As a person, I have often stared blankly when asked, “what’s your goal in life?”. For a long time, I didn’t think life was a journey that came with goals. You pretty much get what you get and then work around it to be decently satisfied or so I thought.
With my growing interest in Self Development, I have started realizing just how important goals are – grand, scary yet glorious goals. Goals that are specific, ambitious and often goosebump-inducing are what make life worth it.
This reminds me of one of my favorite Hindi movies – Khamoshi – The Musical where Annie (played by Manisha Koirala) narrates her life story of being born to specially abled parents (who are unable to hear or talk). However, her big dream is to be a singer – to be the voice for her parents. She says it best when she says – woh zindagi hi kya jis mein koi namumkin sapna na ho? (What’s the point of living a life without a seemingly impossible dream?)
The role of visualization
You might be wondering where the whole idea of visualization fits into this conversation. To put it simply,
If your goal is an outline, then visualization is what fills in the colors to transform it into a vibrant painting Click To Tweet
The idea of visualization is to empower your mind to imagine and see yourself actually achieving the dream and the benefits that come along with it. The ideal way to do it is to find a quiet and peaceful place, sit straight, close your eyes and focus on your goal, trying to see and feel that you have actually achieved it.
If your goal is to lose weight, the idea is to see yourself as the slimmer version along with the perk of people complimenting you. If your goal is to give a successful TED talk, close your eyes, imagine yourself on the stage with the mic dangling near your chin, a presentation control in your hand, talking to the audience who are all enthralled and maybe even getting a standing ovation afterward.
The more detailed your visualization, the better it is supposed to work. A lot of successful people also talk about having used the art of visualization. Enough self-development experts advocate visualizing your dream either first thing in the morning or last thing before you sleep and often at both the times in a day. While I am not able to follow through with a disciplined routine of a specific time, I find it immensely relaxing and motivating to do the exercise, while taking a break at work. You can always find a comfortable time to do the exercise.
Does this mean you can just day-dream your way to achieving your goals? Not at all. The idea is that visualization is a tool that can aid and motivate you to work better towards your goal.
Benefits of Visualization
I have been using this technique of visualization for some time now and I can personally say I feel a difference. To me, visualization has quite a few benefits.
Your belief in your dream becomes stronger
When you start visualizing, the possibility of your achieving it seems more real. Since you actually see yourself and feel how it would like to have achieved the dream, the belief in it just becomes stronger. Your confidence in yourself of being able to achieve the goal is also bound to be boosted.
Visualization brings great focus on the goal
Very often we drift from one thing to the other in life, irrespective of whether we achieve it or not. Visualization, in a way, makes the goal an obsession. You are bound to become more perseverant and dogged in your efforts to achieve the goal. You will take it more seriously instead of simply shuffling between different vague ideas.
You start becoming conscious of opportunities around you
Since the time I have started blogging about Personal Finance, I know my ears pretty much perk up on even a passing mention of money. My brain has started processing such information very differently and connecting the dots in a way I didn’t think was possible. What visualization also does is give a lion’s share of your mind space to the goal that you are on to. It pretty much gets lodged into your subconscious and a lot of things that your conscious mind experiences or witnesses are run through a check to see if they fit anywhere in your goal achievement efforts.
You begin to take more chances to get closer to what you want
Most of us like to live safe lives. However, for most big dreams, we need to take risks and at least some chances that also come with possibly higher rewards. In basketball parlance, we try more shots from probably all corners of the court and as they say, the only shots you lose are the ones you don’t take at all. Visualization helps us realize what achieving the goal could mean and just how badly we want it. Personally, it leads me to take more chances and rationalize it saying – little to lose and much to gain.
You start tracking your progress and accounting for the small wins
As I mentioned earlier, visualization does NOT mean that all you need is to daydream and things come to you on a platter. However, the extra focus does make you chart out a path to the goal. Since you are already quite committed to your goal, and visualize it every day, you take any small win that comes your way and takes you further towards it. So, if your goal is a certain amount of net worth, you will be tracking it pretty closely and also acknowledge any small wins that come your way.
What do you think about visualizing your goals? Have you tried it? What’s your experience been? Let me know in the comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org