fuzzy picture of my future. I know that I love to travel to places where I meet interesting people and see beautiful landscapes. On a recent trip to Texas to visit my youngest daughter and grandson, my oldest daughter and I went sightseeing. We decided to take a side trip to visit Canyon Lake. As I felt the breeze and looked at the lake, I could imagine my husband and I taking a boat ride on the lake. I could see my children and grandchildren visiting, and maybe even having family reunions at the pavilion. I realized that for the first time I could picture my husband and myself happily retiring or semi-retiring. I may not know what the future holds, but for the first time I have a pleasant picture of retirement.

Canyon Lake

Reflecting back on my trip to the lake, I realized that I had been making my picture of success through Vision Mapping for a couple of years. As I made maps of my values and strengths, I saw themes of reading, writing, boating, and anything by the water. When I took a colored pen that fit my mood and started making pictures and words of what I like to do, the water and some form of self-expression were always in the picture. In fact my Vision Map was so intuitive that I sometimes wondered why I had put things like writing on it. I didn’t write. I hadn’t majored in English or Journalism. But there it was. Now after years of facilitating workshops and coaching using Vision Mapping, I am finding my map coming to life.

As I looked out over the lake under the cloud filled sky, I wondered why I would feel so calm and peaceful so far away from home.

I can just hear the trout...

I believe the lake has a special place in my heart and possibly in my genetic make-up. My fondest memories of childhood are of going with my family to Shasta Lake. I learned to drive a stick shift on the levy roads near my home. I knew that my father loved the water. In fact I felt that I knew my father best when we were near the water. He once told me that his grandparents moved to Minnesota from Sweden to be near the river. I learned that my grandfather also loved the water and fished whenever he could.

I’ve taken personality tests and looked at models of success, but it was the process of intuitively putting my picture of success on paper that led me to finding my true interests and values. We all have a picture or expectation of what our personal future might be, but we rarely take the time to look at what that picture really is. Is your vision of your future based on your strengths and values or is it based on expectations of others and past experiences? If you would like to learn more about your strengths, your vision, and how to balance them with your values and personal style, I would love to talk to you, you can email: for more information or to set up an appointment for a free consultation by phone.

Questions: Where have you found success, and how did you know that you were successful?

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Copyright LWD © 2005 Nancy Miller