There are three elements of a compelling vision. In my last blog post, I discussed the first element – having a significant purpose. The second element of a compelling vision is a clear picture of the future.
There is tremendous power in holding a picture in your mind of what you intend to create.
I first became aware of the power of holding a picture of what you want to create after the 1976 Olympics. The Russians walked away with almost all of the gold medals, and people were wondering how they did it. We discovered that they were using a technique called “mental rehearsal” where they imagined practicing the race. I was very curious about this and got interested in visualization.
Around the same time, I was teaching children with learning disabilities. These were 10 year-old kids who had experienced years of failure in learning to read and were quite frustrated. One day it occurred to me that they probably couldn’t even imagine themselves reading. Despite all the techniques I was using, if they couldn’t imagine themselves reading, no wonder it was so hard.
So I started a little experiment where I had them close their eyes for 10 minutes each day while I took them through a guided imagery. I started the year with having them imagine that they were walking into the library, just enjoying looking at picture books and feeling comfortable in the library. Over the year, I gradually added in reading words. By the end of year, I had them imagine they were reading long books with no pictures and enjoying it.
Their attitude really changed. You could see that they felt so much more comfortable, and teaching became more fun. I believe they actually learned more that year.
Vision is a very clear picture that you can see in your mind. It’s more than just positive thinking.
As techniques in mental imagery became more sophisticated, sports psychologists discovered that although mental rehearsal was helpful, the real power was in having the athletes imagine they were standing on the podium receiving the gold medal.
It’s not possible to map out the entire journey. Hold your picture of the destination, the end-result you desire. The process for getting there will become more clear as you proceed.
Vision is a clearly articulated, results-oriented picture of a future you intend to create. It is a dream with direction.