Bring Your Future Into The Present
I spend 30 minutes per day thinking about the person I intend to become.
This vision involves a good deal of hang gliding, sailing, and even a trip across Mexico on horseback.
I spend 30 minutes per day visualizing these (and other) scenes because of the book Think And Grow Rich. The book was recommended so many times I finally decided to build this habit it dictated.
When I begin my 30 minutes every day, I close my eyes. I imagine the feeling of the reigns and the horse galloping beneath me as I climb a mountain near Guadalajara. I imagine slowing the horse at the top of the ridge as the sun sets in a pink skyline.
As I sit in my small Chiang Mai apartment, I focus on this experience until I can feel it, even if only for a moment.
I dream of the sea and of the Myanmar coastline. I already know that I want to sail North. I'll be able to watch the land pass by as the onshore wind carries me along.
Before I spend 30 minutes in visualization, getting started on work will often feel like a challenge. With my focus on the obligation at hand it's clear that NO, I don't want to do sales calls and spend 4 hours leaving voicemail.
After my visualization, however, I remember why I do what I do. With images of my future freshly imprinted on my mind, I can do those sales calls. By bringing that dream into the present I'm able to put the necessary 6-12 months of work into perspective. I remember that while it's not enjoyable, all the sacrifice is well worth it.
My major drive for a lack of motivation is, in a strange way, a lack of memory. When I don't feel like working, it is only because I don't remember why I want to do the work.
"But, of course you remember your goals, Nico... you have them written down, and you can't use Alzheimers as an excuse for another 50 years."
If you said this to me you would be right. I can list out my reasons and goals fairly easily. BUT a list alone is solely logical. We're humans humans, humans do things for emotional reasons.
Visualization helps you remember those emotional reasons for doing what you do. My emotional connection to a Mexican cowboy adventure dwindles over time. Unless I rekindle it (every day is best) the emotional drive it offers will grow weaker and weaker, like an unused muscle.
Visualization jumpstarts the emotional engine. Once it's humming, I can then apply whatever logical steps I need to achieve the related goal.
Without the vision, nothing works. I won't work. I'll start giving into laziness. I'll start 'forgetting' to do the things I need to do. I'll justify lazy behavior as 'saving my energy'.
I am pretty good at keeping the habit of visualization now, but when I don't put in at least 30 minutes I feel the difference. The best way I can describe the detrimental effect is actually forgetting what I'm striving for. Tasks just feels like tasks, not steps towards the completion of a mission.
With a vision firmly revitalized what's actually important becomes clear.
The discomforts of the day-to-day activities cease to overwhelm my mind. With the focus on the vision, I am able to put 'strenuous' tasks in perspective and actually comprehend just how temporary they are.
When I visualize my goals, I remember what I'm working for on an emotional level. This helps me charge up and take action.
After I flood my mind with the vision for the future, I ask myself "Am I able to put in these next 6 hours for that vision?"
The answer is always a deafening 'Yes!'