IF YOU LISTEN carefully to what successful
people say about accomplishing goals, youll find a consistent
common thread: They envision their goals in detail. If youre
like me, youve heard this many times in interviews or read
it in biographies, and completely ignored it.
I ignored it because I am not a visual
person. I didnt think I was very good at visualizing.
But visualization is a learnable skill. You get better with practice.
I cant believe what a difference
this simple practice has made. It sometimes seems like magic.
I try to stay skeptical and explain things using verifiable evidence.
I know how easy it is to come to false conclusions, so Ive explained
the stunning results to myself by noting that when I envision
my goals clearly, it focuses my mind and increases my motivation,
which it does.
It also produces a reverse engineering
effect; when I envision my goals clearly, I automatically start
thinking about how it happened. And that gets me
to thinking about what Im doing now.
For example, one of my goals is a million
subscribers for my blog, Moodraiser.com. As I imagined looking at
my Feedburner stats (statistics for my subscribers) and seeing
a million subscribers, I thought about some possible ways this
could happen. I wasnt trying to think this way;
it just happened naturally while visualizing the goal.
One of the things I thought of is the possibility
that someone famous, like Oprah, would mention it on their show,
causing a huge number of new visitors, many of whom really liked
the blog and subscribed to it. And they shared the articles with
their friends, causing even more people to subscribe, etc.
But then it occurred to me if Oprah was
going to mention it and all these new people were going to look
at the blog, it better be really good. I realized it would be
embarrassing if all these people showed up on a day when the
front page article was only so-so. Up to that time I was kind
of casual about what I posted because I only had 400 subscribers.
So you see what happened? By simply envisioning
the goal, I automatically started thinking backwards back
in time to the present and it altered what I was doing
in the present in such a way that the goal was more likely to
happen. This kind of thinking comes about without trying. All
I do is visualize my goal. The reverse engineering happens all
Another practical result of clearly visualizing
a goal is the production of great ideas. Somehow the process
of visualizing your goal stimulates your creativity. Surprising
new ideas will start popping into your head spontaneously.
Because you have such a clear picture of
your future, you will see your present differently. When you
regularly envision your goals, you will find that you constructively
reframe negative events. You
start seeing setbacks more as useful information and less as
a cause for demoralization.
These are some of the explainable
results of envisioning goals. Something else happens too. It
seems almost supernatural. Maybe at least part of it is the involvement
of your reticular
activator. But however we explain it, envisioning goals produces
a whole host of positive effects.
How to Envision Your Goals
Visualizing a goal is a pretty straightforward
task. But here are a few tips to make it more effective:
1. Relax first. Use
the Silva Method
or any method you already know how to use, as long as it makes
you deeply relaxed without putting you to sleep. Its important
to be relaxed. When you try to visualize your goal without relaxing
first, negative or anxious thoughts are more likely to worm their
way into your visualizations.
2. See your goal in detail. The first thing to envision is the moment you
realize you have achieved your goal. If you have a goal of publishing
your book, youll know its published when youre
holding the printed copy of your book in your hands. It will
be sent to you by mail. So envision getting the package in the
mail, and with trembling fingers opening it with your spouse,
pulling out the book, and holding it in your hands. Envision
it in every sensory detail. Where are you? What do you feel?
What does the book smell like? What time of day is it? What expression
do you see on your spouses face? How do you feel?
Every time you relax and envision your
goal, try to see new details you havent imagined before.
Make it as real and vivid as possible.
And allow yourself to imagine past that
point. What will you do next? What will happen afterwards? Imagine
the consequences of your achievement a week later, a month later,
a year later.
3. Sit up.
Dont lie down. When you lie down, your images tend to drift
more randomly and youre more likely to fall asleep. Sitting
up gives you better control of your images.
4. Do it several times a week. Spend some time on it. Ten to twenty minutes at
a time is good.
5. Dont force positivity. If something negative appears in your visualizations
and keeps popping up, consider it a message from your unconscious
mind or the mute right hemisphere of your brain, or your inner
wisdom. Consider it a message, and seek to discover the lesson.
What is it telling you that will help you achieve the goal? And
then visualize yourself resolving that problem and successfully
accomplishing your purpose.
6. Remember a success. It helps to first remember a goal youve
successfully achieved in the past. And then, in the same sitting,
imagine your new goal. Remembering past successes emotionally
enhances your visualizations of the future, and strengthens your
confidence in your ability to achieve your goals.
You have big goals. You work hard. If your
goal has seemed frustratingly elusive up until now, you might
have been missing this one vital ingredient: Clearly envisioning
If you have clearly envisioned your goal
but it still seems elusive, a belief about yourself
may be preventing you from realizing your goal. Read this to learn more about the barriers
to goal achievement. And use this to change your limiting beliefs.