One of the key factors that successful businesspeople, billionaires, artists, and entrepreneurs all have in common is the skill of visualization.
"Whether you think you can, or think you can't.....you're right."
- Henry Ford
One of the key factors that successful businesspeople, billionaires, artists, and entrepreneurs all have in common is the skill of visualization. But before we look at how we can use visualization to our advantage, let's examine some of the biological science backing up this skill.
Our Brain Filter
The Reticular Activating System or (RAS) is a network of neurons located in the brain stem that acts as a filtering system to the everyday information we consume. That means if you think you are a negative person, your reticular activating system will cause you to focus on all the negative parts of your day to validate your thoughts. This is because your RAS looks for evidence to confirm a belief we have.
So, why do we have this system in our brain?
Every day, we interact with a ton of information, so it's the RAS' job to help us focus on only the details that we view as important. So how do we use this little part of our brain to our advantage? In the next section, we'll learn how to reprogram it with visualization!
Reprogramming the Filter
Using this 2 step method, we can reprogram our RAS to focus on daily opportunities and behaviors that will get us to our future goals. First things first, if you haven't already, write down several goals you have for this year or maybe even for the next several years, and once you have this list pick one for this example.
Once you have a goal selected, close your eyes and think about what your life looks like having achieved this goal. Think about your house, the people you are around, your family, your location, and even what you are wearing.
Next, imagine all the positive emotions you experience in this future state, having achieved this goal.
And that's it; you're done.
In this process, you merge both the picture and the emotions of a future state within the brain. Since our brain doesn't know the difference between real things and imagined things, it will encode this visualization as an actual memory. So, the more we visualize, the more our RAS will be focusing on situations, opportunities, and skills that will help us get to the point we want to get to.
Now that we have the steps to visualization, it's time to build this into our daily routine.
This process is not just a one-time deal but a skill that needs to be consistently practiced. Luckily, it doesn't take much time out of your day. All we need is 30 seconds.
Every morning when you wake up, go through this 2 step process with your goals. This will wire your brain to spot opportunities during the day to lead you to that visualized state.
I dream my painting, and then I paint my dream.
- Your brain contains the Reticular Activating System (RAS) that filters information you consume during the day.
- Visualization helps to reprogram the RAS to spot opportunities and things that will help you reach your goals.
- The 2-step method. First, close your eyes and envision your life having achieved the goal you set out for yourself. Second, imagine and sense the emotions and feeling you would feel at that state in the future.
- Make this skill a daily routine by spending 30 seconds every morning visualizing your goals.