The science behind visualization. PLUS, 4 more easy tips on making your dreams come true.
In Visualizing for Results, Part 1, we discovered that if you visualize something, the power of universal vibrational energy will insure that it doesn’t happen, unless you take steps to do the right kind of visualization. The good news is that the power of visualization has been studied by science. And whether you believe in the spirituality or the psychology, the truth is that some visualizations work, while others don’t. In his book, 59 Seconds, Richard Wiseman helps us understand what science has shown about making our dreams come true. We’ve already covered the first 3 steps to making your dreams come true in part 1 of this episode on visualizing for results:
Step 1 - Visualize the process, not the outcome
Step 2 - Visualize in the third person
Step 3 - Combine optimistic motivation with realistic planning
Today, we’re going to cover the last 4 tips for making your dreams come true.
Tip #4 - Make a Step-by-Step Plan
Making a step-by-step plan is a great way to start reaching your goals. The best plans are concrete, measurable, and time-based. You should confidently be able to check each step off your list. “Investigate companies” is a decent step in your plan to get a job. “Each week, read 5 trade magazines and find the names of at least 10 exciting companies” is a much better step.
I used to believe a step-by-step plan was a good thing, because then you would follow the plan and reach your goal. As I’ve become older and wiser, I realize that even the best-laid plans of mice and men fall to pieces when confronted by the chaos of the real world. go Say you plan to borrow your parents’ vacation home and have friends over for a lobster boil. You get to step 10 on your plan, where you buy lobsters. Then you leave them on the counter while you answer the doorbell. Unattended, the lobsters start exploring. Your pal Bernice almost steps on one, shrieks in horror, trips backwards, and upsets your great great Aunt Sadie’s antique end table, made by hand in 1916. Step 11 on your new plan is spending the weekend searching for a missing lobster, consoling a traumatized Bernice, and frantically super-gluing the table together before your parents drop in to see how things are going.
My point is that a plan isn’t going to be your ultimate solution. However, a plan is a great tool for transforming a big, honkin’ goal into bite-sized chunks. A huge goal may be intimidating, but small chunks are much more doable. The process of planning forces you to think through your goal and learn more about the factors that will lead to success. If part of your planning is talking to people who have reached the goal you want, you’ll already have a network of people who can help by the time you get started.
Tip #5 - Publicly Declare Your Goal
When you decide you have a dream, start telling people. Tell everyone. Shout it from the rooftops. Write it down and give copies to your significant other, polyamorous family unit, wife, husband, and children. When you tell friends what you’re doing, they can keep their antennas seeking for helpful opportunities.
When you tell people a goal, you’re also more likely to work towards it. This is also the secret in my episode on super-productive action days. When you publicly say you’ll do something, you’re just more likely to do it.