To explain what I mean, let’s start with an experiment conducted a few years back, quoted by Jim Kwik. Jim tells that three groups of basketball players were called on the basketball court and were named Group A, Group B and Group C. They were told to play and the experimenting team recorded their scores. It was announced that a final observational match would be conducted after 30 days. Now all groups were given some secret advice.
Group A was told to practice basketball every day for one hour on the basketball court. Group B was told not to practice at all, not even touch the ball or not even think about basketball for the next 30 days. Group C was told to practice basketball but only in their minds.
Yes, you read it right. The last group was told to practice the game in their minds only, they were not supposed to even touch the ball. They were told to see themselves playing, throwing the ball in the loop, see themselves scoring, running across the basketball court and winning. They were told to visualise themselves playing, practice only in their imagination through visualisation.
“Rehearsing failure in minds creates failure.” — Jim Kwik
After 30 days, when the groups showed up, each group was told to play basketball turn by turn. It was observed that Group A improved 24% because practice makes a man perfect!
Group B didn’t make any improvements because of no practice.
However, the group which was told to practice only in their mind, Group C, improved 23%, only 1% less than the group which practised on-ground for 30 days!
How was this result possible? This was all possible through visualisation, the power of visualisation.
The greatest of athletes in the world don’t only train themselves physically, but they also train themselves mentally to see the results they want in advance. The power of visualisation does not only work by imagining and visualising the goal you want to achieve. If it were only imagining the goal, then succeeding wasn’t possible for such athletes. One has to visualise the process, the entire journey and then the goal. You don’t have to have all the details of the journey before visualising.
For example, if we consider giving a farewell speech in front of an audience of 500. How can we imagine getting success out of it? Probably imagining writing the speech, gathering relevant information, setting the train of thoughts in the speech, talking to relevant people, finalising the speech, walking towards the podium on the final day and speaking in front of 500 people in the imagination could help in actually succeeding. Living the event in the mind before it is happening creates the result. It all depends on us how we live it inside our head.
Let’s consider another example. The goal can be winning an art competition. Imagine travelling to the destination. Imagine holding the canvas, paintbrush, the water in cups, the paint palette, the pencil and drawing your rough sketch on the canvas. Imagine the ins and outs of the paintbrush from the water cups and into the paint palette. Imagine giving strokes of colour to your rough sketch, and the intensity of focus you’ll have then. Imagine just being in your artwork, the conviction, dedication, the feeling of submitting your artwork. Imagine the nervousness of the waiting, the excitement of the hope of winning, hearing your name as the winner, walking towards the stage and holding the trophy. Imagine the praise and feel each and every moment!
That is how the world’s biggest athletes, artists, business owners, technologists and scientists win. That is how anybody wins big. They mentally train themselves to see the results they want in advance.
Your feelings are the language of your body, your thoughts are the feelings of your mind
But like everything, there is a challenge in imagining and visualising too. The challenge is a lot of people use their visualisation to get the results they don’t want in life. A lot of people fear what they don’t want in life, and imagining the scenarios in their head to a greater and deeper extent, they end up with failure.
Imagine it, visualise it, see it, feel it, believe in it and work daily for it!
Sometimes, we stumble upon the very simple tasks of our daily lives to achieve our goal. Every goal requires some daily efforts. The reason for stumbling could be procrastination or our lack of focus. Visualising doing these small simple tasks in our head can help us with such daily basis tasks.
TIP: Write three tasks for the next day in a small notebook every night before going to bed. Tasks can be as simple as responding to an important message/email, or as tough as cleaning the house. The next morning when you wake up, sit on your bed, close your eyes and consider the three tasks you wrote the night before. Imagine and visualise doing these three tasks. Visualise and feel every chunk of the process in your brain.
Successful people visualise themselves having success. Every morning visualise yourself, your goal, the goal’s process, all the good, the bad, the tough and the easy parts of the process for 30 seconds in the morning. Feel every chunk of what you’re imagining it.
How does it feel to achieve it, to be in the process? How does it look? If you can see it in mind, you can create it in the world too!