Have you ever visualized a goal? If so, you are not alone.
In 1912, Native American Jim Thorpe and the others who qualified to compete for the USA in the summer Olympics headed to Stockholm on a long voyage across the Atlantic. While the others trained on ship’s deck, Jim regularly kicked back in a lounge chair, relaxing with his eyes closed.
A writer named Francis Albertani asked, “What are you doing, Jim? Thinking of your Uncle Sitting Bull?”
“No,” Jim said. “I’m practicing the broad jump. I’ve just jumped 23 feet, eight inches. I think I can win it.”
Jim Thorpe actively practiced creative visualization.
What is creative visualization? It’s like daydreaming. It’s using our minds to help us achieve our real dreams. The power of the mind can aid people to achieve their goals, to become successful, be healed of illness, manage pain, grow spiritually, or accomplish anything they wish, simply by envisioning the desired result in their mind.
According to Rich Avery of Life Compass Blog, “It’s not just about seeing it clearly, but hearing, smelling, and tasting it too.” He explains, “When you continuously focus on an idea or image in your mind, you program every cell in your body and mind to work toward achieving that idea or image. Once you impress it into the subconscious part of you, it eventually becomes ‘fixed’ and you automatically attract and move towards that which you desire.”
So you want to become a successful writer? Visualize yourself finishing a book, finishing several books, and then winning awards.
Author and Writing Coach Jennifer Blanchard says, “I want to be a writer. So I imagine 1,000 people waiting outside a bookstore for me or that I’m signing a contract to make my book (NY Times bestseller! Nobel Prize winner!) into a movie… But visualization is more than just imagining the end product. It can help you get unstuck if you’re currently mired down in a work in progress or it can help you jump-start a new story.”
She explains how visualizing a scene from your character’s point of view and imagining them applying the five senses to their world will help you write your story. Check out Jennifer’s blog on visualization here.
A guest post by Nathan Kash on the WriteToDone blog agrees how important visualization is to successful writing. “Visualization can be the single most important silver bullet in a fictional writer’s arsenal. Your goal would be to engage the reader’s five senses, which means you have to be highly descriptive. Make them see what you want them to see, hear what you want them to hear and feel what you want them to feel etc.”
Also, check out a good post on visualizing hooks on the WriteToDone blog here.
Psychology Today magazine actively promotes the power of visualization. In this article, Angie LeVan says, “Mental practice can get you closer to where you want to be in life, and it can prepare you for success! For instance, Natan Sharansky, a computer specialist who spent nine years in prison in the USSR after being accused of spying for US has a lot of experience with mental practices. While in solitary confinement, he played himself in mental chess, saying: ‘I might as well use the opportunity to become the world champion!’ Remarkably, in 1996, Sharansky beat world champion chess player Garry Kasparov!”
Research shows that for any skill, mental practice is nearly as effective as true practice. Check out the link to the study here.
Successful people from all walks of life attain their goals through creative visualization and so can writers. It can help us get ideas, get started on a project, overcome writer’s block, finish a book, and successfully promote it. We can all achieve our dreams if we just dare to visualize it.
Jim Thorpe’s lounge chair visualization worked. He did win in the 1912 Olympics, taking the gold medals in both the decathlon and pentathlon.
Creative Visualization can help you become the person you’re meant to be, so set your goals and dream of attaining those goals, over and over and over . . . until it’s they’re no longer dreams, but become reality.
So time to start visualizing….
What are your dreams and goals? Have you ever practiced creative visualization?