Picture This

Creative visualization is a key success skill. Here's why peak performers make a habit of it.

to develop your vision, your ability to tap into it, and your mastery to give it shape and meaning. Here are five basic steps, culled from the classic primer Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Your Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life by Shakti Gawain (New World Library, $19.95), to get you started:

  • Set your goal. What do you want? Choose something fairly easy for you to believe in. Later, you can move on to more challenging goals.
  • Create a vision. In a quiet, relaxed state, bring to mind a picture or an idea of your goal exactly as you want it to unfold. Include as many details as you can.
  • Focus on it regularly. Choose a time — perhaps the beginning or end of each day — to relax and focus on your idea for 10 to 20 minutes. Think about it casually throughout the day as well.
  • Reinforce and affirm it. As you focus on your vision, push any doubts away by making strong, positive statements to yourself.
  • Stick with it. Watch as your inner vision gives new shape to your entire life.

B.E.’s Successpert Speaks:
Why do high achievers swear by creative visualization as a success tool? Simply, because it works, says William A. Guillory, Ph.D., of Salt Lake City-based Innovations Consulting International Inc. “Once you create a picture in your mind of the way you’d like things to be, the mind begins to move toward creating that,” says Guillory, author of The Living Organization: Spirituality in the Workplace (Innovations International, $14.95). “But,” he adds, “creative visualization must be supported by plans, prioritization, and action to supplement the creation of that picture.” His advice? Make your vision:

Clear. The more detailed you picture your goal, the easier it is to achieve it. The less detailed the picture, the more difficult it is for your mind to move toward your goal.

Complete. Even though it’s called visualization, don’t limit yourself to pictures in your mind. Use all of your senses — taste, touch, sound, smell, as well as sight. Also, imagine how you will feel after accomplishing your goal: the pride, triumph, satisfaction, or excitement you associate with landing that promotion, finishing a marathon, reaching your ideal body weight, or closing a deal.

Focused. Unconsciously, we already practice visualization — the key is to do it consciously. Random visualization leads to unfocused activity and inconsistent, random results. Focused visualization leads to consistent, focused results.


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