How Visualization Actually Works

You need a 7 Day BrainwashEver since the release of “The Secret”, there has been a lot of hype around the topic of

visualization. Speci cally, many people have gained an awareness about the power of

visualization and how it can positively or negatively impact the results you experience in your

life.

This is not a new concept by any means. Visualization has been a practice used by many cultures

for many generations. Olympic athletes are now trained in the art of visualization as a means of

gaining a competitive advantage in their chosen sport. Unfortunately, I think the way The Secret

portrayed the idea of visualization gave people a skewed perspective of how visualization

actually works. Too many people assumed that the simple act of thinking about something would

automatically cause it to become reality. As any logical thinking person would agree, this is

de nitely not always the case.

The true power of visualization comes from the fact that we all have access to creative thoughts.

We can create a new idea in our mind through the simple act of visualization. Using the power of

action, we can take an idea that exists in our mind and bring it into reality. The process to do so

varies depending on the idea you have conceived. The point is that all creation starts in the mind

and it is up to the originator of that idea to see the result through to completion.

The more I have studied the connection between mental and physical reality, the more I have

become fascinated by the topic of visualization. A simple example is, you can take a room in

your home, visualize an entirely new arrangement and then go to work on bringing your vision

into reality. A few hours later, there you have your visualized image into reality. OK so it’s not

the most exciting example in the world but that same process can be applied to anything. And to

me, that IS exciting.

I have visualized myself doing some amazing things in my lifetime. Some of these things have

already come to pass while many of my larger visions still elude me. The fact that our vision of

the goal creates the potential for it to really happen is something for every person to get excited

about.

Someone visualized humans ying through the sky. People laughed. Now we have been

doing it for over a century!

Someone visualized sending sound through the air and being able to hear the sound in a

remote location. People laughed. Now we have 1000s of radio stations

Someone visualized two people having a conversation across the world with no wires.

People laughed. I just got off a Skype call with someone over 1000 miles away.

I had my own interesting visualization experience about 2 years ago. I was at a personal

development seminar and the speaker was talking about the power of visualization. He was

telling all kinds of exciting stories about people who had used various visualization techniques to

create some amazing results in their lives. Toward the end of his talk he walked us through a

“guided visualization” exercise. In the exercise, he had us close our eyes and clearly visualize a

result we would like to create. Having tried and failed at this kind of experiment in the past, I

was somewhat reluctant but I decided to suspend any disbelief and just try it out.

For my visualization, I picture my hand raising in front of my face and seeing my wedding band

on my ring nger. I had lost the ring 3 months earlier on a blustery winter day and had no idea

where it might have fallen. The exercise forced me to hold this vision of the ring on my nger for

at least 2 minutes (although I think it was even longer than that). The exercise ended and he

continued on with the presentation. After that, I dropped the whole thing from my mind and went

on with my day.

Later that evening, my wife answered the phone and there was a call from our sister in-law. Her

neighbor had found a gold wedding ring on their lawn among a pile of melting snow. She knew I

had been missing my ring so she called me right away to tell us it had been found. The ring must

have fallen off in their driveway and been shot across the yard with a snowblower only to land

on the neighbor’s yard. What are the chances that they discover the ring right around the same

time I visualized it?

Yes it is mysterious and it also could be coincidence. I guess you just have to ask yourself what

you believe in? For me, I know the power of visualization and I continue to leverage it as a

success habit in my life.

7 quick ways to de-stress

You need a 7 Day Brainwash1. If possible, walk away from the problem and get some fresh air. A walk, even a brief one, will provide space from the scene of the stress and enable some breathing space so as to calm down. A change of scenery can be exceptionally therapeutic.

2. Reading a novel with a gripping storyline can help with a mental escape from any stressful situation. Troubles can dissipate along with any tension and a few good chapters of reading will have provided enough time out to be able to face any situation more calmly.

3. Meditation is often overlooked or viewed as too difficult when in fact; the truth couldn’t be more different. There is no mystery to the techniques; it only requires regular practice and a focus on the intent of clearing the mind.

4. Herbal teas can be an excellent aid to relaxation. Trial and error will soon ascertain the best calming teas for the individual but chamomile is a renowned favourite for de-stressing and relieving tension.

5. It’s possible to buy stress-busting toys. There may be a fun aspect to them but squeezing a stress ball and pummelling it into shape or getting a punch bag and focussing all that inner aggression on it, can certainly help to alleviate any frustrations and prevent it from turning inwards.

6. Watch a comedy DVD. It’s virtually impossible to stay tense when something is funny. Even five or ten minutes will make a big difference to any stress levels.

7. Breathing of course is vitally important but when someone is stressed, they become tense and their breathing becomes erratic. Take five minutes away from the stressful situation and focus on the breath. Counting the breath in and out will help to focus the mind and relieve tension.

The Forgotten Skill of Focus

You need a 7 Day BrainwashLately, I have noticed a common theme among many friends, colleagues and associates. It seems we are all struggling with the same issue the ability to stay focused on a single task for a prolonged period of time.

When I recently took a mental inventory of my typical day, I quickly became alarmed by the number of concurrent tasks I found myself working on at any given time. Worse yet, when I examined my results and productivity levels, it was evident that I was struggling to keep up with previous outputs during the earlier phases of my business.

Then I came across an article written by Josh Waitzkin that pinpointed the direct cause of my reduced effectiveness. The article was on a topic he calls the “Multitasking Virus” as posted on Tim Ferriss’ Blog at http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog.

In the article, Waitzkin demonstrates the detrimental effects of multi-tasking and makes reference to a recent study at the British Institute of Psychiatry which ” showed that checking your email while performing another creative task decreases your IQ in the moment 10 points. That is the equivalent of not sleeping for 36 hours more than twice the impact of smoking marijuana.”

This was a real eye opener for me! I would have a hard time counting the number of times I had been checking my email throughout any given work day. On more than one occasion, I would completely stop a task (often an important, revenue generating task) to tend to a new email that popped up in my inbox regardless whether it was an important email or not.

When I discovered that this type of distraction was literally decreasing my IQ, I could immediately see certain areas where the quality of my work had been impacted. But it also forced me to stop and think about all of the other distractions that I was allowing (knowingly or unknowingly) to impact my work.

Between news and information websites, email, phone calls, instant messaging and business research, I was probably getting distracted a minimum of 10 times a day! If you think that sounds like a high number, take a few moments right now to mentally review some of your own personal distractions. You will likely notice that they add up pretty quickly! In my case, these distractions would actually make me stop the task at hand and move on to something different. Often, I would move on to something of lower priority but I was unable to recognize this at the time due to the fact that I had been so severely distracted from my previous train of thought.

Like anyone else, I am at my best and produce my most valuable work when I am able to stay focused and concentrated on one item of work. This really applies to any task we perform. If you have ever learned a manual skill like laying a hardwood floor, using a weed remover for your lawn, or even running large stacks of paper through a laminating machine (these all happen to be tasks that I recently performed), you likely noticed a learning curve. At first, you might have felt awkward and you may have even fouled up your first few attempts at the task. Gradually you got the hang of it and developed a rhythm. After a certain period of time, you actually started to master the skill and eventually you were able to do double, triple, quadruple (or even better) your productivity.

The same thing applies to practically everything we do in life. If you want to learn a new skill, the best way to do it is through a complete immersion process. If you want to run a marathon, you focus on running and likely divert from the weight room until after the competition. If you want to learn how to speak Spanish, your best bet is to get into a Spanish class and postpone your French class until you have mastered Spanish. Regardless of what you may be trying to accomplish, you will produce your best results when you are able to consistently focus on the highest priority activities.

When I want to write an article, I remove myself from all distractions. I even remove myself physically from my office and go to the library or another spot where I have no choice but to focus on the task at hand. My local library happens to have neither wireless internet availability nor cell phone reception. This combination makes for the perfect cure to my typical interruptions! I am often able to complete my articles or reports in less than a third of the time it would have taken me had I been working from my office and connected to my world of distractions.

An empowering discovery I have made about utilizing the power of focus is that it becomes increasingly easier to stay focused for longer stretches as you develop the mental discipline. One of the six intellectual faculties of every thinking person is something called “will”. This is our ability to sustain concentration on one item for an extended period of time. If you think of your “will” as a mental muscle, you can actually grow and develop this muscle similar to the way you would develop physical muscles at the gym; through frequent exercise.

If you are experiencing problems with productivity, take some time to carefully review the key points of this article. Then, try to determine if and where you are falling victim to distractions. Make a commitment to eliminate these distractions (disconnect from the internet, turn off the cell phone, etc ) so you can begin to practice your focusing exercises. You may want to start with 30 minute blocks. Work on staying 100% present with the task at hand. Monitor your progress. As you feel comfortable and find your rhythm, work on stretching it out to an hour, then two hours and then go beyond if you can.

But don’t forget to listen to your mind and body. Taking breaks is absolutely critical for your long term success. Since I often work from home, I use my breaks to drop all work from my mind and spend quality time with my wife and son. Whatever your situation, make sure you have an outlet to relieve your mind from your work for at least 15 minutes at a time.

Then when you’re ready, go back and continue to strengthen your focusing skills.

Old Hat

You need a 7 Day BrainwashI do my best, I do. I try with each post to be totally original, but sometimes, just sometimes I think, “Weeeeelll, I know they’ve heard it before, but maybe it wouldn’t hurt for them to hear it again.” (Of course, what I don’t tell you is that I get to hear it for myself again, ‘cos I need reminding of these things too. The great thing about being the author of these messages is that I get to write them and read them!)

Anyway, enough!

Yesterday I heard of a friend of ours in distress. Not funny. A very unpleasant dilemma indeed, she has. And I know it’s old hat, but here’s the train of thought it sparked off in me. I thought I bet some of my readers have challenges too – so …

It will pass. All things will. And your greatest resource is you. No matter that the world may collapse around your ears, tomorrow morning you’re gonna wake up, and you’re always going to do something. What you do and how you go about doing it depends on what you focus on. The trouble is, in times of stress and distress we tend to see nothing but the trouble.

So you could use Tony Robbins’ Morning Power Questions:

a.. What am I happy about in my life now? (Don’t let yourself come up with “Nuffin’. Everything stinks.” If that happens, say, “Well, if I was happy about something, what would it be?”) b.. What am I grateful for in my life now? c.. Who do I love? And who loves me? That’s not his complete set of questions, but I think if you just focused on those, you’d start the day as a much happier bunny. It won’t solve your problems, but it might give you the energy to remind yourself that you have the resources to turn anything around, and that what seem like insurmountable difficulties is actually you setting yourself challenges so that you can find the way to set yourself free. Without the challenges you would never have bothered even looking for a way out.

There is a Chinese proverb which goes something like, “The road before you is clear. Why then do you throw rocks in your own path?”

Maybe that’s the reason. And once you start to accept they’re your own rocks, clearing them can become a more energised, even joyful challenge.

Old hat? Maybe. But good stuff I reckon.

Know where you’re headed

You need a 7 Day BrainwashDon’t you wish you could see round corners? Corners in time I mean.

If only we knew what was coming next! How many times in your life have you said or heard statements such as “if I’d only known then what I know now”, or “I should have seen it coming.”?

Because we can’t see round corners we cling, sometimes we even panic. We cling to our jobs or lifestyles that are outmoded, no longer expressing who we truly are, and that instead of supporting us have come to imprison us. But to change or let go would be terrifying.

Obviously we can’t see round corners. But I have a question for you. When was the last time you got into a car with not the faintest idea where you wanted to go? Never! Yet as you travel the roads you have no idea what is round each corner. You *trust* your ability to navigate any hazard that might appear, and you have total certainty about your ability to arrive safely at your destination.

The key is to be certain of the destination at the outset. Once you know where you’re headed, GO! Do your preparation as you would for any journey – read the guide books, pack your bags, buy your ticket, maybe even take out a little insurance, then go.

What else is life for?

Navigating the hazards will grow you along the way.

And if perchance you don’t end up where you thought you wanted to go, you’ll get somewhere else, and there’ll be another adventure for you to have.

3 Ways You Can Attract Abundance

You need a 7 Day BrainwashYou don’t have to look very far to see the law of abundance in action. A single apple seed can spawn an entire orchard, whilst to count the individual grains of sand on a beach would take many lifetimes. (As well as being somewhat pointless).

The universe is clearly abundant. Not only that, but it has no resistance. Can you imagine the creative force, (whatever name you choose to give that), saying, “Well, I’m sorry. There just aren’t going to be any stars in the sky until next year – it’s too energy consuming!”

If you want to attract abundance, or indeed “trigger” the law of abundance in your life, here are three powerful ways you can get the ball rolling.

1. Accept you are a part of the abundance, not separate from it. For centuries now, our Westernized minds have conceived of ourselves as separate from our environment, resulting in an “us against the world” mentality.

If that was truly the case, could you say where you end and air or sunlight begins? Without either you could not exist, and yet we have the experience of those things being “outside” of ourselves because they aren’t under our direct conscious control. But conscious awareness is not the defining boundary of who and what you are.

Scarcity thinking, as opposed to an abundance mentality, comes about as a result of sensing this illusory separation. It is as absurd for you to think that you cannot attract an abundance of money, for example, as it would be for the ocean to consider it had run out of waves! The law of abundance doesn’t desert you, but you can dam it up by believing in its somehow skipping you.

2. Believe in your worthiness. There’s a tendency, because there are a lot of people on this planet, to think of yourself as “just an ordinary Joe or Jane.” In fact, there’s no such thing as an “ordinary” person! Every one of us is utterly unique. Attend anyone’s funeral and listen to the eulogies for confirmation of that fact.

At your funeral, a lot of people will say a lot of nice and wonderful things about you! So you might as well accept now that you make a positive contribution to a lot of lives and that you matter.

As you open your mind and heart to that notion, you open a channel too for the law of abundance to begin flowing its treasures to you once more.

3. Finally, a paradox. Stop trying so hard! We are somewhat obsessed with “to do lists” and “goal achievement.” There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with those notions unless they start to rule our lives. They are meant to serve you, not control you!

The law of abundance operates freely when you are living from your heart, relaxed and enjoying what you do. In other words, come from a place within first that feels good and let what you do flow from that.

There you have it. Three law of abundance tips that can change your life. All you have to do is to start believing in them and acting on them – starting right now.

Achieving Goals – The Power Of Focus

You need a 7 Day BrainwashWe all love to achieve our goals, and I suppose most of us experience some twinge of envy when someone gets something that we want too. What have they done that we didn’t? Why should they have all the luck?

It’s lovely to blame luck because then we can absolve ourselves of responsibility for not achieving our goals. Unfortunately, “responsibility” has become synonymous with “blame” and they are not the same at all! “Response-ability” is our ability to respond, as you can now see from my deliberate mis-spelling of the word, and that response is our ability to shift our focus.

Do not underestimate the power of focus. The human facility for being able to consider things from many different angles can and will shape your destiny. Your entire life will be shaped by how you choose to look at things. I seriously urge you to take responsibility for what happens to you, and your goal achievement prowess will be instantly magnified a thousand fold!

Focus has two meanings in this context. It means being clear – really clear – about what you actually want. Clarity in the same sense that you might focus a camera lens. It may sound daft to talk about being clear on what you want, but if you want to achieve your goals, take heed! In my experience most people do two things that are significantly different from that. First, they harp on endlessly about what they don’t want. They will tell you how situation X or circumstance Y is no longer going to be there when they get such-and-such a goal. What are they focussing on? Like an endless loop tape, they are focussed on all the negatives in their life all of the time.

The second meaning of focus has to do with where you “shine the spotlight.” When things don’t work out as planned, many people have a tendency to talk and think it terms of their “failure.” Then, before long, they give up on the goal. What makes this worse is that they can easily and quickly find a couple of dozen drinking buddies who will clap them on the back and yell, “Join the club! Now you know it doesn’t work too! Another beer?”

It is imperative that you focus on the fact that success is possible. Barriers have been broken throughout history. Roger Bannister’s four minute mile – considered impossible until he did it, is now a relatively common achievement. Edison’s electric light bulb, which, according to legend, had Edison discovering almost a thousand substances that would not produce a light bulb, provoked someone to ask him how he felt about having so many failures. Edison’s now famous, and we presume, slightly astonished reply was:

“I didn’t have any failures. I simply found nine hundred and ninety nine ways that didn’t work.”

Edison never focussed on anything other than his successful outcome. Now you can decide which is his greater legacy: the light by which you may well be reading this, or the lesson he taught us that can change your life now.

Making a Habit of Personal Development

You need a 7 Day BrainwashIt can be a rather amusing task to sit back and analyze some of the daily rituals we perform, often without giving any conscious thought. I believe this is a good thing because we would accomplish very little if we had to stop and think about every task we perform.

Just today, I was making the short drive from my home to the library where I do most of my writing, when I noticed I had been completely engrossed in thoughts about the book I am writing. I had to look in the back seat to check if I even brought my laptop and writing materials. I then became aware of all of the other things that had to take place just to make this short trip. Among other things, I had to put on my shoes, put on my jacket, walk from the house to the car, unlock the car with the keyless entry, place my bag in the back seat, sit in the driver’s seat, fasten my seatbelt, start the car, and so on. The entire time this was happening, my thoughts were directed towards my task for the day.

This got me thinking about some of the other habit patterns in our life that we consciously decide to do without really asking ourselves if the task is really the most important thing on our list. For example, many people choose to watch a number of hours of television each day. I personally know people who spend an unusual amount of time daily cleaning their home or randomly browsing the internet. The point I am trying to make is that most of us can probably uncover at least one hour of time each day that we give to meaningless tasks.

The interesting thing is, if you ask most people if they are happy with all of the results in their life, the truthful answer is often no.

My goal is to encourage people to dedicate some time every single day to personal reflection and self development. If you are unhappy with a certain situation, you have the ability to change your thinking, and ultimately your behaviour, so that you can improve that particular circumstance. Instead of watching a daytime drama or indulging in excessive dusting and mopping, you might want to consider picking up a book or audio program that forces you to examine your results.

From my personal experience, this simple action produces an internal reaction. Because you are examining your own personal results, you quickly realize that you are the only one who can change them. Unfortunately, in our society today, people are fixated on producing immediate results and having tangible evidence in their hands the minute they ask for something. With personal development, the true benefits can only be realized when we incorporate the ideas into a habit.

Think about it this way. If you were to make a firm commitment to read or listen to personal development educational programs for even 30 minutes a day for the next two weeks, what kind of positive impact could this have on your life? What if you did it for two months? Similar to unconscious activities such as getting dressed or brushing your teeth, you would start to create a new habit and become the kind of person who automatically takes action on ideas that move you in the direction of improved results.

From personal experience, I can attest to the fact that this kind of self study works. It really is a never ending process because it is part of our nature to grow, expand and develop and ultimately, it provides an excellent opportunity to make positive life changes. As you become more involved in personal development, you will start to notice areas of your life that are working well and other areas that require improvement. This kind of education will help you harness ideas that will improve your results while at the same time, overcome all of the inhibitors standing in the way of you achieving your aim!

A common question I hear is, “Where do I start?” There are so many good authors, philosophies and ideas on this topic that you can never really say which style will work. The best advice I have ever received from this perspective is to study and learn from those who are producing results that you would like in your life. It’s a pretty basic lesson but a very important one. Seek out the people who have already achieved what you would like to achieve and learn from them. Success often leaves clues and it is up to you to find those clues and act on them. With a daily commitment to personal improvement, you will quickly become a master detective you will transform each clue into a tangible action that will lead to a more fulfilled life.

Listen to your voice

You need a 7 Day BrainwashThere are more than enough personal development books that talk about the power of affirmations. I am not here to argue the validity or the science behind affirmations. What I will say is that from my own personal experiences, when you repeat a set of instructions to yourself over and over again, you eventually start to believe your own voice.

Here is a quick process you can follow to create your own digital affirmations that you can use in your own brainwashing process.

– Write out a description of your ideal outcomes in all the various areas of your life. This can include business, financial, relationship, health, etc…

– Record your voice reading these statements with as much feeling and belief as possible.

– Use software like Garageband to overlay some relaxing or new age style music faintly in the background

– Export as an mp3 file and listen to it on low volumes as you work, exercise, sleep or during any activity where you feel it works for you

For the analytic people out there, you cannot measure the benefit of this exercise directly but I will say from personal experience that it has been a technique I have used to help achieve a number of my more difficult longer term goals.

Learn from the past

You need a 7 Day BrainwashI’m a great one for looking forward in life, and anyone familiar with Tony Robbins’ work will recognize the adage, “The past does not equal the future.” It’s a great line, and one I find very liberating when contemplating what I once had thought impossible.

Yet there are advantages sometimes to looking back. Not to convince yourself of the impossibility of something, but to see the distance you’ve travelled.

Do you have any old diaries, or journals? Maybe even college notes. Have you ever had the experience when you look at those that the person who wrote them maybe kind of amusing, even cute, but certainly isn’t you? You just can’t identify with that being who you are in any way. You may remember writing the notes, but there is a sense of distance between you and that “other” person.

How did you do that? Old beliefs and values – gone! Views and opinions you once held dear – up in smoke! You couldn’t care less about those things now!

Today, ask yourself, what view or idea or belief do I cling to that maybe limits me? That if I read ten or twenty years from now I’d smile in mild amusement at the person I was, and realize how limiting that way of thinking was?

Then ask yourself, “How could it be easy to let it go NOW?”