March 25, 2024

10 Visualization Exercises to Have, Be And Do Anything You Want

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Visualization exercises for success—Visualization or the act of creating compelling and vivid pictures in your mind—may be the most underutilized success tool you possess because it greatly accelerates the achievement of any success in three powerful ways.

  1. Visualization activates the creative powers of your subconscious mind.
  2. Visualization focuses your brain by programming its reticular activating system (RAS) to
    notice available resources that were always there but were previously unnoticed.
  3. Visualization magnetizes and attracts to you the people, resources, and opportunities you need to
    achieve your goal.

When you perform any task in real life, researchers have found, your brain uses the same identical processes it would use if you were only vividly visualizing that activity.

In other words, your brain sees no difference whatsoever between visualizing something and actually doing it. This principle also applies to learning anything new.

Harvard University researchers found that students who visualized in advance performed tasks with nearly 100% accuracy, whereas students who didn’t visualize achieved only 55% accuracy. Visualization simply makes the brain achieve more.

And though none of us were ever taught this in school, sports psychologists and peak performance experts have been popularizing the power of visualization since the 1980s.

Almost all Olympic and professional athletes now employ the power of visualization.

Jack Nicklaus, the legendary golfer with more than 100 tournament victories and over $5.7 million in winnings, once said, “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. It’s like a color movie.

First I ‘see’ where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes, and I ‘see’ the ball going there: its path, trajectory, and shape, even its behavior on landing.

Then there’s sort of a fade-out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality.

#1. How Visualization Exercises Can Enhance Performance.

When you visualize your goals as already complete each and every day, it creates a conflict in your subconscious mind between what you are visualizing and what you currently have.

Your subconscious mind tries to resolve that conflict by turning your current reality into the new, more exciting vision. This conflict, when intensified over time through constant visualization, actually causes four things to happen:

  1. It programs your brain’s RAS to start letting into your awareness anything that will help you achieve your goals.
  2. It activates your subconscious mind to create solutions for getting the goals you want. You’ll start waking up in the morning with new ideas. You’ll find yourself having ideas in the shower, while you are taking long walks, and while you are driving to work.
  3. It creates new levels of motivation. You’ll start to notice you are unexpectedly doing things that take you to your goal.
  4. All of a sudden, you are raising your hand in class, volunteering to take on new assignments at work, speaking out at staff meetings, asking more directly for what you want, saving money for the things that you want, paying down a credit card debt, or taking more risks in your personal life.

#2. How the RAS Works (Reticular Activating System) as a Visualization Tool.

Let’s take a closer look at how the RAS works. At any one time, there are about 8 million bits of information streaming into your brain—most of which you cannot attend to, nor do you need to.

So your brain’s RAS filters most of them out, letting into your awareness only those signals that can help you survive and achieve your most important goals. So how does your RAS know what to let in and what to filter out?

It lets in anything that will help you achieve the goals you have set and constantly visualize and positively affirm

It also lets in anything that matches your beliefs and images about yourself, others, and the world.

The RAS is a powerful tool, but it can only look for ways to achieve the exact pictures you give it. Your creative subconscious doesn’t think in words—it can only think in pictures.

So how does this help your effort to become successful and achieve the life of your dreams? 

When you give your brain specific, colorful, and vividly compelling pictures to manifest—it will seek out and capture all the information necessary to bring that picture into reality for you.

If you give your mind a $10,000 problem, it will come up with a $10,000 solution. If you give your mind a $1 million problem, it will come up with a $1 million solution.

If you give it pictures of a beautiful home, an adoring spouse, an exciting career, and exotic vacations, it will go to work on achieving those.

By contrast, if you are constantly feeding it negative, fearful, and anxious pictures—guess what?—it will achieve those, too.

#3. Visualization Tools And Exercises For a Beautiful Future.

The process of visualizing exercises for success is really quite simple. All you have to do is close your eyes and see your goals as already complete.

If one of your objectives is to own a nice house on the lake, then close your eyes and see yourself walking through the exact house you would like to own.

Fill in all of the details.

What does the exterior look like?

How is it landscaped? What kind of view does it have?

What do the living room, kitchen, master bedroom, dining room, family room, and den look like? How is it furnished? Go from room to room and fill in all of the details.

Make the images as clear and bright as possible. This goes for any goal you make—whether it’s in the area of work, play, family, personal finances, relationships, or philanthropy.

Write down each of your goals and objectives, then review them, affirm them, and visualize them every day.

Then, each morning when you awake and each night before you go to bed, read through the list of goals out loud, pausing after each one to close your eyes and re-create the visual image of that completed goal in your mind.

Continue through the list until you have visualized each goal as complete and fulfilled.

The whole process will take between 10 and 15 minutes, depending on how many goals you have.

If you meditate, do your visualization right after you finish meditating. The deepened state you have achieved in meditation will heighten the impact of your visualizations.

#4. Visualization Tools - Adding Sounds and Feelings to the Pictures.

To multiply the effect many times over, add sound, smells, tastes, and feelings to your pictures.

What sounds would you be hearing, what smells would you be smelling, what tastes would you be tasting, and—most importantly—what emotions and bodily sensations would you be feeling if you had already achieved your goal?

If you were imagining your dream house on the beach, you might add in the sound of the surf lapping at the shore outside your home, the sound of your kids playing on the sand, and the sound of your spouse’s voice thanking you for being such a good provider.

Then add in the feelings of pride of ownership, satisfaction at having achieved your goal, and the feeling of the sun on your face as you sit on your deck looking out over the ocean at a beautiful sunset.

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#5. Fuel Your Images with Emotion.

By far, these emotions are what propel your vision forward. Researchers know that when accompanied by intense emotions, an image or scene can stay locked in the memory forever.

I’m sure you remember exactly where you were when John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 or when the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001. 

Your brain remembers it all in great detail because not only did your brain filter information you needed for survival under these tense moments but also the images themselves were created with intense emotion.

These intense emotions actually stimulate the growth of additional spiny protuberances on the dendrites of brain neurons, which ultimately creates more neural connections, thus locking in the memory much more solidly.

You can bring this same emotional intensity to your own visualizations by adding inspiring music, real-life smells, deeply felt passion, even loudly shouting your affirmations with exaggerated enthusiasm. 

The more passion, excitement, and energy you can muster, the more powerful will be the ultimate result.

#6. Visualization Exercises Works.

Olympic gold medalist Peter Vidmar describes his use of visualization tools in his successful pursuit of the gold: To keep us focused on our Olympic goal, we began ending our workouts by visualizing our dream.

We visualized ourselves actually competing in the Olympics and achieving our dream by practicing what we thought would be the ultimate gymnastics scenario. I’d say, “Okay, Tim, let’s imagine it’s the men’s gymnastics team finals of the Olympic Games.

The United States team is on its last event of the night, which just happens to be the high bar. The last two guys up for the United States are Tim Daggett and Peter Vidmar.

Our team is neck and neck with the People’s Republic of China, the reigning world champions, and we have to perform our routines perfectly to win the Olympic team gold medal.”

At that point we’d each be thinking, Yeah, right. We’re never going to be neck and neck with those guys.

They were number one at the Budapest world championships, while our team didn’t even win a medal. It’s never going to happen.

But what if it did happen? How would we feel? We’d close our eyes and, in this empty gym at the end of a long day, we’d visualize an Olympic arena with 13,000 people in the seats and another 200 million watching live on television. Then we’d practice our routines.

First, I’d be the announcer. I’d cup my hands around my mouth and say, “Next up, from the United States of America, Tim Daggett.” Then Tim would go through his routine as if it were the real thing.

Then Tim would go over to the corner of the gym, cup his hands around his mouth, and, in his best announcer voice, say, “Next up, from the United States of America, Peter Vidmar.”

Then it was my turn. In my mind, I had one chance to perfectly perform my routine in order for our team to win the gold medal. If I didn’t, we’d lose.

Tim would shout out, “Green light,” and I’d look at the superior judge, who was usually our coach Mako. I’d raise my hand, and he’d raise his right back. Then I’d turn, face the bar, grab hold, and begin my routine.

#7. What If You Don’t See Anything When You Use Visualization Exercises And Tools?

Some people are what psychologists refer to as eidetic visualizers. When they close their eyes, they see everything in bright, clear, three-dimensional Technicolor images.

Most of us, however, are noneidetic visualizers. That means you don’t really see an image as much as you just think it. This is perfectly okay. It still works just as well.

Do the visualization exercise of imagining your goals as already complete twice a day, every day, and you will still get the same benefit as those people who claim to actually see the image.

#8. Use Printed Pictures to Help You.

If you have trouble seeing your goals, use pictures, images, and symbols you collect to keep your conscious and subconscious mind focused on your goals.

For example, if one of your goals is to own a new Lexus LS-430, you can take your camera down to your local Lexus dealer and ask a salesperson to take a picture of you sitting behind the wheel.

If your goal is to visit Paris, find a poster of the Eiffel Tower—then cut out a picture of you and place it at the base of the Eiffel Tower as if it were a photograph taken of you in Paris.

Several years ago I did this with a picture of the Sydney Opera House, and within a year I was in Sydney, Australia, standing in front of it. If your goal is to be a millionaire, you might want to write yourself a check for $1,000,000 or create a bank statement that shows your bank account or your stock portfolio with a $1,000,000 balance.

When NASA was working on putting a man on the moon, they had a huge picture of the moon covering the entire wall, from floor to ceiling, of their main construction area.

Everyone was clear on the goal, and they reached that goal 2 years ahead of schedule!

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#9. Vision Boards and Goal Books Made their Dreams Come True.

In 1995 John Assaraf created a vision board and put it up on the wall in his home office. Whenever he saw a materialistic thing he wanted or a trip he wanted to take, he’d get a photo of it and glue it to the board. Then he’d see himself already enjoying the object of his desire. 

In May 2000, having just moved into his new home in Southern California a few weeks earlier, he was sitting in his office at 7:30 AM when his 5-year-old son Keenan came in and sat on a couple of boxes that had been in storage 4 years.

Keenan asked his father what was in the boxes. When John told him his vision boards were in the boxes, Keenan replied, “Your vision whats?” John opened one of the boxes to show Keenan a vision board.

John smiled as he looked at the first board and saw pictures of a Mercedes sports car, a watch, and some other items, all of which he had acquired by then.

But as he pulled out the second board, he began to cry. On that board was a picture of the house he had just bought and was living in! Not a house like it but the house!

The 7,000-square-foot house that sits on 6 acres of spectacular views, with a 3,000-square-foot guest house and office complex, a tennis court, and 320 orange trees—that very home was a home he had seen in a picture that he had cut out of Dream Homes magazine 4 years earlier!

Caryl Kristensen and Marilyn Kentz—better known as “The Mommies” because they make their living joking about kids, family life, and the stresses of motherhood—know the power of creating goal pictures to make their dreams come true. 

They started their friendship as well as their careers in the small farm town of Petaluma, California, where they were neighbors.

Once they decided to become performers and create shows, they made a Goals Book, in which they listed all the things they wanted to achieve, and then illustrated them with pictures.

Without exception, everything they put in the book came true!

Their achievements include The Mommies, an NBC sitcom that aired between 1993 and 1995, the Caryl & Marilyn Show, a talk show that aired on ABC between 1996 and 1997, Showtime and Lifetime cable specials, and their highly successful book, The Mother Load.

Because Caryl and Marilyn are both illustrators, drawing their goals seemed the easiest way to go about it, but you don’t have to have drawing skills to make your own Goals Book.

They worded their goals in the present tense, added feeling phrases such as “I’m feeling content and grateful,” “I feel relaxed and joyful,” and “Living in this wonderful house is so much fun,” and they always finished off their page with this phrase: “This or something better is manifesting itself for the good of all concerned.”

And this or something better always happened.

#10. Start Using Visualization Exercises Now to Achieve Your Goals.

Set aside time each and every day to visualize every one of your goals as already complete. This is one of the most vital things you can do to make your dreams come true.

Some psychologists are now claiming that one hour of visualization is worth 7 hours of physical effort. That’s a tall claim, but it makes an important point—visualization is one of the strongest tools in your success toolbox.

Make sure you use it. You don’t need to visualize your future achievements for a whole hour. Just 10 to 15 minutes is plenty.

Azim Jamal, a prominent speaker in Canada, recommends what he calls “the Hour of Power”—20 minutes of visualization and meditation, 20 minutes of exercise, and 20 minutes of reading inspirational or informational books. Imagine what would happen to your life if you did this every day

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Manish Yadav

My name is Manish Yadav and I’m the owner of the blog "Love Finds its Way". My advice does away with the manipulations and mind games recommended by magazines and the surface level advice of TV gurus… We’ll dive DEEP to you actionable steps you can use today. Over 900,000 men & women have transformed their lives, and I've been featured in Lifehack, Return of Kings, Menimprovement, Urban Dater, and so on...
...My only intention is to help you have all of achieve your dreams and desires and live a beautiful and prosperous life.
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