Posts

The Power of Visualization

Visualization is the act of leveraging the powers of your brain to achieve your goals.

The art and practice of visualization have been around for years; however, with the increased focus on mindfulness and the power of positive thinking, visualization is gaining more attention.  The beauty of visualization is that it is something that can be learned and doesn’t take a huge amount of time daily.  What it does take is the commitment to an ongoing routine.

Before outlining a simple process for visualization, I’d like to provide a level of supporting information.

How people define the power of visualization varies.  At the most basic level, visualization is seeing your goals as if they have already been achieved.  It’s understanding the power of how your thoughts work for you.  By visualizing something, you are imprinting this vision in your subconscious mind.  If it is different than the current reality, what your conscious mind is experiencing, there will be a conflict between the two.  This is where the power of your mind works.  The subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between reality and your vision, it simply wants to minimize any conflict.  Think of your subconscious mind as an inner collaborator that works with your conscious mind to align what you need to achieve your goals.  You begin to see what it will take to achieve the goal more clearly and be attracted to those things and understand how they will help you achieve success – what you have visualized.

When you hear about visualization, you will also hear about the Law of Attraction – where positive or negative thoughts bring about linked outcomes.  At the highest level, the belief is that people and their thoughts are made up of “pure energy” and the energy of your thoughts is truly connected with all the energy in the universe.  Your thoughts will attract “like” energy.  This is the underlying premise of the power of positive thinking.

Additionally, there is the Reticular Activating System (RAS), which is a bundle of nerves at our brainstem that filters out unnecessary information that we are bombarded with daily so that the important information gets through.  Your RAS takes what you focus on and creates a filter for it.  By focusing on positive or your goals, your RAS will filter out what doesn’t fit.  Here’s an easy example of how the RAS works.  Think about being in a crowded restaurant or bar where everyone is talking.  You don’t hear their conversations, but if someone happens to say your name, you are likely able to hear it.  Another example would be when you consider buying a car.  Suddenly you begin noticing that same car everywhere you drive.  While those cars were already there, your RAS letting through the information that is important to you.

Let me address the naysayers: I understand that the practice of visualization will not automatically make things happen.  What is does is set in motion the process needed to achieve your success.  You need to follow your subconscious mind as it frames and guides your actions toward achievement and eliminate the conflict between your vision and current reality.  You can’t sit on the couch and lose 20 pounds just because you visualized it while eating a donut.

As mentioned above, visualization doesn’t take a lot of time, it simply takes a commitment to follow through with a few simple activities with consistency.

Steps to visualization:

  • Determine your goal – what you want to achieve.
  • Get comfortable.
  • Visualize the situation in as much detail as possible.
    • Use all your senses when going through this process –
      • What do you see, feel, smell, hear, and taste?
      • What are you wearing?
      • Who’s there with you?
      • What are your surroundings – where are you?
    • Add emotions and bodily sensations.
    • Be as vivid as you can.
  • Visualize in the first person, as if you have already achieved your goal. Don’t think about it as some future state, experience it as if you were there in the moment.
  • Repeat this practice 2 to 3 times a day. Frequency is important to training your subconscious mind to this new reality.
  • An additional step I recommend is to also visualize the steps along the way to achieving your ultimate goal. Visualize your success in increments and in doing what it will take.  Experience the journey.

That’s it. It’s that simple.

Now that you understand the basics of visualization, go out and leverage it for your benefit.  Start with something small and experience how powerful your mind is.

 

Alexia’s Legacy: Every Goal Needs an Action Plan

She was tragically taken from us, but her legacy lives on.  Every few weeks we will share excerpts from the book.

Alexia’s Goals August 2013 with Action Plans

 

Professional Learning and Development Goals

 

Action Plan

 

Goal 1: Make a decision about whether to go CPA/JD or JD/MBA

 

1.    Meet with counselor to discuss academic feasibility.

2.    Meet with 7 professionals to gain input and perspective

3.    Speak with top 3 law schools to see if credits will transfer from MA to MBA or JD

 

Goal 2: Evaluate my relationship with McKesson to be able to decide their role in the rest of my college career.

 

1.    Can I work and maintain my 4.0 GPA

2.    Do they have a place for me in the spring?

3.    Can I make enough money to meet my budget goals

 

Goal 3: Gain a better working knowledge of LinkedIn

 

1.    Meet with Rachel

2.    Study Linked-in Presentations

3.    Build my profile

 

 

Personal Goals

 

Action Plan

 

Goal 1: Improve work life balance techniques

 

1.    Create Scheduled “Me” time. 1 hour – 3 times per week

2.    Exercise. 30 minutes – 4 times per week

 

Goal 2: Maintain 4.0 GPA

 

1.    Study at minimum 3 hours per day

 

Goal 3: Create a working budget

 

1.    Meet with Student Money Management Center

 

 

PLP Goals Alexia Helped Set as Leader

Professional Leadership Program Action Plan
 

Goal 1: Develop stakeholders; students, mentors, and faculty

 

1.   Improve class offerings

2.   Member/Mentor Review program

3.   Recruit new majors to PLP

4.   Increase involvement of Faculty

 

Goal 2: Create a family-like culture

 

1.   Create engagement opportunities outside of normal meetings

2.   Focus on clusters

3.   Increase mentor involvement

 

Goal 3: Create communication that supports connections and relationships, and exemplifies our brand

 

1.   Thank you letter process

2.   Post events on social media

3.   Encourage stakeholder involvement in media sites

4.   Create Student Director bonding time

 

Lesson: Every goal needs an action plan.

Once we set our goals, we need to build and implement an action plan that will get us there. Most importantly, we always need to know our next step. Notice that several of Alexia’s goals were related to making decisions. Her plans related to how she would collect the info she needed to make those decisions. The plans also had multiple steps so there was a clear path to accomplishment. Create a plan for each of your goals. Clarify the steps in your plan, even if those steps include brainstorming next steps. One of the keys to goal accomplishment is understanding that it is more important to visualize the steps it will take to get there than to visualize accomplishment of the goal itself. Focus on your action plan and always keep your next step top of mind.

Opportunity: Create Action Plans for Your Goals

 

book_imgRW_Alexias_Legacy_book3d Happiness Hacks Cover

buy from amazon white small

MyHappiness App

Try the My Happiness App

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Alexia’s Legacy: Put Your Goals in Writing

She was tragically taken from us, but her legacy lives on.  Every few weeks we will share excerpts from the book.

From Alexia’s Journal: I want to go to a great law school & become a corporate lawyer.

Alexia’s Goals August 2013

Professional Learning and Development Goals
Goal 1: Make a decision about whether to go CPA/JD or JD/MBA
Goal 2: Evaluate my relationship with McKesson to be able to decide their role in the rest of my college career.
Goal 3: Gain a better working knowledge of LinkedIn
Personal Goals
Goal 1: Improve work life balance techniques
Goal 2: Maintain 4.0 GPA
Goal 3: Create a working budget

[Note: Alexia’s goals also included plans and due dates not shown here]

PLP Goals Alexia Helped Set as Leader

Professional Leadership Program
Goal 1: Develop stakeholders; students, mentors, and faculty
Goal 2: Create a family-like culture
Goal 3: Create communication that supports connections and relationships, and exemplifies our brand

 

Lesson: Put your goals in writing.

“First, have a definite, clear, practical ideal; a goal, an objective.”           Aristotle

Goals are an important part of leadership, both for setting an example and for helping the team move forward. Setting goals helps us align today’s actions with the future. What do you want to accomplish and what are you doing today that will help you get there? People without goals meander through life experiencing random events that don’t lead them down any discernible path. They engage in activity without progress. Goals focus our actions to a self-chosen path and bring pattern and clarity to what would otherwise be a haphazard menagerie of experiences.

Make your goals specific and challenging, yet achievable. Have a set date for accomplishment, and make them measurable so you can objectively evaluate your progress.

Writing down your goals is the first step to achieving them. Written goals can be more easily shared with your friends which significantly improves your chances of achieving those goals. Most importantly, written goals give you something to refer back to that refreshes your memory. As our lives get busy, the goals get pushed to the background; and we need to re-read them to bring them back to being part of our conscious intentions. Once our goals are in writing we can objectively evaluate our progress in reaching those goals on a regular basis.

Opportunity: Write 3 goals you want accomplish this year.

 

My Goals
Goal 1:
Goal 2:
Goal 3:


 

book_imgRW_Alexias_Legacy_book3d Happiness Hacks Cover

buy from amazon white small

MyHappiness App

Try the My Happiness App

About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Last updated by at .