I’ve been studying and applying the power of positive pictures for most of my life. These skills, habits, and techniques are often called visioning, imagery, and visualization. They have a power for change, improvement, and energy creation that we’re only beginning to understand
It’s hard to picture a positive, hopeful future if we’re not positive and confident about ourselves. It’s hard to see ourselves taking control of our destiny, developing an effective team, or leading a highly successful organization if we don’t feel good about our own development, success, and skills.
When I began to give paid keynote speeches and presentations, I’d review a list of past speeches and presentations where I especially connected and was “in flow with the audience.” I would relive and recapture the emotional electricity in those rooms. I’d then carry these feelings into visualization for this group and see a highly successful “in flow” presentation to them.
Here are R & R (reflection and renewal) approaches I’ve found very helpful:
- Take a “bliss break” by making a list of all the little things that “give you a thrill.” It’s a fun exercise (the list can run to many pages once you get started). Indulge yourself in activities on your list.
- Wrap up your day just before going to bed by recounting your top five accomplishments or best things that happened that day. This is especially important when you’ve had a bad day. Fall asleep feeling good about yourself and your situation.
- Schedule regular reflection time. Review your vision, values, and purpose. Read inspirational material. Meditate (many helpful apps are available. I use Insight Timer). Focus on life’s bigger issues and put today’s concerns into a broader context.
- Keep a personal journal daily to reflect on and record your deepest thoughts. This can be especially useful if you’re going through a tough period and you don’t have someone or a group of close people that you can talk with. Periodically look back through your journal entries to review and assess your progress.
- Ensure that your day planner and calendar reflect your values. Schedule personal and professional activities that align with your values with equal weight. Don’t allow today’s urgencies to crowd out what’s really important in your life.
Forming the habit of picturing our preferred future has enormous payback in effectiveness and well-being. In his pioneering book, TNT: The Power Within You, that blasted me into a totally new mindset, Claude Bristol writes, “Whatever you need to fit into the pattern of achievement that you have pictured, will be attracted to you by the power within if you persist in your visualizing, day after day, and put forth every effort in support of your heartfelt desire.”