There is a time for relaxing and a time for “hanging out” and a time for play. There is also a time to plan for success.
Success doesn’t just happen. It takes belief and it takes preparation. What many people don’t realize is that one of the best ways to prepare for success is to create a picture in your mind of the time when you will be successful. What will your achievements look like and how will you feel?
The concept seems almost too simple. What difference could it make if do visualization before taking on a new challenge?
In fact, the research is pretty strong to demonstrate that visualizing success does make a difference. Studies have demonstrated that music students made measureable improvements in their instrumental skills by picturing themselves playing an instrument even without the benefit of actual practice. There have been similar findings in the world of sports demonstrating improved performance after visualization of success. Indeed, it is almost a needed ingredient if an underdog is going to beat a heavy favorite.
The core of some methods of relaxation training involves picturing oneself being in a relaxing scene at a beach or other comfortable place – which leads to measureable physiological relaxation.
When I recently underwent hip replacement surgery, I prepared to get better quickly by setting goals and by visualizing myself walking normally and becoming as independent as possible in as many activities as possible as soon as possible. I shocked my physical and occupational therapists by what I could do on the day after surgery, and I truly believe that it was largely due to my visualization of success and mental preparation for it rather than waiting for it to happen.
Think about it the next time that you are facing a challenge or the next time that you are trying to learn a new skill. But do more than just think about it. Visualize success and plan to be successful. You may be surprised about how successful you will be.