Vision is a powerful thing. Often it serves as the main motivation to achieve goals in our lives. The bigger the vision, the bigger the goals, and the more powerful the motivation to pursue our goals until we achieve success. It pushes us to move mountains and to reach for the stars to make our dreams a reality. Unfortunately, on the flip side, there are those who have a lack of vision. They only put stock in what they can see and touch. They only believe in the “what already is”, and not the “what can be”. Never mind that the “what already is” was once the “what can be, but what wasn’t yet”. They are not interested in the imagination and the visualization that it takes to create something new or make something that already exists better. Not only that, but they often revel in crushing the spirit, inspiration, and motivation of those that see the impossible as I’mPossible.
That is why if you are one of those creative souls that want to do what you set out to do, you must have a powerful support system in place to keep you on track when others intentionally or not try to derail you. One of the most powerful tools for doing this comes in the form of visualization. Visualization helps in making the intangible feel tangible and within your reach. While there are many ways to visualize your dreams and goals, we will discuss three of them in this article.
The first is the easiest and does not take much skill to master and that is creating a vision board for yourself. A vision board is essentially a board that you can hang on your wall that contains visual stimuli such as pictures of items that you want to have or do when you reach your ideal level of success in life to afford those things that you now only dream about. It does not matter what those items are because each person has a different idea of what success looks like to them. For some, it can be financial wealth, luxury homes, and vehicles. For others, it can be having the ability to travel and see the world with or without wealth. Some may choose to travel to help others or experience their way of life, you know, it doesn’t take lots of money to travel. For others, it may be moving to another area to live or doing work that they love. Vision boards can be as simple as pictures stuck to your walls, cork boards, magnetic boards, or a piece of cardboard. They come in all shapes and sizes. They can be elaborate or the simplest of creations. The important thing is that whatever they are they need to do two things. They need to motivate and inspire you to turn whatever is on that board (or something even better) into your reality. Bear in mind also that the items on your vision board will change as you continue to pursue your goals and you need to be open to that change. As you grow and change in your pursuit of success, so will your ideas of what is important to you. What you started with in the beginning that was motivating you may not appeal to you in the same way as you grow nearer to having the life that you want to live. Remember that your faith in achieving what is on your board is relative to what you have invested in it. The more care and effort you take in crafting it the more you have invested in it, and that will make it more real for you!
*** HERE’S A COUPLE OF BONUS TIPS!!***
It doesn’t hurt to place individual photos and or quotes at different points around your house where you will see them daily. A couple of good places for these are on your bathroom mirror and your refrigerator door.
Also, if you want to keep your vision board handy to look at various times during the day, take a picture of it with your smartphone. That way you can pull it up at an instant in your gallery and even zoom it to see whatever it is that inspires you at that moment.
The second tool that will help inspire you and lift you up when you are going through trying times is your very own “Future Reality Catalog”. This will take more time than creating your vision board and will be an ongoing project. This is a much more extensive tool that you can refer to when you need that boost to keep you moving forward. Think of it as a scrapbook of the things that you are working to achieve in the place of memories past. Unlike your vision board, instead of being a collage of the things that you want in life, this tool is more organized as you can index it into sections. You can refer to it in a specific manner to provide motivation on demand. Just like looking through your favorite catalog and browsing through the things you like to have, think of this as your own customized catalog. It will contain everything that you want in every area of your life and nothing that you don’t. This catalog is all about you, and if you wish, your spouse or special someone. This catalog can contain anything that you want. You don’t have to feel guilty about it because it is for your eyes only unless, that is, you want to share it with someone.
Again, you can make this as fancy or simple as you want but like your vision board, it must move you towards taking action to turn those pictures into your reality. For example, I will tell you how I created my personal Future Reality Catalog. I made a trip to the local office supply store and purchased a 4-inch metal ring binder with internal pockets and transparent sleeves on the outer covers. I also purchased a pack of 200 – 8.5” x 11” transparent sleeves with holes for the binder rings, and index pages with colored tabs that came with insertable tabs that you can write on for indexing your catalog with the types of things it will contain. Lastly, I bought a box of 8.5” x 11” thick stock paper, a couple of rolls of transparent tape, and some paste to glue pictures to the thick stock paper. I brought it home and spent a couple of hours setting it up. I used Adobe Photoshop to create a cover page of me and my wife well dressed for a night on the town and a few pictures of some of the big-ticket things that we wanted to have in our lives after we had achieved our ideal level of success. On the top of the page across our picture, I wrote in fancy script “The Fairchild Catalog of Our Future Reality”. I even created a nice little end insert for it so we could see it when tucked in on our bookshelf. (See below, pardon the photo quality)
We then spent the next few days as we had time cutting out pictures from magazines and printing pictures from the web of the things we wanted in our lives. These ranged from material possessions to travel, spirituality, health, and pictures of homes with interior and exterior shots that we loved. They didn’t have to be all a part of the same house; we created the home we wanted from a hodgepodge of different photos. I put pictures of cars I have had in the past and some that I always wanted (including a red 1987 Lamborghini Countach and yes, I am showing my age). We still to this day add and remove pictures as we grow to have a clearer vision of the life we desire to live. I have referred to this catalog time and again as I have encountered bumps in the road and major obstacles in working towards achieving what we want to have. It has been invaluable. Again, this catalog, like your vision board is only worth to you what you put into it. Make it something that sets you on fire every time you pick it up!
The last thing that I would like to talk to you about in this article is the art of visualization itself. This can be, and is for me, the most influential and motivating technique that I know of to help you engage in making your dreams a reality. This is also the hardest skill to master if you want to maximize its effectiveness in changing your way of thinking and its effect on your actions to move you farther than anything else in creating the life you desire to live. To prepare and initiate the visualization of your life as you would have it is imperative. For maximum effectiveness when you visualize, you need to clear your mind and your space of all distractions. You need to be in a state of quiet calmness akin to the state you want to be in when you meditate. A state where you can direct your sole focus on creating the pictures and “mind movies” if you will, of your life as you wish it to be, in the here and now. You can’t provide this kind of focus in an environment that is noisy, cluttered, or distracting. You need to create a personal sanctuary, be it big or small, where you can do this for a few minutes every day, uninterrupted. Do not bring your electronics anywhere near this area when you are ready to visualize. Don’t turn them down or put them on vibrate, turn them off and leave them in another room. Remember that despite what you may think people survived on this planet for uncounted centuries without cell phones, TURN IT OFF! It will be there when you finish.
For this exercise in visualization, you don’t have to bend yourself into an uncomfortable yoga position or sit Indian-style in front of a candle. You need a quiet, comfortable place where you feel safe and at ease. Sit with your eyes closed and breathe deep while clearing your mind of all the things that will happen or have happened today, depending on what time you choose to visualize. Once you are in a state of calm, create a picture in your mind of you in the here and now, already living the life of your dreams. You are happy, healthy, smiling, well-dressed, looking, and feeling great. You have all you need and want in abundance. You love others and they love you! Watch yourself as if you were immersed in a movie about your life being filmed in real-time. If you desire money, you have lots of it – more than you’ll ever need. If you desire a beautiful home, imagine yourself walking through its halls and rooms. Imagine yourself walking barefoot in the grass and the grounds that surround it. Take a swim in the pool, and fall back into your dreamy soft bed with big cushy pillows that you just sink into. Cook in your future kitchen (that every chef dreams of). Sit in your favorite seat in your vast living room or shoot pool and play video games in your decked-out game room. Slip into the seat behind the wheel of the vehicle that you always dreamed of but thought you could never have. Feel and smell the scent of the leather seats, and hear the engine rev as you put your foot on the accelerator. Feel the sand and the sun on your face and body as you lay on your favorite beach as you hear the surf roll in and smell the fresh salty air that surrounds you. See the palm trees sway in the breeze overhead as you sip your delicious drink without a care in the world and with no sense of time because you have no other place to have to be at this moment.
The goal of your visualization is that you need to immerse yourself completely in the experience, feel it, smell it, and see it as though you are there now, at this moment. You want to pick one thing to visualize at a time and only spend a few minutes to clear your mind and then only five to ten minutes visualizing. Any more than this and you will become distracted as your mind moves on to other thoughts. If you allow this to happen your visualization will not have the same impact on your subconscious mind. This is what you want to do by visualizing it to impact your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind cannot differentiate what is real from what is imagined if you believe it. After doing this exercise over and over you will soon find that your subconscious mind will begin directing you towards taking certain actions. It will guide you into situations and experiences that are conducive to moving you in the direction of the life you want to be living.
Then, before you realize what is happening, you will actually be living the life that you only dreamed about before. Ask any successful person about visualization and most will tell you that they always visualize any goal that they want to achieve as having already achieved it before ever actually doing it. Of course, you will always have to follow up visualization with action to get to where you want to be. Only thinking about something alone will never make it happen without action BUT visualization is a HUGE part of it! Make it happen.
“The goal of your visualization is that you need to immerse yourself completely in the experience, feel it, smell it, and see it as though you are there now, at this moment.”
By: T. Michael Fairchild, MCC