Some interesting reading material with that quote at the top of the page found its way to me this week. I was immediately drawn in by those few lines and found myself reading an extensive article about a PLC vision; but at the heart of that article was a message about the power of positive thinking and envisioning clear positive outcomes, and it really got me thinking about whether or not visualising positive outcomes can actually work.
We have all heard about (and in my case even read) 'The Secret' and we're all privy to the belief that focused and continued positive visualisation can make things happen or manifest into positive outcomes. But is there any real truth to this practise? Does it actually work, or is it just some new age malarkey to get you to waste your time?
Elite athletes have been using the method of positive visualisation for many years as an integral part of their practise and preparation before competing, and coaches and trainers around the world swear by it's effectiveness. Turns out, that this method of mentally creating the ideal, is actually being used successfully in all walks of life. From scientists and revolutionists to housewives and hotel staff, positive visualisation techniques are being embraced and practiced everywhere, and with excellent results.
Musicians are using it to nail a difficult piece of music or to write their next album, performers are using it before they go on stage or arrive on set, writers are using it before they even put pen to paper, artists before the paint hits the canvas and therapists use it with their patients to help them to create their own successful outcomes before they happen. It would seem that if you aren't using this technique yet, then you are definitely behind the eight ball.
Australian Psychologist Alan Richardson did a small and very significant experiment on the power of envisioning positive outcomes with a group of basketball players that had never used the technique before. He split the players into three groups and tested each player's ability to make free throws. For twenty consecutive days the first group practised throwing free throws for 20 minutes. The second group were only allowed to visualise themselves making free throws for 20 minutes a day and the third group did not do anything at all. Not surprisingly, the third group had no change at all, however, the group that only visualised that they were making the throws improved 23% which was only 1% less than the group that had physically practised doing the throws every day. This experiment proved that positive visualisation methods could definitely give a person a psychological edge on their competition, and the best news is that anyone can do it, it's super easy and it can be used by anyone for any purpose.
According to online resources, it is best to do your visualising twice a day - first thing in the morning and right before you go to sleep, you should typically spending 10 minutes each time, amounting to 20 minutes of positive visualisation a day. There is actually a tonne of information online about the best way to do your visualisations (including youtube clips), but basically all you need to do is have your ideal goal clear before you begin and then relax, close your eyes and envision yourself in this perfect goal setting (eg. playing the piano perfectly) with as much clarity and detail as you can for ten minutes and then you're on your way.
By doing this practise, you are beginning to strengthen the pathways in your brain that will allow that thing to occur - sounds weird I know, but apparently it works. It is usually best to start with something small at first like waking up earlier or eating slower, and then once you've got some understanding of how it works and how long your brain takes to re-wire itself, you can take on bigger things.
Needless to say, I am going to give it a go. I am always keen to utilise the power of my brain and will never knock back a chance to grow for the better. I will most certainly keep you posted on my positive visions for a better future as I proceed, but I am definitely going to need to start small at first, even though I really want to visualise myself with a million bucks straight off the bat.
Now I just have to think of something simple to get the ball rolling.....
Release Date: 2010
Running Time: 95 mins
This fabulous computer-animated superhero movie had me in stitches! Directed by Tom McGrath and produced by Dreamworks Animation, Megamind tells the story of a super-intelligent, super-villain alien who just wants to defeat his nemesis Metro Man and take over the world.
Megamind (Will Ferrell) is the cleverest super villain that the world has ever seen, but his devious plans get thwarted time and time again by the squeaky clean superhero Metro Man (Brad Pitt). When Megamind actually succeeds in defeating in Metro Man, much to his surprise, he finds that his life as a super-villain suddenly seems purposeless without an arch enemy to pursue.
This is a really entertaining children's movie. The animation is stunningly sleek, the humour is heavy and the entire film plays out like a gizmo-crazy sci-fi spectacular. Megamind isn't taking itself seriously enough to have a really strong moral message, but there is definitely a point being relayed about 'keeping your enemies close'.
FINAL SAY: It's REVENGE, and it's best served cold!
3.5 Chili Peppers