Adapted from The Art of Work: How to Make Work, Work For You!
In one of my favorite books, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen, I learned that one of the biggest problems facing humanity is that we ‘simply don’t think’. Most people can talk at length about the things they WISH to get out of life, but few will talk with any strategic plan on how to achieve their wishes. often, they are content to show up at their jobs and follow someone else’s plans for them, and not give much if any thought to how they are strategically preparing for their futures.
It’s also common, I have observed, for many people to spend their hard-earned pay on big-ticket entertainment. They do this so that they can watch other people achieve their dreams through athletics, movie acting, or other forms of diversion. This is true across the world, and it is how superstars are created. We pay others to allow us to watch them do the things we admire or secretly aspire to, but are not prepared or able to achieve, ourselves. And it’s fun! There is nothing wrong with this, until it becomes a substitute for achieving our own goals. When it does, it robs us of investing in our own dreams, and robs us of our ambition.
It’s okay to be a fan, but never a fanatic.
Many people today are facing similar situations with the use of the Internet. If you don’t believe this, think about what your home would be like if you lost your connection for just one month. No, I’m not rallying against any form of entertainment or lifestyle. What I am hammering home here is that you understand that if you want to enjoy your work, you will need to put more imagination into preparing your nine-to-five life than you put into preparing your nine-to-midnights!
What does the word imagination mean? Imagination is defined as ‘the act or power of forming mental images of what is not present’ and/or ‘the act of power of creating new ideas by combining previous experiences… the ability to understand the imaginative creations of others… resourcefulness.’
“What the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve”
If you learn to think about your work, your career, and your life in terms of possibility, you will begin to understand what you need to know and do in order to achieve your goals.
When I lead workshops, I often teach my students how to achieve what I call a Reflection State and a Visualization State. These are powerful tools that you can apply in different ways for positive results. From my experience, the moments when your mind is slowly drifting towards sleep and dream, are very powerful. The act of visualizing your desires is a practice that over time becomes a powerful exploratory process. It allows you to fearlessly ponder, “What if I did this and this, and then worked my way up to that and then that!” Through practice, you begin to see yourself living your dream. You visualize what you do, how you speak, what you wear, and how you feel … IN THAT SUCCESS. You send the message to your subconscious that, “This is me. I am the person I am becoming.”
In the quiet moments of the Visualization State, you can play out your wildest or your gentlest dreams. The secret is to pick one dream that represents the realization of your goal, and stick with it until it becomes a subliminal part of how you decision-make and act in your everyday life! There is also a key practical benefit to your everyday life. By going into your Visualization State, you are avoiding the pitfall of many who never really know where they’re going, or what they really want in their lives. Visualization assists you in using every day to push your true desires into your subconscious, where they can meet reality. Additionally, as each day brings you new challenges, it’s as simple to redraw your dream in your head to fit your new circumstances, AND, THE GOAL IS ALWAYS PRESENT.
Another point here touches upon my belief that there is no definition of Success; rather, success is ever developing and stays evergreen. As we change the role models and Success Benchmarks in our lives, we must also adjust our benchmarks for success. We don’t get there, we continue going there. Earl Nightingale wrote one of my favorite books, The Strangest Secret. In it, he teaches that “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” When I first read this, I was ecstatic! It verified my own belief that success is not static. It is dynamic, ever- changing and has no finish line that we need to quickly race past.
When I imagine the world I am prepared to create, I don’t see myself as having... I see myself as being. When you imagine the world you are prepared to create, it’s fine to have things around you. It’s vital that you imagine who you are, and how you are, as well. You are working on your innermost being in a very pure and accepting state. You will become what you think about.