Dream Your Way To Success

Think visualization is easier said than done? Here's a technique you can do in your sleep.

Have you ever gone to sleep with a problem and awakened with the solution? What if you could make it happen consciously? What if you could literally solve your problems in your sleep? Imagine how much more quickly you could achieve your goals (not to mention your New Year’s resolutions) if your sleeping hours were as productive as your waking ones?

Experts on visualization insist that it can be done. Dr. William Guillory, CEO of Innovations International, says there is limitless potential for the use of your subconscious mind–even while you doze.

“The only difference between the sleep state and being awake, from a creativity standpoint, is that you’ve pulled the shade down and made the room dark,” says Guillory. “You’re resting your body but your mind is at work. In fact, your mind is optimally receptive to visualization during sleep because all of the smokescreens and distractions of the busy day are absent.”

In Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life (New World Library, $19.95), by Shakti Gawain, the author says that “being, doing, and having are like a triangle where each side supports the others.” But, she notes, people often attempt to live their lives in reverse. “They try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happy.”

In fact, “you must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want,” Gawain says. The purpose of creative visualization is to help you put those steps in their proper order. Visualization connects you with your being, which helps to focus and facilitate what you do and deepens and expands what you have as well as how you feel.

Guillory, who practices sleep-state visualization nightly, says that while all visualization techniques are helpful, many people overlook the opportunity to utilize their sleeping time. In so doing, they’re missing out on an invaluable success tool.

“People don’t give enough credit to how powerful the mind is when it’s given proper instruction,” he says. “You have nothing to lose in exploring this and everything to gain. But doing so requires a leap of faith in oneself and in one’s potential.”

It also requires practice and patience. If you’re just starting out, start small. Form a question and make it specific and finite so that the answer is easily recognizable. For example, instead of asking yourself, “How do I get my next promotion?” ask, “What must I do to get extraordinary results in my current job?” Try to focus your questions as much as possible on you, rather than on those around you. For example, if you’re in the midst of a dispute with your mother, ask what you can do to heal the relationship rather than what you can do to change her.

Some answers may come in the form of dreams. Others will be as plain as day. But as you refine your practice of

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