Visualise A Favourable Future
“Imagine your ideal future. Visualize yourself as if your life were perfect in every respect.” — Brian Tracy
It’s easy to focus on what is wrong in your life than trying to envisage a better future because your problems are real.
To imagine a future you can’t see poses a challenge. However, it’s worth devoting more time to visualise what you want to experience as I’m about to outline.
Before we proceed, I wish to render a caveat in case you dismiss this as another touchy feel good article. Visualisation without action is futile because mental preparation and inspired action are both necessary to bring to life your desires.
I’m not articulating something new and apologise if you came looking for a revelation. Similarly, I can’t assure you that a new idea will change your life either. What I can offer is a message that highlights why visualisation is a powerful tool to improve your life.
It’s important to visualise a favourable future instead of focussing on circumstances that annoy you. Many people act impulsively without giving any thought to what they really want. They constantly think about what they don’t want and are disheartened when it shows up not as expected. This is because they haven’t devoted enough time or energy to get clear on their desires.
It was Napoleon Hill who wrote in The Master Key to Riches: “Mental attitude is important because it converts the brain into the equivalent of an electromagnet which attracts the counterpart of one’s dominating thoughts, aims and purposes. It also attracts the counterpart of one’s fears, worries and doubts.”
People spend more time than necessary observing what is wrong in their life instead of imagining what their ideal future could be.
Use Windows Of Opportunity To Bathe Your Mind
“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” — Carl Sagan
Hebbian Theory describes the mechanism for synaptic plasticity stating: “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” Brain cells that communicate frequently are strengthened through their connection. Messages travelling along the same pathway in the brain often become faster and more efficient.
This is beneficial for several reasons, least of which means what you give enough attention to is reinforced in the brain through its cellular network.
Therefore, if you give attention to what is unwanted in your life, those same cellular structures are strengthened and become efficient unless you change your thought patterns.
“Any idea that is held in the mind, emphasized, feared or reverenced, begins at once to clothe itself in the most convenient and appropriate physical form that is available,” states Napoleon Hill.
I realise this is easier said than done. It has taken me many years of practice and drawbacks to consider myself capable of directing my thoughts. However, through diligent practice and regular meditation, I am more aware of my thoughts instead of allowing them to control me.
Certain times of the day such as early mornings and late evenings can be conducive to visualisation since the mind is less agitated then. Think of these times as windows of opportunity to bathe your mind with images and ideas to create your ideal future. The right time of the day helps in nourishing your mind with the right impressions.
Likewise, if you are stressed, hungry or tired, try not to wrestle with your thoughts since you are unlikely to succeed.
“While a certain amount of vision is necessary, on the other hand it must be remembered that we are dealing with a power that is like the soil of the ground, which will produce the plant when we plant seed. It does not matter if we have never before seen a plant like the one that is to be made for us. Our thought is the seed and mind is the soil. We are always planting and harvesting. All that we need to do is to plant only that which we want to harvest,” wrote the founder of Science of Mind magazine Ernest S. Holmes.
Many New Age authors of the early 20th century spoke of the importance of visualisation, including: Ernest Holmes, Napoleon Hill, James Allen, Norman Vincent Peale, Wallace D Wattles, Neville Goddard and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Even the great Stoic philosophers of ancient Greece spoke of training the mind to harness its potential. The most successful amongst us know that imagination is the strongest faculty of the mind.
Albert Einstein devoted many hours to conceive of intricate mathematical formulas. Author Walter Isaacson writes in Einstein: His Life and Universe: “How did he get his ideas? “I’m enough of an artist to draw freely on my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
In a similar vein, it was the great Italian Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci who spent countless hours visualising his inventions before they came to life. Da Vinci referred to his visualisation process as, “sapere vedere” which translates to: “knowing how to see.”
Form A Mental Picture Of An Ideal Future
“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” — George Bernard Shaw
The power of imagination is a powerful mental ability to create one’s future. However, to take advantage of it you must devote consistent time and effort to develop your mental powers so it becomes laser focused.
The British philosophical writer James Allen wrote in As a Man Thinketh: “A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must, and will, bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.”
Visualisation requires time, patience and diligence and is something world renowned creators and thinkers engage in often. They apply laser-like focus to envisioning an idea until it comes to life.
Prayer is a form of visualisation, so too are your words, so it makes sense to use your creative powers to visualise your future. It’s of no use bemoaning your current situation in the hope of creating a different outcome.
I liken it to travelling on a train headed in one direction before realising you want to go in the other direction. You notice a train approaching in the distance and decide to disembark in order to catch it.
And so it is with visualisation. Avoid giving your attention to what you’re unhappy with in your life. Do not talk or write about it. Rather, focus on what you want to create by setting aside as little as five minutes a day to visual it.
James Allen says: “A particular train of thought persisted in, be it good or bad cannot fail to produce its results on the character and circumstances. A man cannot directly choose his circumstances, but he can choose his thoughts, and so indirectly, yet surely, shape his circumstances.”
Many great thinkers used daydreaming to enhance their creative abilities. They sat in their favourite chair and allowed their minds to wander. Some took afternoon naps. In the moments preceding the nap, they visualised a scene or a problem and drifted off, awakening later with a solution. I often take regular naps in the afternoon and have noticed that my greatest insights arise following a twenty minute nap.
What you wish to bring to life should be first visualised and cultivated in the mind until it feels real. For the cynics, this is not positive thinking either, but redirecting the same mental energy you devote to your problems towards a better outcome.
Use the power of visualisation and emotions to form a mental picture of your ideal future.
It is often said we use ten percent of our minds. This is because we haven’t developed the understanding to create our lives via our thoughts. By harnessing the power of your thoughts, you can train your mind to focus intently on what you want to create and play with the ideas, perhaps changing them before they manifest into reality.
Take consistent action to support your visualisations. Remember, visualisation and right action work in harmony with one another. On their own, are merely a diluted fantasy.
Harness the power of your conscious and subconscious mind and you will undoubtedly create a powerful future worth living.