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1 Simple Technique to Visualize Better

1 Simple Technique to Visualize Better
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One of my favorite things about buying a lottery ticket is the dream that comes with it.  It doesn’t matter what my odds of winning are. I buy the ticket and almost immediately my imagination goes wild on what I’ll do with the money.  Buy a house, travel the world, etc.

Now a lot of skeptical people will wonder why I even bother thinking about it since the odds of winning are so low.  But I’m a believer in Law of Attraction. I understand the importance of visualizing or using my imagination.

The Science Behind The Power of Visualization

For those who don’t know what visualization is, it’s the deliberate creation of images in one’s mind.  It’s a very effective way to achieve your desires, if done correctly. Without going into too much detail, achieving this state includes being in a relaxed state, holding a clear idea of your desires in mind and most importantly ensuring that you have the feelings associated with manifesting that desire.

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Now some people may think that visualization is new age garbage, but rest assured its benefits are real, and science is backing this up. A 30-day visualization study conducted by Dr. Blaslotto in 1996 showed how effective it could be.  Three groups of random people were selected to highlight their skills at free throws.

The first group was the control group.  They shot free throws on Day 1 and Day 30 of the experiment and nothing else.  Their success was tracked. The second group shot free throws every day for 30 minutes, and their success was tracked on day 30 compared to day 1. The third group also only shot free throws on day 1 and day 30 of the experiment, but with one significant difference from the control group.  They spent days 2 through 29 of the experiment visualizing shooting free throws for half an hour.  Their success was tracked on day 30 as well.

The results were amazing. The control group, of course, showed no improvement in their free throws. The second group that practiced daily showed a marked improvement as a result of their practice. The amazing part comes with group three.  They improved almost exactly as much as group 2, suggesting that the brain doesn’t know the difference between physically doing something and imagining it in your mind.

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Many people have expanded on this idea, suggesting that the brain doesn’t know the difference between forms of physical manifestation and your imagination. For example, there is no difference between imagining yourself rich and actually being rich, as long as the feelings associated with being rich go along with your imagination. This has profound impacts in terms of achieving your desires, with the idea being that you have first to imagine or visualize something before it physically manifests in your reality.

How to Visualize Better

Now for those of you who have tried to visualize something before, you’ll understand when I say that it’s very difficult to effectively visualize something if you’re currently not experiencing it. Using the example of money again, it’s very difficult to feel rich if you’re deep in debt. I mean you’re essentially being asked to replace your current reality with a made up one in your mind. It takes a strong mind to do it effectively.

What can we do to improve our ability to visualize and to actually feel the feelings associated with visualizing?  Well, there are many suggested techniques out there, but there is one in particular that can really have an impact.  That technique is taking action.

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Here’s what I mean.  Do you think it’s easier to visualize winning the lottery if you buy 20 tickets, versus buying no tickets at all?  The answer’s pretty obvious. Again, it doesn’t matter what your odds are. The very act of buying the tickets is enough to trigger a strong form of visualization, feelings and all. That’s what I’m suggesting you do with anything you desire in life.

Now let me qualify by saying that it doesn’t matter if that action is successful or not. What matters is that you take it, because what you’re doing is psychologically taking a step in the right direction. Let me suggest some more examples to make it very clear.

Visualizing yourself as an entrepreneur will be much easier if you do something about your business than nothing at all. It will be easier if you take such steps as creating a logo, securing a domain name, looking for a loan or putting together a business plan. These actions will suddenly make your desire much more real and therefore much easier to visualize.

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Visualizing yourself in a relationship is much easier if you put a profile on an online dating website. So will placing yourself in situations where you’ll meet people, or sprucing up your wardrobe, or going on blind dates.  In the same vein, it suddenly feels real.

One final example, visualizing yourself as healthy is easier if you start exercising more. Even light exercise will make a difference. Same thing with modifying your diet, walking more or learning about how to be healthy. By taking the action you’re sending a suggestion to your subconscious mind that you’re moving in the direction of your desire. Suddenly achieving that desire doesn’t seem so farfetched. It’s like buying that lottery ticket.

So the next time you want to achieve something, first take a step in the direction of where you want to go and then begin visualising your life with that desired fulfilled.

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Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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