For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Self-Help genre, a vision-board is a picture collage of things the designer wishes to have in their future life. For example; a nice car, big house, pretty wife, new physique, etc. The point is for the user of the vision-board to at least see it everyday and at best meditate on the feelings these things would bring to their future self. Simply put, it’s a visual representation of a goal list.
I just did a Google search of “vision board” to get a picture for this post and almost 30 million results came up so clearly a lot of people are making or talking about vision boards, but odds are the majority of these people aren’t getting the most out of them or we would all be hearing about it. There are a lot of anecdotal stories of vision boards working for people though, so maybe there is something to it. The people I’ve heard talk about their success with vision boards all share the belief that it’s important to “feel the feelings of having what they want”. And since VR is more immersive than staring at a board on your living room wall . . . I think you see where I’m going with this. Obviously I’m interested in the practical application of virtual reality to improve real life and I was thinking the other day about making a virtual reality vision board (VR Vision Board) so I thought I would write a little article to remind myself to work on this sometime in the near future.
To save time I’m also going to compress a similar, but not totally related VR self help application here as well. The idea came to me when I was listening to Gary Vaynerchuk talk about a traumatic bullying experience from his childhood that still motivates him every day. I’ve heard other people also talk about their feelings of childhood shame and how it impacts their continued success and it made me wonder how “VR memories” or “Immersive Simulated Memories” could be used as a tool for self-discipline. I think most people get what I’m saying, but as a concrete example, imagine you grew up middle to upper middle class and never experienced the shame of having off-brand shoes or even worse imagine worrying that mom and dad won’t be able to buy dinner tonight . . . get what I’m saying? Moments like these very often shape “doers”. Sometimes people get too comfortable.
Anyway, I’m very interested in the application of both of these ideas for people to improve daily motivation and self discipline in order to better achieve their goals and I wanted to write it down while I was thinking about it. I’ll expand on this later and hopefully come up with some prototypes. If you work in Psych research or know someone who does, please share this with them and get in touch with me to collaborate (I can provide the VR experiences) on some research to see how virtual reality can be used to shape productive behavior.