The Power of Visualisation

Think about a positive outcome in your mind and act on it (courtesy of Learning Fundamentals)

We've all heard of Stephen Covey's saying - "Begin with the End in Mind" - which is one of his cardinal 7 Habits of Successful People. Well, let me add that "Beginning with a Positive End in Mind", coupled with visualising a positive outcome, is probably just as critical to success in any endeavour.

Before I go on, let me share that what I've experienced is purely from my own personal encounter. I'll be happy vouch for what I've encountered if you so wish to hear about them.

The principles behind the power of visualisation are nothing new. In fact, many athletes and their coaches, Hollywood superstars, and heads of states have used this principle in whatever they do. As far back as 1937, Napoleon Hill wrote his classic "Think and Grow Rich" which is a major bestseller even to this day.

Similar concepts and ideas are applied by motivational guru Anthony Robbins, and more recently Rhonda Byrne of "The Secret" and "The Power" fame.

What does positive visualising entail? Well, there are lots of permutations and combinations, but you could try this for a start (taken from this source):

First, find a tranquil corner of your home. Tranquility and calmness are two essential ingredients of what you are going to do.

Second, close your eyes, take some deep breaths. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Then start to observe your breath. It flows in and out in a regular way. The regularity gives you the tranquility and calmness. Try to achieve deep relaxation but do not sleep. :)

Next, imagine that your entire body and mind is relaxed, starting from your feet, your ankles, your calves, your knees, your legs and so on until you reach your head. At the end tell yourself that the whole body is completely relaxed. You will notice that your mind is still wandering from one thought to another but after your body is completely relaxed and you state it, your mind calms down and is under control.

Once in a while a thought may still pop up. You acknowledge it and let it go.

Now visualize the precise positive outcome you want. Let it be as real and as vivid as you can create it to be, engaging your five senses, your mind and your emotions. The more stirring it is, the better.

For example, let's just say that you would like to visualise yourself as a top university student. See yourself donning that graduate's mortar board and receiving an award from the Chancellor. Imagine your friends, family members and lecturers congratulating you.

Feel in your heart the jubilation of being the first, and savour (in your mind) the rewards which that brings you. Maybe your parents will bring you on a holiday to Europe, or give you a brand new car. Picture yourself driving that new vehicle or enjoying the sights of Paris, Rome or London.

The power of positive visualisation doesn't just apply to big ticket endeavours like graduation, a promotion, or a marriage to one's dream girl. It can also apply equally to smaller situations - getting a parking lot (oh boy, this is oh so true!), avoiding a queue for a hot ticket item, or being at the right place at the right time.

Visualisation can also help one to overcome fearful situations, kick out bad habits, improve self-esteem and usher in peace of heart and mind. I find that it works rather well in helping one to surmount stressful encounters like speaking one's mind to one's boss, or challenging the status quo in an environment that values business-as-usual.

Of course, achieving a positive result should not only engage the mind but involve the body. One shouldn't just spend one's time dreaming and visualising without taking concrete steps forward. Often, doing is believing too.

After you've affirmed yourself on a preferred outcome, work towards that direction. Move forward in a step of faith and take steps to achieve what you've visualised for. That is a definitive first step in realising success.

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