Audio for Day 19
Welcome to Day 19
Today is a continuation of envisioning what you want. A coach I worked with recently told me she had envisioned every detail of the house she wanted. She almost gave in to another house but held out and soon after found the exact house she pictured. Jack Canfield, a well-known author in the self-help/motivational field visualized the house he wanted for years. One day on his travels, he found the exact home he pictured. And bought it. He said, “The daily practice of visualizing your dreams as already complete can drastically quicken your realization of your dreams, goals and ambitions.”
He’s right. Every single thing we use every day first existed in someone’s imagination. Landing on the moon? A president’s vision. Your cell phone. Someone imagined the idea of having a personal phone. My waterfront home to be? Someone had to imagine it or it would never be built. And it’s not just the creative inventor types who need to spend time imagining. It’s for all of us just like when we were kids. Remember the blanket forts, the tea parties, the games? I have all brothers. We created intricate pathways and villages in our front yard for our little cars to drive on. And our big thrill? The new floor in the upstairs bedroom had a pattern on it just wide enough to fit our little cars! More time to imagine. Time to get back to the fun of it all, don’t you think?
One of the components in envisioning is using a lot of detail. The more detail the better you feel. The more you give your brain to look for, the easier it is to attract what you want. Save the generalizations for the negative things. If you’ve got something negative going on in your life, don’t make a huge list of each wrong thing, each person who hurt your feelings and so on. That’s letting the story win. Doing so will build negative momentum that is hard to redirect. You’ll end up needing that nap! Instead say something like, “Things are not going the way I wish they were with _________ or at ______.” And then move on to a better feeling thought, something from those lists you’ve made of what makes you happy, or grateful or makes you laugh. Give as little power to your negative stories as possible or your brain will start imagining the details as you relive it. Remember, it doesn’t know the difference between real or imagined. Telling may not release as many negative hormones as living the event but why risk any?
Does that mean you should never vent? No. At times you need to release all that so that you can let it go and move forward. Find someone who will listen without necessarily trying to fix things, or write it out, or cry it out, or punch a pillow. Then Let. It. Go. I mean it. Let it go. Don’t make me sing. I will if I have to.
My friend Annie came up with a name for this process many years ago as she struggled with terminal cancer. We drove to her house in Maine once a month, a 5 hour drive each way. She had to tell someone about all the horrible things that were happening to her body during all the treatments that ultimately didn’t save her. We gave ourselves 30 minutes to vent and that was all. The other 4 and a half hours were about pleasant things. She named the process “Bitch and Ditch” which I’ve now modified to “Bitch, Ditch, and Switch”. So get it out – once, not to everyone you know – and then ditch it and switch to something better. If she could do it, so can the rest of us.
So what does all this have to do with envisioning? It’s all about time spent thinking about what you want and going a step further if you have the time to make a vision board. When I taught this to my students over 16 years ago in the Strategies for Success Program, this was a new concept but it’s become more mainstream since Oprah first shared it about 10 years ago. Basically it’s a visual representation of what you want. Mine is on a cardboard science project backboard so I can drag it around the house to whatever room I work in. On it are all sorts of pictures including that coastal house I talked about. There are apps now I believe that allow you to do a virtual vision board or you could devote an album in your photos for this. They’re good too as long as you look at them regularly.
Why does this work? You know the old saying that ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. It’s true because our brains process images better than words. That’s why Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest among others are such big hits. Even Twitter had to add on pictures. We love pictures so why not collect ones of the things we want most in our lives?
I had mine attached to the bulletin board near my desk at school that had a Fiji water bottle attached. Why? Because I wanted to win a trip to Fiji for the last of Tony Robbins’ seminars. I was told by his foundation that there was someone who might be unable to go and if that was the case, the ticket was mine. I was so excited!! Who wouldn’t be? A trip to Fiji to study with Tony?
I came in one day and the bottle had fallen off. That afternoon I got the call that the person had confirmed and I was not going. I was disappointed to be sure but ultimately I was where I was supposed to be. I was in school on that dreadful morning on September 11, 2001 where I was called upon to help my school cope. Coincidence? Maybe. But how amazing that just posting a Fiji bottle got me close to going to Fiji!
My students over the years that I taught Strategies to reported back to me how quickly the things on their vision boards were happening. I had the Oprah Winfrey Show on mine. I even had pictures I took of Harpo Studios that I took on a trip to Chicago. Not only did I get to the Oprah show. I got to go on the most desired day of the year, the “Favorite Things’ show, the last one. Again…coincidence or serious, long term envisioning?
Your mission: If you have the time, start gathering pictures of what you want your life to be. Attach them to something if you’re using a physical board or set up your virtual one. Put it somewhere you see it daily and let your RAS do the rest.
Have a great day!
P.S. Now you can choose to continue to the next day or wait until tomorrow. Either way, here's a link to the next chapter.