Episode 10 – Visualise Your Future
Hello and welcome to the show!
Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is everything, it is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
Today I’m going to be talking about visualisation and how so powerful it is. It’s a great tool for you to use and the great news is, that everyone has the ability to visualise. We all do it daily. You would be surprised how many times a day you will visualise. It’s the act of creating vivid pictures and images in your mind. It’s one way of totally accelerating your achievement to success. It does it in three powerful ways.
One. – It awakens the creative powers in your subconscious mind.
Two. – It helps you start taking notice of available resources that were already there but previously went unnoticed. The way it does this is by making your brain focus by programming its reticular activating system, also known as (RAS).
Three. – It awakens the law of attraction and begins to magnetise you to the resources, people and all the opportunities out there, that you need to achieve all of those goals that you have been working on.
Because the law of attraction basically states that anything that you think about, everything you talk about, all those things that you fantasize about and everything that you feel strongly about, you will attract into your life.
This activity is under-taught and underused, it has the ability to accelerate your success, so why not use it?? It’s a dynamic that we all have the ability to access, to deepen and speed up the process of achieving things that we really want.
We weren’t taught this in school. So just imagine what you could have achieved by now if you were taught everything about visualisation, believing in yourself, and the art of goal setting! Imagine how different your life would be!
Anything you might do in real life, researchers have found, that the brain uses the same processes it would use if you were only vividly imagining or visualising that activity. So, in other words, your brain sees absolutely no difference between you visualising something and you actually doing that same activity. Quite simply put, visualisation makes the brain achieve so much more. This applies also to learning something new. There was some research done at Harvard University in the States. They found that the students that visualised in advance, performed their tasks with 100% accuracy, and the students that didn’t visualise only received a result of 55% accuracy. It’s just another example of the power of visualisation.
Professional sportspeople, sports psychologists and peak performance experts have been using this powerful tool since the 1980s. The legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus used the power of visualisation with every shot he made and look how successful he became with 117 professional wins under his belt and is now worth over $300 million dollars. Visualisation works so well when it comes to enhancing performance whether it be sports or recreational activities.
So what we know is that when you visualise a result, your subconscious mind does everything it possibly can to figure out how to get you that result. It’s like a missile that’s seeking its target. But it has to have a target. So, you’ve set a vision but now you programmed that vision, that target into our brain, through affirmations and visualisation. By doing this on a daily basis it sets up a process in your brain that will figure out how to get you where you want to go.
So when we have a vision of something we want but we don’t have it in reality, I want that car, I don’t have it, I want that house, I don’t have it, I want to earn a million dollars a year, I don’t have it, that’s your vision versus your reality, so it creates a structural tension. So you’re visualising you’re in Paris, France in front of the Eiffel Tower, but you’re in your shack in the outback, so your brain goes, wait a second you crazy person, you’re in the outback right now. Now to get rid of that tension one of two things has to happen.
One. You either have to give up the dream or get yourself to Paris. Then the tension releases. So, we’re purposely creating tension in your brain, so that your brain will solve the problem.
As you visualise your goal as already complete each and every day, it will create that conflict in your subconscious between what you are visualising and what your current reality is. So your subconscious begins working on ways to resolve the issue, by trying to turn your current situation into the new more exciting vision.
So, what happens is that over time with constant visualisation, three things happen:
One. You will get a shift in perception. It begins to program your brain’s RAS to start letting in some awareness of anything that will assist you in achieving what you want to achieve.
Two. Your subconscious mind starts to get creative, giving you some solutions for getting what you want. You’ll start getting ideas in the shower or while you’re driving your car, or while you’re taking a long walk.
Three. It will help you reach a new level of motivation. You will begin to notice that you are actually doing things that help you get to your goal faster. All of a sudden you are paying off your credit card debt, you’ll speak up more in meetings, you’re saving up for something you’ve wanted for so long or you might be taking more risks in your personal life.
So basically there are opportunities in your life that are solutions to your problems, that are things that could support you, customers, clients, ideas, books, seminars enrolments, all kinds of things that you don’t see because you’ve filtered them out because you’re focussing on current reality. You can’t focus on both at the same time, you can only focus on one, so what happens is that when you do that, you actually miss the opportunities that come with focussing on your vision. So I want you to focus on your vision so it opens up doors to see what you need to see.
So once you’ve visualised it, you’ve got this vision, you’ve done your affirmations, you’re now visualising it, you begin to see all the things that come up for you, what happens next is that you’re going to start getting impulses to “act”. The problem with most people is that they don’t act on the impulses. Now I’m not talking about impulse buying at your shopping centre or at the supermarket when you buy the stuff you don’t need. I’m talking about intuitive inspirations, that people don’t do. You’re sitting there and you’re thinking about doing this project and you’re visualising it, and then all of a sudden you get a thought, “oh I should call John.” Then you think to yourself, well that doesn’t have anything to do with my project, so you don’t call him. But if you had called John at that moment, there might have been a guy sitting in his office, that could’ve been the very person you need to talk to, to take your business to the next level.
Or you might get an inspiration to pull off the road to a little cafe, but you don’t do it. But in the line at that a cafe you might have met your new business partner, even a potential client or the very person who could’ve funded your project. You never know. But you have to be willing to follow these inspirations. When it came to me to make a podcast about the principles of success, I acted on it. I took action. There’s a future episode on taking action, which I will go through in detail. But for now, I want you to trust your intuition. There will be times where a thought will come into your head and you’ll think, wow, where did that come from. Trust it.
At any one time, there are about 11 million pieces of information entering your brain. Now obviously you can’t attend to all of these and nor do you need to. So the RAS does its job in filtering out most of them, only letting in the signals the can help you survive and achieve the goals that are most important to you.
You may be wondering how does the RAS know what to filter in and what to filter out? It will let in anything that will assist you in achieving the goals you have set for yourself and what you are constantly visualising and affirming to yourself. It starts to let in anything that matches your beliefs and images about yourself, other people and even the world. This powerful tool will only look for ways to help you by matching the pictures that you give it. Your creative subconscious doesn’t think in words, it thinks with images. So make sure those images are in vivid colour, they are specific and extremely compelling, this way your subconscious will go out there and seek and capture all the information necessary to manifest the results you want.
If you provide it with a $10,000 problem, it will come up with a $10,000 solution, if you provide it with a $1 million dollar problem it will come up with a $1million dollar solution. It’s that simple.
If you give it pictures of a lovely home, wonderful holidays, a loving partner, or an exciting career it will go to work on achieving those. But by contrast, if you are constantly feeding it negative images, fearful and anxious pictures – guess what? – it will work on achieving those too.
The process for visualising your future is simple, close your eyes, and see your goals as already complete.
Now, of course, there are more things you have to do to make it more vivid. So using the lovely home as an example, let’s say you want a beach house. Close your eyes and imagine yourself walking through that exact home, going through all the rooms. Fill in all the details, take in all the colours, the furniture, what does the exterior look like, what is the landscaping like, what kind of view does it have, smell the sea air, as you’re walking, feel the floor under your feet, what type of floor is it. Go room by room and vividly take in all the details that you want in each room and as I always say, have fun with it. This exercise is for any goal in any area of your life. It could be work, family, personal finances, relationships, or recreational activities. Write them down, review them, affirm them, and visualise them every day.
So before you go to bed and when you wake up in the morning this is what I would like you to do.
Read all of your goals out loud one at a time, close your eyes and visualise them as already been achieved, remembering to see what you would see if that goal had already been achieved, what colours would you see, who would you see, which building are you in, re-create the visual image of the completed goal in your mind.
Remember to feel the feelings you would feel if that goal had already been achieved. Continue through your list pausing after each one. This may take around 10-15 minutes depending on how many goals and how detailed they need to be.
Another tip, if you meditate, do your visualisations right after your meditation because you are still in that deepened state and in turn that will heighten the impact of your visualisations.
While you do your visualisations make sure you increase the effect by adding sounds, smells and tastes, and feelings to your images. What emotions and bodily sensations would you be feeling if you had already achieved everything you wanted. With the example of the beach house, you might add the sounds of the waves crashing on the rocks, or your children playing in the sand or the sound of your spouse calling you from the beach to come out to the sand. Add in the feelings of pride of ownership, the satisfaction of actually achieving that goal, the feeling of the sun on your face as you sit on your deck chair looking out at a beautiful sunset over the ocean. As I said before you really need to put emotions into your visualisations as these emotions are what will propel your vision forward. Research has shown that when accompanied by intense emotions, an image or scene can stay locked in your memory forever.
I’m sure you remember exactly where you were when the World Trade Centre collapsed on September 11, 2001, or when the West Gate Bridge collapsed on 15th October 1970. Your brain remembers it in great detail, not only did your brain filter the information you needed for survival but also the images themselves were created with intense emotion.
I don’t want to get too technical, but these intense emotional feelings actually stimulate the growth of additional spiny protuberances on the dendrites of brain neurons, they sort of branch out like tree branches. Anyway, once this happens it creates more neural connections, thus locking in the memory much more solidly.
By the same token, you can bring this same emotional intensity to your own visualisations by adding your favourite inspiring music, some real-life smells, a deeply felt passion and if you have a goal that is a really exciting one and it is appropriate to shout from the roof-tops, its a great exercise if you shout out your goals and affirmations out loud with great enthusiasm.
So, with more excitement, passion, and energy that you can muster, the more powerful and accelerated will be your result.
Some clients have said to me, I don’t see anything when I visualise.
Some people are what psychologists call eidetic visualisers. They close their eyes and they see everything in bright, clear, and colourful three dimensional images. Most of us, however, are non-eidetic visualisers. What this means is that you don’t so much see your visions but you think it instead. This is perfectly fine and works just as well for you. Work with the same process I have explained twice a day and every day and you will receive the same benefit as those who claim to actually see the images. If you have trouble seeing your goals you can use photos and symbols you collect to keep your conscious and subconscious mind focused on them. For example, if your goal is to own the latest BMW, drive yourself down to your local BMW dealer and get the salesperson to take a photo of you sitting behind the wheel in the car of your dreams. If you have a goal of visiting Paris, get or print a poster of the Eiffel Tower, cut out a picture of yourself and place it at the base of the tower as if someone had taken a photo of you in Paris and then place it on your vision board. If you want to be a millionaire, write yourself a cheque for a million dollars or print out one of your bank statements and change the balance to a million dollars.
Jack Canfield and Victor Hansen who created the Chicken Soup for Soul book series made a mock-up of the New York Times bestsellers list with the original Chicken Soup for the Soul in the number one spot. Within 15 months, that dream became a reality. Four years later, they made a Guinness Book Record for having seven books on the New York Times Bestsellers list at the same.
I want to talk a little now about having a vision board. Once you have created these images you can create a vision board, or a three-ring binder, a dream board, or treasure map. You might want to create a collage of images on a bulletin board, wall, or even on your refrigerator door, they need to be places where you will see them every day. There are so many fun ways you can create something that is visually appropriate for you. Mine is right n front of me in my office on the wall above the computer, so there is no way I can miss it, the images are literally embedded my brain daily so there is no escaping them, which is a good thing!
One of President John F Kennedy’s promises was to put a man on the moon before the decade was out. He made this promise at Rice University in Houston on September 12, 1962. He said;
“We shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away, a giant rocket, more than 300 feet tall, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth. But why some say the moon, why choose this as our goal, and they may well ask, why climb the highest mountain, why 35 years ago fly the Atlantic, we choose to go to the moon, we choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” Because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and therefore as we set sail, we ask God’s blessing, on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.”
So, NASA got to work on making his vision a reality. They started work on putting a man on the moon. They created a huge picture of the moon covering the entire wall, from floor to ceiling in their main construction area. Everyone involved was clearly visualising the goal, and they reach their goal two years ahead of schedule!
In 1995, John Assaraf, from the movie the secret created a vision board of all his goals and placed it on the wall in his office. He visualised daily by closing his eyes and imagining his goals as already complete. Five years later he moved to his new home in Southern California. A few weeks later he was in his office and he still hadn’t unpacked all the boxes and his son came in and sat on one of the boxes that had been in storage for over four years, and said, what’s in these boxes. John replied oh they’re my vision boards. His son didn’t understand what he meant so John went over to him and opened one of the boxes and took out one of the vision boards. John smiled as he looked at them because he had achieved most of them including a Mercedes Sports, a watch and some other items. But as he pulled out the second vision board, he began to cry. On that board was the picture of the house they had just moved into, not a house like it, but the actual house!
A 7000square foot home that sits on 6 acres of spectacular views, with a 3000 square foot guest house, an office complex a tennis court, and 320 orange trees. This photo he had placed on his board was a photo he had cut out of a Dream Homes magazine, 4 years earlier!
If this doesn’t start you visualising I don’t know what will!
Set aside time each and every day to visualise every one of your goals as already complete. It’s one of the most important things you can do to make your dreams come true.
So, gotta have a vision aligned with your purpose, turn it into goals, make sure you have your affirmations clear. Visualise it with your affirmation, feel the feelings intensely. You’ll start to get inspirations to take action, you’ll start to see more resources. Take those actions, ask for feedback, pay attention to the feedback, persevere, continue, and then you get to celebrate!
Some psychologists are now claiming that one hour of visualisation is worth 7 hours of physical effort. Now that’s a tall claim by any stretch of the imagination. But it makes an important point – visualisation is one of the strongest tools in your success toolbox. So make sure that you use it!
You don’t need to do this for a whole hour, 10 – 15 minutes is plenty. I recommend doing the “Hour of Power” which is 20 minutes of visualisation and meditation, 20 minutes of exercise, and 20 minutes of reading inspirational or informational books. So get up an hour earlier every morning and try it. Try it for 30 days and see what happens. I would love to hear from you and to hear what has changed for you.
Imagine what would happen to your life if you did these activities every day.
So, gotta have a vision, aligned with your purpose, turn it into goals, make sure you have your affirmations clear. Visualise it with your affirmation, feel the feelings intensely. You’ll start to get inspirations to take action, you’ll start to see more resources. Take those actions, ask for feedback, pay attention to the feedback, persevere, continue, and then you get to celebrate!
Thank you for listening, I hope this episode has helped you understand visualisation and how important it is in increasing the quality of your life.
If you would like more information you can go to yourroadtosuccesspodcast.com.au where you can access some free resources such as an eBook on how to make your vision board come to life! As well as the link to signup to my monthly newsletter.
And If you could leave a review wherever you listen to your podcast that would be lovely.
That’s it from me and I will leave you as always with a quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger:
“Create a vision of who you want to be, and then live into that picture as if it were already true.”
Thanks, Arnold and thank you for being here.
Have a wonderful and successful week!