How often do you visualize the outcome of a given day, a project, or a meeting – even your career, for that matter? I've come to realize that those who find the greatest fulfillment and success are visualizing the steps needed to achieve a desired outcome.
Allow me to offer three examples of when it is helpful to envision your end game.
Competing as an Athlete: Consider a professional athlete such as the pole-vaulter. As I understand it, the most successful ones actually visualize themselves flying over the cross bar. They envision planting the pole, jumping off the ground, extending their legs high over their head, turning in the air so they can be looking down at the cross bar on their way over it, and landing safely on the other side.
Closing a Deal: Think about what makes a successful salesperson. They don’t just read about their prospect prior to a meeting. Instead, they ponder how the conversation will go and plan for possible objections, then how to overcome each objection in order to “close the deal.” Should they not get the sale at the outset, they’ve already planned how to secure a follow-up appointment, playing out various scenarios to improve their opportunities for success.
Assembling a Jigsaw Puzzle: This example is one we can all relate to: the jigsaw puzzle. Don’t you find it easier to complete the puzzle when you look at the picture on the box? Maybe that’s just me.
In sum, if we visualize what we are capable of, then we are much more likely to ensure success. I’d encourage everyone to practice the art of visualization.
Once you’ve identified your vision, go make it happen, and don’t be afraid to share it with others. Their encouragement might be just the impetus you need to hold yourself accountable. Just remember, take baby steps. Practice it in small ways at first, but practice it frequently.
Photo credit: Selective Focus Photography