“If you don’t know where you’re going, then any road will take you there,” said the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland. That is so true! Some people just wander aimlessly through life, living one day at a time. Then they wonder how they ended up where they are – stuck in a rut. These people lack purpose, direction and vision.
True success is following and achieving your dreams in life. It starts with a dream. Having a clear vision of what you want out of life is the first step towards success. You need to know what is important, what motivates you, and what you want to achieve. Every successful person starts with a vision. They visualize their desired end result in every venture. This applies to all facets of life, from a completed project to a successful business or a happy family. Stephen Covey, author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” calls this Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind.
What do you want to accomplish? Visualize yourself getting your book published. Visualize yourself getting a patent for your invention. Visualize yourself taking a trip to Europe. Your vision gives you a sense of purpose and direction. It provides focus and acts as a motivating force to help you succeed.
Our minds are very powerful. Oftentimes, what we focus on is what we get. So focus on success. Visualize yourself achieving your goals. Do so in great detail. For example, visualize yourself earning the recognition of your peers at an awards banquet when you receive the Top Employee of the Year award. The Master of Ceremonies has called your name, everyone is applauding and you walk up to receive your plaque. How do you feel? Probably pretty proud of yourself! Not only see yourself being successful, but feel it too.
When you stay focused on a positive outcome, opportunities oftentimes come your way. Jim Carey, comedian and actor, took this a step further. He wrote himself a check for ten million dollars for “Services Rendered”, dated it, and kept it in his pocket. When times were tough he would sit on a hillside overlooking Hollywood and imagine himself as a famous movie star. Then he’d reread his check as a reminder of his goal. A few years later he signed a deal for more than ten million dollars to star in The Mask. The date? Almost identical to the one written on the check that he kept in his pocket. This shows the power of visualization combined with an intense focus on your goal.
Visualization can be very powerful indeed. What do you want out of life? Visualize yourself living the kind of life you want. Having a crystal-clear vision is the first step towards success. Visualize your desired end result, stay focused on your goal, and you will achieve it. And you’ll experience the satisfaction that comes with achievement.
For more information on goal achievement, listen to the CD “Beyond New Year’s Resolutions: How to Set and Attain Your Goals“
You’ve just hung up the phone with an irate customer who “read you the riot act” for not receiving his order on time. You’re feeling uptight, tense and stressed out! What do you do? Do you take it out on your co-worker who stops by your desk to ask a question? Or do you find a way to calm yourself?
These are the occasions in which we wish we were someplace else – like on vacation where we’re laying on the beach on a remote island. Well, you can go there – if only in your mind. Visualization is a great way to relax yourself. You can take a little vacation in your mind for a few minutes, and come away feeling refreshed and revitalized.
Try this exercise. Shut your eyes, and take a slow, deep breath. As you breathe in, feel the tension in your body. As you breathe out, imagine the tension flowing out of your body. Take several deep breaths until your body feels completely relaxed. Now let your mind go back to a time and place in which you felt totally relaxed. It may be a favorite vacation spot, a childhood experience, or special time spent with a loved one. Relive that experience as you continue to breathe deeply. Transport yourself to that time and place. See yourself in your imagination doing what you did then – seeing the sights, hearing the sounds, and smelling those smells. Mentally relive that previous time and place until you feel wonderful relaxation wash over you. When you’re ready, open your eyes and come back to the present time.
I’ve used this exercise when I’ve felt like I couldn’t take it anymore and needed a break. It helped refresh me so I could focus on work again. So the next time you’re feeling tense and upset, take a little vacation in your mind. It will do you wonders!
If you’d like to learn more relaxation techniques you can do in the moment, then listen to “Managing Workplace Stress” CD.