Clarity and Visualization
Subscription Week 1-3
On our blog today we are looking at the power of visualization in helping us with our purpose. We will look at visualization as a great tool to help with our clarity. I will start with a celebrity story today.
You will likely know the name Oprah Winfrey. She pulled herself up from poverty to become one of the wealthiest women in the world and a great philanthropist. She has the reputation of being one of the biggest celebrity supporters of affirmations and vision boards. As a young child watching her grandmother overwork, she began to tell herself that her life would not be like this, it will be better over and over. We know this as brain training now. As an adult, having the successful Oprah Winfrey show, she did many shows that focussed on success stories using positive thinking. Besides frequently showcasing success stories of positive thinking on her show, she even discussed creating her own vision boards to hold her dreams. After her visions came true, her words of wisdom to her fans were: “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.”
You know lots of stories from the sports world where visualization is the norm for succeeding at the highest level in sports. I recently heard about a piece of research that I loved. I must confess that I don’t believe fun and formal exercise belong in the same sentence and so this was for me! It shows the amazing power of the brain and visualization.
This was a study by Erin M. Shackell and Lionel G. Standing at Bishop’s University. That study measured the strength gains in three different groups of people. The first group did nothing outside their usual routine. The second group was put through two weeks of highly focused strength training for one specific muscle, three times a week. The third group listened to audio CDs that guided them into a visualization imagining themselves going through the same workout as the exercising group, three times a week.
The results were pretty amazing. The control group, who didn’t do anything, saw no gains in strength. The exercise group, who trained three times a week, saw a 27% gain in muscle strength. The 3rd group who did not exercise, but amazingly just thought about and visualized themselves exercising experienced nearly the same gains in muscle strength as the exercise group (24%). The group that visualized their exercise got nearly the same benefit, in terms of strength-gains, as the group that actually worked-out. Crazy right?
This has not been an isolated piece of research on thoughts and their effect on us. A Harvard study reported in February 2007 showed that a group of housekeeping staff in a major hotel were told that what they did on a daily basis qualified as the amount of exercise needed to be fit and healthy. They made no changes in behavior, just kept on doing their jobs as they usually did. Four weeks later, the housekeepers had lost weight, lowered their blood pressure, lowered their body-fat percentage, their waist-hip ratio and BMI. A control group of housekeepers who had not been led to believe their job qualified as exercise towards health saw none of these changes.
I hope these stories and research have convinced you to learn to visualize well. So how do you do this?
Get your journal – you are a creator – create your vision.
1. Find a sense of relaxation. Quiet your mind. Be ready to fully focus.
2. Write down all you know about what you want as your purpose in life now. This needs to be a thought where – if nothing was holding me back – what would I want in my life now?
3. Create a clear audacious vision with an actual outcome that you will experience. See the image of you – the sights- the sounds- the smells – the colours- feel the emotions you would feel.
4. Imagine possible challenges and you overcoming those challenges. This helps you to feel in alignment with your vision.
5. Create an intention for your vision. This allows you to clarify the energy around your vision.
You can also use other parts of what you have learned this past week to actually make a vision board. For instance, put your 3 words on your board, put pictures up that approximate what your vision for the future is – put your why on your board, add what feelings you feel when you have what it is that you are visualizing.
Have fun with this. Remember that visualization alone is not what accelerates you. Next week we will look at goals that make the journey to your purpose flow. I look forward to seeing you here again. You can watch my vlogs on my IGTV channel here with this and other information.
Go forth and be wonderful today!