“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”
~ Louisa May Alcott
What do you call a person who sees things that don’t exist? Crazy, huh? Well, what do you call a person who sees things that don’t exist YET? How about a person who sees a nonexistent amusement park in the middle of a uninhabited Florida swamp…then proceeds to make it happen? Walt Disney!
We all know of people who “see” a vision of something that hasn’t happened yet or doesn’t exist yet. We call them visionaries. Yet we all have this capability. You, too, can be a visionary, by using the same skills you use when you remember something. When you remember, you recall:
- Feelings and
Inside your head, you see, feel, smell, touch and hear things remembered just as if it were really happening again now.
Imagine how useful it would be if you could remember the FUTURE. Instead of just recalling the past, you could remember things that haven’t happened yet. Actually, many of us do this already… we call it “worry”. Think about what we do when we worry about something. In our minds, we imagine all sorts of bad things happening. Often, we can see these imagined events clearly taking place, and then we see all the terrible side effects.
Worry is a complete waste of imagination.
Mark Twain said “most of my life’s worst experiences never actually happened”. Instead, what if we use our brain’s talent for imagining things happening to plan more effectively. In her autobiography, Grandma Moses said, “What a strange thing is memory and hope. One looks backward and the other forward”. Let’s use our imaging skills to help produce positive results.
Olympic athletes do it all the time. Remember the last time you were watching the Olympic games? You may have noticed how many of the athletes talked about how they “visualized” their event. Long before the actual event, they practice by imagining themselves winning their event. And they do it in complete detail. Inside their heads they picture themselves at the starting line. Then they imagine they hear the starter’s gun. Next, they feel themselves coming up out of the starting blocks and starting to run. They feel the track beneath their feet, hear the roar of the crowd and see the finish line ahead of them. Finally, they picture themselves breaking the tape, feeling joyous and triumphant and being congratulated by all their fellow athletes.
All this is called “visualizing”. It is the same as remembering the event before it happens, so you can plan exactly what you want to do. You can use this skill to plan how to accomplish what you want. You can also use it to prepare to deal with problems if and when they arise (a much better approach than just worrying).
If you are new to visualization, here is a way to practice. Go get a glass full of water. Look at it carefully, noticing all the details. Now, shut your eyes and try to continue to see the glass full of water in your mind. You may need to open your eyes a couple times to get a glimpse of the “real” glass of water. Keep at it until you can clearly see the glass of water in your mind.
Next, visualize the glass again with less water. Open your eyes, the glass is full; close your eyes and the imaginary glass is partially empty. Keep at it until you can readily bring up the image of the partially full glass.
- How can you make this picture in your mind come true?
- You could drink some of the water from the real glass.
- You could pour some,
- Let it evaporate, or
- Give some away.
There are many ways to make an imagined situation come true.
What possibilities does that open to us? What if we could picture our future the way we prefer it to be? If you can remember the future, you can create a plan to get you there.
This is called Proactive Futuring. There are three kinds of people in this world:
- Those who MAKE things happen – Inventors,
- Those who WATCH things happen (and complain) – Resentors,
- Those who don’t know what’s happening – Consentors
INVENT your own future.
Decide what you want, your preferred future, and then use visualization as your key to actualization. Turn your daydreams into your 36-month view, in your mind’s eye, of your business and your life. You can always be successful in your imagination. Then you can develop a specific plan of action toward your goals, including contingency plans for possible barriers.
This is truly a case of “what you see (visualize) is what you get”. Imagination is a preview of life’s coming attractions.
Remember, it’s your future.