We dream with images. While we may have some talking in our dreams, it is mostly visual. So much more can be said with an image than can be expressed with words. If you saw an image online, in many cases, you would not need a caption. However, to describe the same graphic without the ability to show it may require many words, and there’s no guarantee you’ll get it completely right.
It should come as no surprise that visualization can work in our conscious lives, too. When we create mental images of the life we want or situations we desire, it helps to solidify how to bring them about.
1. Internal vs. External Visualization
Try to imagine what you want internally, within your own mind. Think of this as a first person exercise. When you have a clear picture of that internal vision, imagine the situation as if you were someone else watching you, like in a movie or on television.
2. Create an Image of the Whole Picture
Instead of thinking about getting a promotion, think about the tasks of the job you’d like to get promoted to. Also, think about the people whose lives would be affected by you getting promoted. If you are going to get your own office, picture what that would be like and what you want in it. Tie back the tasks so that you can match that up with what is needed in your new office. The more detailed you can get with this, the more likely it will happen. Are you going to get an assistant? Imagine who that would be and how you are going to lead him or her.
3. Picture a Realistic Situation
You are not going to be president of your company next month if you just started in an entry-level position. While it’s perfectly feasible to become the president one day, imagining that scenario in your early stages is a waste of time. It’s okay to dream and to dream big, but set your sights on intermediate targets and build up from there.
4. Visualize the Small Things
We focus much of our energy dreaming of the big things we want. Often, the big accomplishments require smaller accomplishments to happen. We should try then, to imagine or visualize how those smaller accomplishments will play out.
5. Bring Back Your Imagination
When we become adults, we lose most of our imagination. For instance, if kids want to captain a spaceship, they simply imagine it. If adults publicly declare they want to captain a spaceship, and they don’t work for NASA, they are given a one-way ticket to a mental hospital. This causes adults to repress their ability to use imagination. Imagination can be a great way to make new discoveries, no matter how far out they may seem.
6. Learn What Others Visualize
We cannot think of every possible scenario, whatever it is we seek to achieve. When we learn what others are envisioning, we can bring that into our own visualizations, assuming they fit with what we want.
Action Steps to Take:
1. Use your imagination. For this task, let yourself picture anything out of the ordinary. It can be something you envisioned as a child or perhaps it is something your own child imagines. Write your imagery on paper.
2. Create a vision of your ideal society. Call it You World. How would the people in this society act? What kinds of jobs would they have? What would a typical neighbourhood look like? When you make visions like this, they are more likely to become reality, especially if others can see your vision.
3. Participate in forums geared towards visualization and the achievement of dreams. Read through what others have success with and ask questions, especially when new to the forums. Be an active participant and you will learn about the art of visualization.