The mind cannot tell the difference between what is imagined and what is real.
Any self-help book worth its salt will talk about envisioning yourself where you want to be, doing what you want to be doing, and being what you want to be as a very powerful part of the process of accomplishing what you want out of life. The reason for that is simply this. Years ago, scientists discovered that the human mind truly cannot tell the difference between what is imagined and what is real.
Let me tell you a story of how I employed this practice to attain one of the biggest goals in my life.
In the fall of 1977, (I know, I’m telling my age), I moved to Indianapolis, Indiana. The leaves, in their beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow were gently drifting on the rapidly cooling breeze as I got moved into my new place. When that occurs in Indiana, basketball season can’t be far behind. And not only any old kind of basketball, but high school basketball. It’s almost a religion there. Kind of like Texas and high school football.
That year I began a 32-year odyssey of refereeing basketball that took me from working junior high games in my early years all the way to Division I college basketball in the Southwest Conference as my career advanced. In 1977 though, I began that career working a steady diet of those junior high games. I fell in love with it. So, as that first season came to an end, I scored myself a ticket to the biggest game in town, the Indiana State High School Championship game at Market Square Arena.
Imagine yourself there with me and 15,498 of our ‘closest friends’ experiencing one of the most exciting games in years between a big city perennial power from Gary, playing an upstart suburban school from just outside of Indianapolis, Carmel High School. With five seconds left on the clock, there is a time out. You glance at the scoreboard as the teams head towards their benches and you realize that the score is tied. The building is alive with excitement as the crowd anticipates the conclusion to the game.
You begin to look around the arena to soak in the moment. You see the excitement in the faces of your fellow fans, the cheerleaders are leading their respective fans in a cheer encouraging their players on to victory. As your eyes fall on the court, you see one of the referees standing with his hands clasped behind his back near one of the free throw circles waiting for the teams to return to the floor and you notice he is doing the same thing you are. He is also soaking in the experience, and as you wonder what’s going through his mind. His eyes, that have been scanning the crowd, seem to lock on yours for a moment. In that instant, you can read his mind. He’s thinking about all of the sacrifices he’s made to get to this moment, the long hours in the car coming home from games late at night, the time away from his family, the thousands of terrible basketball games he’s officiated, the countless hours studying the rule book—they were all worth it. This, is what it’s all about. This moment, right here, right now has made it all worth it.
Well that happened to me that night, and that referee, whom I’ve never met, spoke to me and inspired me to that 32-year journey. I realized in that instant that I wanted what he was experiencing that moment. So on the way home that night I set myself a goal of working a state high school basketball championship.
For years and years, each night when I went to bed, I imagined myself in that game at Market Square Arena. I could hear the crowd, I could see the players faces, the fear in some of their eyes, and the supreme confidence in the eyes of others. I could feel the excitement. I would even get chills down my spine just imagining it, again and again. Driving to and from games, I would daydream the exact same image. I never tired of it. And as I did it more and more, I had no doubt that it would happen.
I won’t bore you with all of the details, but suffice it to say that I got my chance. As a matter of fact, I had the honor of being selected to work more than one of those games, although they wound up being Texas State Championships, not Indiana, and that ain’t all bad!
My point in sharing this story is that I learned a very powerful lesson from this without anyone ever sharing the practice of visioning with me. The experience I had, whether it was the actual state championship games themselves, or any of the many exciting and equally important games I had the privilege to work during my career were exactly as I imagined them. And as I reminisce writing this blog, I can feel it again as if it were happening once again, right here, right now. It is incredible how powerful this approach is.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve focused on the importance of setting the goals you want to accomplish in life. We’ve even explored how to do that. This week’s lesson is all about the power of envisioning yourself having already accomplished those goals.
One of the most powerful ways to accomplish that, and keep it in front of you every day so you do not lose sight of them, is through Vision Boards. Mine is a 20” x 30” foam backed board that has pictures of what I now have set as my goals along with an affirmative statement below each describing what it feels like to have already accomplished it.
It is leaning up against the mirror in my bathroom so I see it every morning. I take a moment before my day gets going to do some of that visioning I did in my basketball career, knowing that I will accomplish every one of those goals I now have in front of me.
If you’d like a document describing how to build your own vision board, send me an email to email@example.com and I’ll send it to you.
Caponi Performance Group and Contact Science jointly market the telephone prospecting and cold calling solution called Coldcalling101™. It is the only comprehensive solution to solving the biggest barrier to success in most selling organizations—the inability to secure enough Initial Appointments to begin the selling process. We accomplish that through simultaneously addressing both the efficiency and effectiveness of the process. We can be reached at 817 224-9900 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find answers to many of your challenges in our books: Contrary to Popular Belief, Cold Calling DOES Work! Volume I: Effectiveness, The Art of Appointment Making and Volume II: Efficiency, the Science of Appointment Making.
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