I’ve written about my exhaustion lately. Whenever I get that way, I search my own blog and Today’s Line to Live By stack for help. It sounds ridiculous, but even I need reinforcement and reconditioning—and I’m not afraid to ask myself for advice.
One daily exercise I’ve practiced religiously is visualization. I’ve slipped away from it lately, but I’m back on track. I thought I’d discuss it in this post. Five minutes of this every day will improve your life dramatically.
When did that gray hair and eye wrinkle show up?
Much like you, I look in the mirror every day. I snap a selfie or 10 with my wife and dogs.
I never notice my face change from day to day. Only when I look at pictures from a few years back can I see the transformation.
Much of your life is like this. Your career is like this. Your marriage can be like this.
While most people prefer to slow the aging process, many want to accelerate their lives and careers. Much like the unnoticeable change with age, your progress from day to day becomes imperceptible.
Oftentimes, you’ll feel better about your advancements if you take time to look back at where you were one, three, and five years ago. That’ll help your psyche a bit (in most cases).
I’m sure many of you are like me. You feel where you’ve been is history. You care more about getting where you’re going—and you want to get there is a hurry!
I’m running really fast but I can’t see the finish line?
There are few key principles to understand to help you quickly get from point A to point B.
The first is you’ll get where you’re going faster if you know where you want to go. It also helps to know where you are. Don’t laugh. Most people are in a much better starting position than they realize.
The second is you’ll make greater leaps in life by doing small things you love than doing big things you don’t. You need to enjoy yourself each day because your passion and optimism will fuel getting things done.
The third is you need to believe you can get there and be unafraid to jump in! At least once a day, I think about this fantastic quote from American Naturalist and Essayist John Burroughs. He said, “Leap, and the net will appear.”
Where’s the 5-minute thing you promised me? I’m in a hurry…
Okay antsy pants. Visualize yourself at your end-state even though you don’t know how to get there.
Imagine yourself at your “destination.” What’s it like? How does it feel? How does it sound? What will this end-state allow you to do?
Imagine this for five minutes. It’s okay to dream, but you’re more likely creating a reality.
“Five minutes” means you can do this in the shower, on the train, or wherever. It’s best to do it in a quiet location.
This visual of you in all your glory will have pull power—it’ll feel like it’s pulling you toward it. In actuality, you’ll be pushing yourself toward it one step at a time.
There are really only two steps required for the greatest level of success: the next step and the extra step. You simply need to know what you need to do next to move toward your destination. Putting a little extra effort along the way will separate you from the masses who are unwilling to do that.
I wish I new what Reality TV was when I started…
Here’s how I visualize.
Twelve years ago, I changed professions. I left a corporate position as an Information Technology and Management Consultant to become a professional recruiter. I shared some of this in The Secret to Avoid Career Stagnation.
At the time, I knew I loved helping people. I felt then (and still do) my purpose was to become a premier source of help for people who want to improve their careers and lives.
I knew when I started that I could help many by working with them to secure new career opportunities. I’d also provide guidance to others who I couldn’t “place” in new jobs. This combination of people numbered in the several hundreds in my first year in business. Good start!
At this point, I started visualizing myself helping tens of thousands. I imagined it even though I didn’t know how. More phone calls wasn’t the answer because there simply wasn’t enough time.
As I continued to visualize over the years, the number of people I’d help kept growing. I wanted to help hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of people.
I started to envision ways to communicate with them—blogging, writing books, and speaking. Then I just started doing those things, even if I wasn’t proficient yet.
Before I knew what hit me, I was on the radio and TV. How did that happen?
I began visualizing speaking to larger audiences. I would need to reach these people more easily. Better yet, can I figure out how to get them to find me? What’s this social media stuff? What are Search Engine Optimization, Webinars, and these other mediums?
As you witness the transformation, your visualizations become more real. The picture becomes clearer.
You believe it. Then it happens. It’s never the other way around.
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