If you think visualization is for the guru sitting on the mountaintop, think again. You do it all the time.
You’re at your desk and your mind starts to wander. Maybe you’re thinking about lunch or that vacation you have planned. Perhaps you gaze out the window and start creating a beautiful picture in your mind about how that beach is going to look. Or, conversely, you spend more time than you’d care to admit imagining the worst outcomes of events that may (or may not) occur or worry about what the future holds. We can see it all in our mind’s eye.
And we’re not alone.
One study, conducted by Catholic University in Milan, Italy, examined how often undergraduates experience visual images in a variety of everyday situations. What they discovered is that, while mental imagery often occurs in “undirected” thinking, such as daydreaming, or when external stimuli elicit automatically a visual representation, images were “seldom reported in goal-oriented thinking, such as memorizing, judging, problem-solving, planning, and decision-making.”
When it comes to creating achievable goals – ones that your brain loves – a key step to in determining how powerful a goal is: Can you see it? This is where you harness the power of visualization most of us reserve for imagining our next meal. Be deliberate in your visualization.
In fact, there’s scientific evidence showing that even just imagining a movement or action stimulates the same movement regions of the brain, as if you were performing that action yourself. It’s a powerful brain hack used by elite athletes to perfect complex movements.
So just imagine what visualization can do for goal setting.
Seeing something you want makes it real for your brain. It’s like plugging an address into your internal GPS. You’re much more likely to get there when you can see where you want to end up.
Noesis delivers neuroleadership consulting and training to organizations handling everyday change and major transformation initiatives. We help our clients permanently and scientifically improve leadership.