How to Succeed In Everyday Life
What do top athletes and successful managers have in common?
with a vision. Without a well-defined vision, priorities become
confused, time management collapses, and performance wanes. Positive
mental imagery (PMI) is a simple and effective technique to help you in
your everyday working life 1.
What do top athletes and successful managers have in
common? They have the ability to regularly picture success before taking
the necessary actions to achieve it.
understand PMI, think back to the times when you've daydreamed2.
Without consciously thinking, your mind comes up with colorful images,
sensations and actions that gave you a compelling picture. We can learn
to draw upon this powerful human resource and focus on it to achieve the
results we desire.
Build an internal strategy
PMI is used in
the athletic world to rehearse competitive events before they occur. By
rehearsing the exact type of performance required - physically,
mentally and emotionally - the athlete is able to develop an internal
strategy that prepares for the actual event. In the world of work, the
technique has also been used to prepare for presentations and meetings.
Simple and effective
To start using PMI, find a quiet place where you know
you will not be distracted. Taking five minutes in the morning or
evening will be time well spent. You can sit or move around, depending
on what activates your thinking. Select the specific event that you want
to focus on. Slowly picture the exact situation - one frame at a time.
Use all your senses to get the most impact. What do you see? What do you
hear? What do you feel? What do you smell? What do you taste?
Imagine the specific outcome you want. Make it bigger, brighter, and louder. Heighten the emotional impact. See yourself overcoming any obstacles or barriers. Picture any solutions you need. Adapt your breathing to suit the result you want. This may require you to breathe more dynamically, or to breathe in a controlled and relaxed fashion. Let your muscles also adapt to the scenario. If it requires them to be firm and taught, or soft and relaxed, adopt the right muscular position. Re-run the image in your mind until you have clearly anchored the exact result you desire.
Repetition is the key
Although it may sound unrealistic at first, consistently
practicing PMI does achieve results, and it can improve a variety of
situations3. For specific events, such as presentations or
meetings, you should practice as far in advance as possible. For
everyday activities, including telephone calls and regular
communications, it is helpful to rehearse the mental image of your
desired outcome right before you answer the call or return an answer.
Probably the greatest benefit of mental imagery is that
it can lead to innovation. We live in a fast-paced world requiring quick
solutions. Training your mind to influence the delivery of results can
be extremely beneficial. There is an old saying, "If you do what you've
always done, you'll get what you've always got." Be prepared to use
mental imagery to get the most benefit.
- Covey S. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Simon & Schuster. 1989
- Wilson P. Calm for Life. Penguin. 2000
- Robbins A. Unlimited Power. Simon & Schuster. 1988