Last June (2019), someone suggested that I should read ‘The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches’ – by Joe Karbo – first published in 1994. Although some of it is dated and the internet has replaced a lot of marketing, what did catch my eye was the power of visualization. I had moved into a house that became a ‘project’ from the minute I moved in and over the last couple of years, I had made lots of improvements – new double glazing throughout, new doors, turned the garage into a kitchen and so on. Definitely more work and more cost than I ever thought there would be. I needed to transform the garden, get the outside of the house painted and get some tarmac down on the long drive – but finances were not great at that time and I didn’t know whether I would ever be able to afford to do everything I wanted to do.
So I read the book and decided to try the power of visualization – what was there to lose? I wrote a few paragraphs about how I was sitting in my beautiful garden with a newly painted house with my new car sitting on my tarmac drive ……. And I read this every morning and every night diligently for 90 days – often out loud sometimes to myself – and visualized it each time. And then got to say that I didn’t think about it again until recently when I realized that one year later, my garden is transformed, my house is painted, I’ve got a new car (exactly the model that I had visualized) AND my new drive.
Visualization works because the brain can’t tell the difference between imagination and reality. And when we visualize something, the brain generates an impulse that tells our neurons to ‘perform’ the activity. Our mind is so powerful.
Try the ‘Lemon test’ and this will help you to understand how the brain works in this way ….. close your eyes and imagine reaching out for a lemon to put into your G & T, you cut a slice off and look at how juicy it is. Put it in your mouth and taste it – what happens? It’s sour and your face will show the same expression as if you actually had a piece of lemon in your mouth ……
It’s important that you should imagine the specific situation in as many details as possible using all your senses – so that you can see it, smell it, hear it, feel it and taste it. Make sure that you always write in the present tense and start with “I”. Your brain will think that you already own your visualization – and subconsciously you will start acting as if you do.
Visualization can work every day. As soon as you open your eyes, begin visualizing your day as the best day it could possibly be. Think about your schedule for the day and watch yourself walking through it with optimism and confidence. See yourself finishing the jobs you keep putting off, having a brilliant meeting with that potential new client or doing the best presentation ever. Make sure that you add as much detail as you can in that vision and imagine what it will feel like to achieve that goal.
In fact, visualization has been used for a long time in sports. Muhammad Ali used visualization in his career and his famous quote was “If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it – then I can achieve it”. And Oprah Winfrey said “Anything you can imagine, you can create.”
Visualization can also help you to reduce stress as well and is used as an effective stress management tool. Visualizing yourself remaining calm and focused in a difficult conversation or situation helps you condition your neural pathways as a familiar behaviour the same way you recall a memory.
Hypnotherapy can also help with the process as during trance, the two minds come together and focus on the same thing. When we are in that state, we have access to the subconscious mind and you will be at a heightened level of suggestibility and focused awareness. In this state, beneficial suggestions can be placed directly into the subconscious mind.