When I think of visualization, I often think of athletes. Michael Jordan, Lance Armstrong, Michael Phelps, Connor McGregor, and many others.
What these athletes have in common is their ability to visualize success and act on it.
If I want to reproduce the same success in my life, whether athletics or business, I must form images in my mind and act on them.
A good way to do this is to set goals. I ask myself a basic question every day. What are the steps I need to take for my image to come true?
This defines activity. Activity is a set of action steps that move me closer to achieving my goal.
Bruce Lee was one of the best at this. He hurt his back performing a weightlifting exercise called “Good Mornings”. While recovering, he wrote his martial arts and philosophy book, The Tao of Jeet Kune Do.
He imaged himself recovering and coming back stronger than ever. The doctors told him this was impossible. He starred in five major martial arts movies after his recovery.
Visualization is as much a part of yoga as the postures I love. To go beyond my limits, I must first image what this looks like.
Creating grounded goals is a must. Listing activities to turn those goals into a reality will make it happen. Figuring out why I am doing it and being passionate about it completes the process.
Here are three ways I make my “dreams” manifest:
I write it down. A goal is useless if I’m not accountable to it. Writing it down takes it out of my head and onto the paper. For example, “I will be able to perform a timed handstand for two minutes (working on this one!).”
I write three activities under each goal. This is the process to achieve the goal. I try to touch one of these activities each day. If I don’t perform all of them, I don’t fret. In the above example, here are my activities: Go to yoga class four times a week, timed handstands on Mondays and Fridays, bring my full attention to something every day. The last one is very important. I know one-pointed concentration is the key for me to achieve this goal.
I have fun with it. If I’m not having fun, I’m not passionate about it. It doesn’t mean I’m not challenging myself. I would argue the challenge makes it fun for me. I act like I’m leveling up my character in a video game. These make the challenges less subjective and more objective, removing unnecessary anxiety and perfectionist tendencies.
Bruce Lee said, “Be like water, my friend.” When I create anything, the process is what’s important.
The process moves, changes, pushes, pulls, and sways. Creation helps me know myself better. It takes courage, defining the next step, and taking it up the mountain.