The world held its breath as American gymnast, 16 year old, Mary Lou Retton stood at the end of the mat preparing for her final vault. It was the summer of 1984 and the stakes couldn’t be higher. She had to get a perfect score, a 10, to win the Olympic gold. She closed her eyes for a moment, positioned herself, broke into a full sprint, and nailed a perfect 10 off the pommel horse to clinch the gold medal for herself and Team USA. When she was later asked by a reporter what she was thinking when she closed her eyes before her performance, she told them she saw herself going through every motion precisely, flawlessly, and achieving a perfect score.
In this article I’m going to explore the power of visualization and imagination.
My intent is not just to share these ideas with you. My desire is that after reading this, you will not only know that there is a power in the use of your imagination and visualization, but you will also begin to put these things into practice in your own life as well.
Creating Your Future
Is it possible to pronounce your future and have it come to pass?
Neville Goddard said that “not one thing has appeared in a mans world but what man decreed that it should.”
All that is, all that we have today, was first created in the mind. Airplanes, cars, light bulbs, iPhones all began as a thought before they became reality.
Look around you right now and recognize the amazing things, many which we take for granted, that we have because someone first thought of them.
You too can use your mind to create. But more important than any of those things you just looked at, you can create YOUR future.
Your world is what it is because of your current consciousness. Your thoughts are either your limitation or your path to freedom. The life you are living is the result of your conscious and subconscious being.
In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill said, “There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge.”
Your mind, thoughts and imagination create your future. It’s up to you whether you unconsciously allow that to happen, or you take charge of those things and in turn take charge of your future.
The Power of Desire
Many failures are the result of an individual’s lack of passion, direction, and aim in life.
Desire is knowing what you want and is a key to success in life.
Stephen Covey taught us to “begin with the end in mind.” When we know what we want and have a desire, we have the end in mind. We know the outcome that we are after.
By using our imagination, visualization and making our desires the dominating thoughts of our mind, our conscious and subconscious go to work to help us to find a way to accomplish our desires.
Napoleon Hill taught that when we set our goals and establish what it is that we truly desire, creating a Definite Chief Aim and following the steps he outlines, it will help you achieve those goals.
He says that “our brains become magnetized with the dominating thoughts which we hold in our minds… these ‘magnets’ attract to us the forces, the people, the circumstances of life which harmonize with the nature of our dominating thoughts.”
He tells us that wishing will not make us achieve our goals. But desiring to achieve our goals with a state of mind that makes it become an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to achieve the goals and backing those plans with persistence which does not recognize failure, will bring the desired results.
He teaches the process of creating a Definite Chief Aim:
- Fix in your mind exactly what it is that you desire.
- Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for that which you desire.
- establish a definite date by which you intend to achieve your desire.
- Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.
- Write out a clear, concise statement of what you intend to accomplish. Name the time limit for achieving it, state what you intend to give in return for it and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to do it.
- Read your written statement aloud, twice daily.
Your Powerful Imagination
Through our imagination, we can become anything that we want to be. It’s the very gateway to reality.
Napoleon Hill said, “If you don’t see great riches in your imagination, you will never see them in your bank balance.”
Ideas are the beginning of all great things. Ideas are products of the imagination.
It has been said in many different ways that man will become what he thinks about. Napoleon Hill said that “Every man is what he is because of the dominating thoughts which he permits to occupy his mind.”
The intent of having your Definite Chief Aim and using visualization is to create your desired future in your mind and have it become your dominating thought until it’s realization.
With that said, it’s your imagination which can create the goals and future that you truly desire.
Putting It Into Practice
In your journey to achieve your goals and to live the life that you desire, time can be well spent dreaming. Intentionally setting time aside to visualize the future you desire is well worth the effort.
In Dare Dream Do, Whitney Johnson says to create a place and time to dream:
- Clear the clutter and create a space where you can dream: this space – or spot or place – can be a desk, an office, your car, or your bed
- More importantly, create a space in your day: this space – or time – can be early in the morning, after the kids go to school, while exercising, or late at night.
I like to use the time before you fall asleep. From the time you get into bed, until you fall off to sleep. Use that time to vividly visualize your dreams, desires and future.
One of the most powerful lessons that I have learned for this process is from Neville. As we visualize, we need to think FROM the end, rather than think OF the end. Put yourself IN your vision.
He said, “We must use imagination masterfully. Not as an onlooker thinking from the end. But as a partaker, thinking from the end. We must actually be there in imagination. If we do this, our subjective experience will be realized objectively.”
As you visualize your desired future, rather than watching it play out as you would watch a movie, put yourself in the movie and visualize from it, as if you were there.
Adding to the value and purpose of visualizing, Hill said that, “any impulse of thought which is repeatedly passed on to the subconscious mind is, finally, accepted and acted upon by the subconscious mine, which proceeds to translate that impulse into its physical equivalent, by the most practical procedure available…
All thoughts which have been emotionalized (given feeling) and mixed with faith begin immediately to translate themselves into their physical equivalent or counterpart.”
“The future must become the present in the imagination of the one who would wisely and consciously create circumstance” Neville
As we vividly visualize these dreams, our subconscious goes to work to help us make them a reality. Your Reticular Activating System (or RAS) plays a big role in this. You can read more about the function of your RAS in Mindset Questions: The Real Secret to Success.
Whether you’re planning out your long-term future, or an action you are going to be taking soon, this form of visualization is powerful.
In his book, Golf My Way, Jack Nicklaus said, “I never hit a shot, even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it with my head. It’s like a color movie. First I “see” the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes and I “see” the ball going there: its path, trajectory, and shape, even its behavior on landing. Then there’s a sort of fade-out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality.”
Another valuable practice that I use with my clients is to write out your vivid vision of your goals. For example, rather than thinking about your future dream home, think from your dream home and write as much detail as possible. Imagine walking in the front door and explain what you see. What do you smell? What do you hear? How do you feel being in your dream home? Who is with you? What are you thinking or saying to yourself? Actually experience living in your dream home. That’s the difference of thinking OF your dream home and thinking FROM your dream home.
You can create the future of your dreams. It will take work and effort on your part, but it all begins with your imagination. If you cannot first imagine it, you will never achieve it. The more you imagine and visualize the future you desire, the more it becomes a burning desire which you’ll be able to bring into reality.
I challenge you to visualize from your desired goals before you fall asleep each night for the next 30 days. You may be amazed at the path this new habit takes you down in the process of creating the future of your dreams!
If you are really committed to taking this to the next level, click on the link below!