“It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau
I recently attended a 3-day personal success intensive seminar; it had been some time since getting out to class to tend to my perspective. Working primarily from home within my cozy environment, I had slowly drifted into a rut of routine and soon I found myself too close to my own circumstances with my wheels “stuck” in the mud of the rut. For some time I was feeling the resistance and then observed it creeping into my results so I began searching for fresh fodder with which to shift my current situation, the invitation to attend came in perfect timing. It wasn’t long into the weekend that I realized how far into the rut I had gotten myself, how far I had strayed from doing the work that matters most, the activities that leverage positive outcomes and effectiveness and are the backbone of motivation, inspiration and empowerment. NULL
Somewhere along the timeline I had slipped back into the old programming of do, do, do. It was pointed out to me at this seminar that I had been spending little to zero quality time with my personal vision.
In effect, I had let my “imagination muscle” go soft and flabby; I had quit working out in my visual workshop, the place where I receive the most leverage, where the really satisfying, long-lasting results are created.
In Napoleon Hill’s classic reading course “The Law Of Success” he refers to imagination as “the workshop of the human mind and soul” and further on states, “You will see how important is the subject of imagination when you stop to realize that it is the only thing in the world over which you have absolute control.” To the entrepreneur and leader, his vision is everything, in fact, it’s their quintessential gift to us – they are our visionaries! Their vision is what distinguishes them from being mere managers and is the cornerstone of belief in what’s possible; it inspires and motivates them to “right and massive action”. Some of our world’s greatest leaders have held visions that beat all odds against the impossible and changed the face of our planet significantly forever. They live in the realm of: “…the hidden but powerful world of inner vision, where trust and knowingness trump fact and reality.”
“Vision provides us with direction, motivation, and a sense of purpose that inspires our journey in the first place. It gets us up in the morning and gives our day meaning. It keeps us motivated, connected, and excited. When times are tough, it gives us courage to finish the job we started.” – Christian D. Warren, Running With The Rhinos
As one that knows that I create my own reality I was amazed by how slack I had become in investing quality time with the story of my future. The clarity of my intention had become foggy at best, what’s more, as one aspiring to be a great leader; I realized the success of those on my team was also at stake. I’m in love with my people and it shook me when I realized it wasn’t just my future I was affecting.
“…organizations prosper or die as a result of their leader’s ability to embody and communicate the company’s vision.” – Donald T. Phillips, Lincoln On Leadership “You have to know where you’re going. To be able to state it clearly and concisely. And you have to care about it passionately. That all adds up to vision. The concise statement or picture of where the company and its people are heading and why they should be proud of it.” – Tom Peters & Nancy Austin quoted in Lincoln On Leadership
The strength of belief in myself, my purpose and ultimately my team had started to “slide” as I somehow got my cart in front of the horse – again – skewing my perception of my current situation. I had forgotten the utmost importance of the golden rule: vision first, action second.
“Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with vision is making a positive difference.” – Joel Barker
Visualization or intention setting isn’t reserved for star athletes, performers and entrepreneurs; it’s available to all of us, always and we can do it anywhere!
Everyone can improve any situation or segment of their day by first imagining the perfect outcome and most importantly how it will feel when you achieve the goal. The emotion behind the vision is what gives it speed and substance, first figure out what you want and then why you want it and how it’ll make you feel when you get it.
As children we are born with strong imagination muscles, remember way back when? Over time and the busy-ness of life we let go of the practice and before long we are doing, doing, doing without first envisioning the perfect end result we desire, time passes and we land astray from our intended destination. Just a few moments of attention on what we really want makes the action toward it easier and often a lot more fun. You’ll be amazed at what shows up as a result of doing your most important work; imagining, it’s magical.
“Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you’re riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake up and live!” – Bob Marley
It’s time to flex that imagination muscle again! Guaranteed life will take on a whole different look and feel if you put the most important muscle to work, practice, practice, practice, it gets easier as you get used to it. I have rescheduled time in my days to get ‘er done knowing that thoughts are things and my results are dependent upon the work! If you’re unsure of how to get back into that place called your imagination, simply Google “visualization techniques” and you’ll get hundreds of thousands of suggestions, and tools to get you on your way again! Like when you were a little kid, have fun with it and let me know what happens as you envision the perfect future for yourself and those around you, we need what you have to offer, and in the words of one of our greatest visionaries:
“Cherish your visions and your dreams, as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.” – Napoleon Hill
- Flexing The Imagination Muscle Again by Julie Coombs - May 1, 2011
- Learning the “Art of Philanthropy”… by Julie Coombs - August 1, 2009
- Be a student of Many Masters! by Julie Coombs - October 1, 2006