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How to Visualize

Three Parts:Visualizing Your GoalsRefining Your TechniqueUsing Visualization Exercises

Visualization is a technique used by winners in all walks of life. If you really want something to come to fruition, then you have to put your imaginative mind to work. See the result in front of you, play the game you are going to play in your mind or watch yourself accepting your degree at college. The only limit is your own mind.

Part 1
Visualizing Your Goals

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    Visualize the activity, event, or result desired. Think "what you see is what you get" and be ready for creativity and mind synthesis to take the lead. Close your eyes and picture it. It is the only thing that exists in this world right now. Everything else is darkness.
    • Let's say you want to envision that you get a promotion. Imagine your brand new office with your name in gold-emblazoned letters on the door. Imagine the black, swivel chair behind your huge mahogany desk. Imagine the Renoir reproduction between your diplomas. Once you cover the big stuff, get smaller. Get down to the dust in the corners. The residue of the coffee in your mug. The way the light hits the carpeting as it peeks through the slats in the blinds.
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    Fix your mindset. Nothing is going to improve when you feel lousy about yourself and your chances in life. A positive mindset will reset an erring period of bad luck. It will turn that half-empty glass into the half-full glass; the rainy day into the silver-lined cloud. Seize opportunities to change and move on. You're about to create them!
    • Visualization is sort of like hypnosis: if you don't think it'll work, it won't. Thinking positively is the first step to making sure this visualization is actually effective. It's the first step to making these desires a part of real life.
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    Move your imagination into the real world. After you have spent a moment, day, month, or even years visualizing your goal, shift to focus mode. Right before you perform the activity, task, or event that will achieve an outcome or an outcome toward your goal, focus clearly on the picture of the action you are about to make. Even if it's something intangible like "make more money" and it's applicable to the everyday, it can be used before going to work or each business possibility.
    • For example, if you are trying to hit a ball, picture hitting it clearly in your mind, stroke by stroke, at the right height and the right speed. Watch the ball being hit by your instrument, flying through the air and landing wherever it is meant to land. Add all senses to the experience -- hearing the approaching ball, hearing and feeling the impact, smelling the grass. Then do it for real!
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    Remind yourself of the importance of slowing down. Visualization only works when you are calm, at ease, and willing to give yourself time to focus in peace, free from immediate worries. Visualization is a technique very close to meditation, only it is more active and vivid. In visualization you are encouraged to think actively about the possibilities but as with meditation you must leave aside anything extraneous to your dreams and goals and only focus on them. So whatever you're actively imagining, relax. Stay calm. There's no rush.
    • If you can, make yourself comfortable. Having very few distractions (cell phone, TV, temperature control, pre-holiday pants on a post-holiday waistline) will make this process a lot easier. It'll help you think more relaxed, too, when less is going on around you.
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    Visualize the personality traits needed to get you where you want to be. It's not enough to want to be the president. You need to think about the qualities that will assist you in getting there. Visualize not only the presidency but also the skills of open communication, persuasiveness, smiling, sharing, listening, discussing, being able to deflect criticism with skill and respect, etc. It is likely there will be skills you need to work on, but again, use visualization to focus on separate skills to bring them up to par.
    • If you're visualizing having something or doing something, imagine how you would get there. If you want to be president, imagine your political career. Imagine your campaign. Imagine attending fundraisers and meeting political bigwigs. Imagine the red light of the camera at your first debate. How would this visualized you handle these situations?
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    Use affirmations. Pictures are great, but words work well, too. If you see a thinner, fit you, lounging around in that dream pair of jeans of yours, say to yourself, "I have the body I dream of. I am losing weight and this feels great." If you are hitting that baseball, tell yourself, "I see the ball. I hit it with such force that it's knocked out of the park."
    • You can repeat this to yourself as many times as you need. Just make sure you believe it! Feeling silly won't get you the results you're looking for. Seeing is believing, remember?

Part 2
Refining Your Technique

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    Think long term. Anybody who wants change overnight will be disappointed. Even if you won a fortune in the morning, you'd be as dissatisfied with your life in 6 months time as you are now unless you look inside to what ails you. Instead, plan to make realization of your hopes and dreams long term. Visualize where you will be in 5, 10 and 15 years time and the sorts of outcomes you want. How will your situation be different and how will you be different?
    • But don't just make a shallow photo of you in a Porsche surrounded by a large house, a massive diamond collection and fawning friends. That's artificial and will not prove healthy nor satisfying in the long run. Instead, visualize what you want to achieve as a human being and what legacies you will leave your community and world. Think deeper.
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    Think in the affirmative. When it comes to visualization, hypnosis, or just positive thinking, you gotta think in the affirmation. Zeroing in on "not being poor" isn't exactly helpful, you know? So instead of not wanting something or not being something or not having something, focus on what you do want, what you are, or what you have. I want financial security. I am beautiful. I have the guts to move. You get the picture.
    • Think actively and in the present tense, too. If you are visualizing yourself not smoking anymore, don't recite the mantra, "I will try to quit." That's worthless. Think along the lines of, "Cigarettes are disgusting. I don't want them. They do nothing for me." That's the here and now. That's powerful.
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    Be realistic. If you're a boxer and you're trying to visualize your next match and you absolutely dominating, it's not going to do you any good picturing yourself as Muhammad Ali. You'll just end up in the ring not living up to the standards you set for yourself. You'll end up frustrated and exhausted with yourself. And then you'll probably quit. No! That's the opposite of what we want to happen.
    • Instead, imagine your swings like the best swings you've ever had. Imagine your opponent as that bag in the gym that you pummel on a daily basis. Imagine your coach screaming in unstoppable delight as you give the best performance of your career. These things could happen. And there's no reason why they won't.
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    Push beyond your freak-out phase. At the very beginning, this visualization thing may feel pretty frou-frou, if you will. It'll feel weird, it'll feel foreign, and it may even feel a bit creepy. You have to push past that! It does go away. At the beginning it's natural to feel uncomfortable being consumed by this dream world, but it's just a phase. If it doesn't feel a little funny, you're probably not doing it right.
    • This is only remedied by practice, that's all. There's no other key than time. As with anything, there's a learning curve. It'll only seem steep if you don't commit. Let yourself go and it'll go away! You're the only obstacle to your visualization success.
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    Be the star. In your visualizations, you are not the audience. This is your stage and your time to shine. So be the star! Soak up that limelight! Put yourself in all your deserved glory. Don't picture it as a movie -- your visualizations should be from your own perspective.
    • This is what it means to fully visualize. It is a reality as if seen through your very own eyes. You're not having some sort of out of body experience; it's the future. It's real life. It's all about you.

Part 3
Using Visualization Exercises

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    Take a photo, look at it for one minute, then put it away and shut your eyes and envision it. Think about the colors, the objects, and the details. How accurately can you recreate it in your mind's eye? If there are portions you're forgetting, sneak a peek, but then put it back.
    • Work on doing this with different pictures until you get super good at it. Until you train your eye to be automatically observant and that minute is almost too much time. We often shut off our brains and don't realize we can actually turn them back on!
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    For the second exercise, take a 3D object. Let's say it's a hardcover book. It's one you have on your shelf, actually. Now, imagine the front, the back, the sides, it opened, it closed, the covers, the pages, and everything in between. Imagine what it looks like under the shade of a tree; imagine what it looks like next to your nightlight. Imagine what it feels and smells like. And maybe even its taste!
    • The idea here is to be able to move it around in your mind. This can actually be quite difficult; sometimes our brains like to live in 2D; it's a lot easier. So rotate it up and down, back and forth, open and close it. Think about its weight as it rotates. Think about how the pages move as it rotates. Think about it as real object.
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    For the third exercise, see it in the real world. Keep your eyes open. Take that book and imagine it on your table. Imagine the shadow it reflects on your coaster. Get close to it. Rest your hand on it. How does it feel? How does the indentation of the spine feel versus the cover? How do the edges of the pages feel versus their fronts? Put your nose up to it. What then?
    • Pick it up! Toss it around. What's it like to balance? Better yet, what's your thought process like? Are you actually feeling it or supposing? How vivid does it feel?
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    For the fourth exercise, imagine yourself in an exotic location. Now we're dealing with more than just an object (see how we're escalating here?). Imagine an entire scene that you've never been in before. Address all of your senses as completely as possible.
    • Let's take the beach: think about everything from the way the salt is carried in the breeze to the swish of the palm leaves as they brush together in the wind. Think about the heat of the sun and how it makes the grains in the sand shine like diamonds. Get the picture as complete as possible.
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    For the last exercise, imagine yourself interacting with your environment. Take that same environment and now place yourself in it. Feel the sand between your toes. Feel how the sun is heating up your skin. Feel the icy cold water as you dip your foot in it and the waves whisk it away. Feel the wet sand mold and sink beneath your weight. The breeze as it tousles your hair. Sit down. Play. Relax. Take a nap. Let the noise of the ebb and flow of the ocean lull you to sleep. Let the seagulls keep you company. Are you there?
    • This is the ultimate visualization -- when you can picture an entire environment and yourself in it, you have this thing down. Now feel free to create worlds that you can conquer -- social, physical, mental worlds, perhaps? Your mind is your playground. Go!
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    Write it down, if it helps. We all have different abilities and dispositions. If you're the type that can live through words, write it down. As the sensations come to you, write it down. You can immortalize it and then relive it over and over and over. You can use it as a source of motivation and you can then recall the imagery with ease.
    • When you go back to read it, use it to re-enter your visualization state. Close your eyes, revisit your affirmations, and expand. With each time, take it to the next level. Go from the beach to the ocean, completely immersed in the water. Grow your world. The larger it becomes, the more gratifying it will be.


  • Don't forget feelings. You have to be happy and grateful to use visualization correctly.
  • Help others to visualize. One of the best gifts you can ever give is that of hope and visualizing is a part of hope for better things. Teach others how to do it once you have the confidence and you'll be sharing around pieces of hope.
  • Visualization takes practice. Everyone has the power to do it but not everyone has the belief in it. If you are skeptical, you may want to convince yourself that this is a waste of time. Do not give into this temptation because everyone, skeptics included, can benefit from visualizing. It is about our brain's ability to synthesize results (a scientifically proven fact).
  • "Read Psycho Cybernetics" by Maxwell Maltz. You can apply it to acquire a habit like eating slowly which helps avoid overeating and obesity.
  • While reading a book with no pictures, you should take some words and visualize them. Gradually, you'll be able to visualize whatever you're reading.
  • If you can't visualize you in another place visualize a place you know well. Like the Library or a spot you usually go to often. Here are some steps.

Things You'll Need

  • A photo
  • An object
  • "Psycho Cybernetics" by Maxwell Maltz

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