Thursday, June 2, 2011

Visualize what you want

I have heard before – and maybe you have too – stories of convicts who, after spending years in jail, are released and become terrific golfers. It’s not that they had access to putting greens and driving ranges while locked up – it’s because they spend countless hours visualizing themselves swinging a golf club. And it’s not just criminals – some phenomenal pros (who shall remain unnamed) – swear by the same strategy. So does the team that wins the Super Bowl and the Olympic athlete who takes the gold. And if they realize their success through visualization, why can’t you employ the same technique in pursuing yours?

Visualize everything, right down to the details – it’s not just about thinking “I want to be rich” or “I want to be thin” or “I want to travel.” If you’re rich, what are you doing with your money? Are you sitting in a corner office? If so, what kind of wood is in there? If you’re thin, what are you wearing? How is the fabric draped? And if you’re traveling, where are you? Are you lugging a backpack up a Costa Rican dirt road with sweat dampening the small of your back? Are you sliding sweet-salty $4 oysters out of their shell in Washington state? Are you sitting cross-legged, your mind tranquil, studying religion in Tibet? Visualize those details.

The benefits of solid visualization are twofold:

• You will naturally gravitate towards that which you’ve visualized – when you visualize something very distinctly and take the time to focus on establishing a crystal-clear image of your success, it becomes “fixed” in your subconscious. It is the “norm” toward which your actions will begin to gravitate, and the way you will lead yourself. "I am going to be a top chef, therefore I am going to focus on the flavors of this meal" or "I am a nice person, so yes I do have a minute to ask you about your day."

• You will easily identify and circumvent things that conflict with your visualization – when your mental picture of your future is as clear as your present reality, it’s easy to avoid things that don’t “go.” You would, for example, never take a job as a paralegal if you know that your future is in hospitality.  "I am an adult; therefore I just do not wear pajamas pants outside the house" or "I am going to be a teacher, therefore I won't have ever worked in a strip club."

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