Visualization sparked my career and energized my life. When I was just starting out, someone recommended I read Claude Bristol’s book, TNT: The Power Within You. The book sparked such an intensity of energy and profound new awareness that I couldn’t get a good night’s sleep for almost a week. Even now, as I thumb through the book and recall that turning point in my life, a shiver runs up my spine.
This book followed his groundbreaking book, The Magic of Believing. These books came from his experience as a journalist studying and reporting on spiritual and religious movements, building his own wealth and career as an investment banker, and his study of thousands of books on “the science of thought.” Research in neuroscience, emotional intelligence, and positive psychology are now validating and refining these findings.
Here are just a few of the many key passages from TNT that started my juices flowing (the emphasis shown is his):
“Picture the force! It is the explosive force of a mental picture of what you want in life, given by you to your subconscious… Whatever you picture, within reason, can come true in your life if you have, sufficient faith in the power within! That’s your TNT – a mental picture of what you want and the faith that you can and will get it… we do not think in words. We think in pictures! The universal language is feeling …this creative power operates like a magnet. Give it a strong, clear picture of what you want and this creative power starts to work magnetizing conditions about you — attracting to you the things, resources, opportunities, circumstances and even the people you need, to help bring to pass in your outer life what you have pictured!…what you picture in your mind, if you picture it clearly and confidently and persistently enough, will eventually come to pass in your life… there is a universal law in the mental realm, ‘like attracts like.'”
TNT awakened me to the enormous — unused — power between my ears. I read countless books and articles on these topics, and I attended presentations and workshops given by leading authors, trainers, and speakers. I listened to dozens of audio tapes on this and related “mental attitude” topics.
Over the next few years, I used these approaches to build a highly successful sales and management career, quit smoking, lose weight and get into better physical shape, develop my writing and speaking skills, write bestselling books, and build two international training and consulting firms.
My personal visioning files are full of career dreaming, periodic assessments of strengths and successes, affirmations, mission/purpose statements, inspirational quotes, and visualizations.
Later, these merged with the notes from yearly visioning and progress reviews Heather and I began to do when our kids were toddlers — we were drifting apart and seemed to be heading down separate paths. Using a five year time horizon, these notes describe our ideal life in seven areas; our family, careers, financial, community, spiritual, and social lives.
It’s eerie (and inspiring) to look back at all these notes and their accuracy in “foretelling the future.” Never mind all the research, studies, and expert opinion on imagery and visualization. Here’s all the proof I need that regularly and continually picturing our preferred future works.
When he was creative director at Walt Disney Studios, Mike Vance said, “soon after the completion of Disney World Someone said, ‘Isn’t it too bad Walt Disney didn’t live to see this.’ I replied, ‘He did see it that’s why it’s here.'”
Tomorrow we publish my July blogs in the August issue of The Leader Letter. This issue is dedicated to the most powerful renewable energy source I’ve ever experienced; visualization and imagery. We naturally picture our future. And often that’s not a good thing. Picture yourself picturing your preferred positive future. Dream on.