Achieve Your Goals with Visualization
I think by now we’ve all read (or at least heard of) the so-called new-age books like “The Secret”, teaching us about universal laws of attraction, thoughts becoming reality, and power of your mind. As much as this maybe the latest fad, and whatever shortcomings these books may have, one thing is for sure, there is a common thread in all these books that date as far back as the original religious scrolls. And that thread is: You have the power within to manifest all your wildest dreams. In fact, it is not a new-age idea at all; it is ancient wisdom.
The Secret – Uncovered
I am a big believer that we can make our own reality, and I’ve used goal setting, and power of visualization many times to achieve what I wanted.
If you are not familiar with these books and ideas, the basic principle is that there’s a universal law, a law that works in the same way as other laws of nature, called the Law of Attraction. It may be called by different names in different books but essentially it talks about the same idea. Our thoughts consist of physical matter and they have their own frequency, just like our bodies and everything else around us. Whatever our thoughts are, whether positive or negative, they emit a certain frequency, which is sent out to the universe. The law of attraction states that whatever we send out mentally is what the universe sends back to us physically. So if you think positive thoughts, you get positive energy back and good things happen to you. On the other hand, negative thoughts bring back bad energy and therefore bad experiences. In the same way, whatever you think about the most, is what you get back more of. So if you think about health in a positive way, you stay healthy; if you think about having lots of money, you become rich; and if you think positively about your loved ones, you have amazing relationships with them.
Step 1: Know What You Want and Write it Down
Let’s talk about goal setting and visualization in practical terms. The law of attraction tells us to think about what we want as much as possible. But first, you must know exactly what you want. This is where it is very helpful to write down all your goals in a notebook or on your computer. I’ve already talked about how to focus on what you want in the article Power of Focus. In this article you will find out how to formulate your goals and make them more effective.
You have to set goals, and then focus on them becoming a reality. The mind is an incredibly strong and influential organ, and when we focus on our goals, we can truly see and feel the power of the mind. But it’s not just good enough to keep your goals in mind. If you really want to succeed in anything you set your mind to, it’s important that you write down your goals and put all your power and energy into that list. Then you concentrate on that list, believing in those goals … until they become a reality.
Here’s an example of a person who knew what he wanted:
I had the pleasure of meeting the very talented and successful actor Jim Carrey while I lived in New York in 2005. Talking to him was very inspiring, as I found out that he was raised in Canada very near to where I lived, and that he was just a regular young actor with big dreams, struggling to make it in the acting world. Although I didn’t go through as many hardships in my life as Jim did, I felt I could relate to him because I was also a big dreamer, and knew I had potential for something great as I was growing up. The most impressive thing that he told me was that while he was a struggling actor in Los Angeles, he wrote himself a check for 10 million dollars, as a dream that one day he will make that much for a movie. He kept this check with him all the time as a reminder to keep working hard and striving for his dream of becoming a highly-paid actor. His dream came true almost to the day that the check was dated, as he signed a big movie deal. Now that’s dreaming big!
Step 2: Keep Reading your Goals and Visualize them
Once you know exactly what you want, and you’ve narrowed it down to the specifics, the next step is to keep repeating these goals to yourself over and over again. Read over them as often as you can, and try to visualize yourself achieving them. For some people, it helps to make something called a “Vision board”, where you put together photos of things or situations you desire. Looking at your vision board every day is a great way to remind yourself of those dreams and goals you are striving for. Keep visualizing and believing that the object or situation you desire is on the way. Even if it doesn’t happen right away, never give in to the negative thinking, and be persistent in your belief.
Here’s an example of my own persistent visualization:
I dreamed big when I wrote down my goal of winning the biggest beauty pageant in the world – Miss Universe. Some people told me that my dream was far-fetched and I would never even win the Canadian title, let alone the international one. But in spite of the negative comments, I followed my heart and kept on dreaming. If I had given in to the negative thoughts and believed those people who didn’t believe in me, nothing would have happened. So don’t be afraid of setting the most outrageous goals you can imagine, and believe in yourself all the way.
Step 3: Identify Obstacles and Take Action
Some books and lectures may tell you that all you need to do is think about your goals, and not worry about how it will actually happen. They say that if you keep visualizing often enough, the dream will come true automatically without you having to do anything. This, in my opinion, is not the right way to approach your goals. It’s not enough to just sit there and think about what you want. You must also take some action to make it happen. Write down a list of obstacles, or break down into items the things you can or should do in order to reach your goal. Once you’ve identified your action plan, take it step by step and move along by completing each task then checking it off the list when finished.
Here’s an example how I tackled the obstacles to my dream:
The first thing I did when I made the decision to participate in Miss Universe Canada pageant back in 2005, was making a list of all my goals in life. I wrote down my goals for higher education, becoming a great public speaker, learning a new language, owning a business, and traveling the world. On the top of the list I put down my most immediate goal, which was to win Miss Universe competition.
How difficult would that be? First there was the Canadian pageant with 49 other girls competing against me in the national competition. Knowing that this goal was very big with little chances of achieving it, I did not scrap the piece of paper and throw it away. I did the opposite. I kept that goal as my main focus and started developing an action plan of how I was going to achieve it.
On a new page I wrote out a list of all the obstacles I would have on the road to my ultimate goal and all the things I needed to improve or change in order to succeed. I made lists of each aspect of the competition: runway walking, public speaking, physical fitness, hair and makeup, wardrobe, and so on. For each part, I wrote down specific tasks that I needed to complete to perfect that area before I left for the competition. I followed through my action plan keeping a checklist of every item that moved me closer to my goal. And guess what: My clear vision and focused action did pay off in the end, when I won the Miss Universe Canada title.
I then repeated the same process before the international pageant and again it paid off as I heard the words: “Miss Universe 2005 is … Miss Canada!”
I can’t tell you how astounded I was at that moment. It took me a few seconds to process what was happening and actually realize that I had won – a moment of pure shock and exhilaration! But did it happen through sheer luck? No way. In the back of my mind I knew that I did it because of the discipline and hard work I put into making it happen.
When I looked back at my “dreams notebook” after a few months, I checked the “Win Miss Universe title” goal off my list with pride. At that moment I knew for sure that I can make any dream come true with focus, dedication, and believing in myself and YOU CAN TOO!
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