my blog entry for yesterday.
Then, this past weekend as I was working on finishing my novel Time Light, I began visualizing the novel having already been published and achieving success. I could see myself at hugely attended book signings and author events. And there was my book in the top ten of the New York Times bestseller list. It was all there vividly in my imagination. What if I were to apply the principles of creative visualization? Would it all happen as I saw it in my mind?
To clarify what creative visualization is, let me summarize it for those of you who may not be familiar with it. Creative visualization is a discipline which involves seeing in your mind's eye that which you want to attain in your life. The visualizer focuses on the goal, imagines every detail about what it would be like to attain that goal, and meditates or even prays about attaining the goal until eventually the efforts of the mind make it happen. This type of visualization is often associated with spiritual or mystical powers that help bring the attainment of the goal to fruition. This is the dime store version of creative visualization as I understand it. It is undoubtedly more complex than that but this gives us a place to start.
Creative visualization is a vital component to several religions, New Age movements, and prosperity success programs. Many self-help books promote this technique to help achieve goals. It is a practice that does make sense to me, but not in any spiritual or mystical sense. If goals are achieved I think it is more attributed to the logical outcome of applying the creative visualization techniques rather than the intercession by some higher power.
This discipline of visualization is something that is more related to putting us "in the zone" rather than some higher realm controlling our destiny. In other words, I see creative discipline as more of a mental rehearsal of something you want to do or a detailed internalized examination of where you want to be.
A good example was pointed out yesterday in a comment by Talli Roland. She related how an athlete will use creative visualization to "practice" a skill without physically doing it. The athlete will imagine whatever skill they are interested in perfecting, analyzing it and repeating it in their mind so that when they actually physically perform the act there should be a mental sense that improves the physical act. The visualization in this case is totally functional and for the most part irrelated to anything of a spiritual nature.
This example can likewise apply to getting a job or promotion, finding a romantic partner, or acquiring something that one wants. A salesperson may mentally practice a sales pitch before meeting with a customer, imagining what barriers may be encountered and picturing closing the sale. You may begin a process of visualizing finding a romantic partner and meditating and fixating on this until it happens--but it is highly unlikely that anything will happen unless you take action. The visualization exercise does not cause the success, it merely prods the dreamer and facilitates the potential of success.
The way I see it is that you can creatively visualize with the greatest intensity that you can muster, and nothing is likely to ever happen until you actually step forward and start taking action. The visualization is a first step towards action, which may or may not lead to success. Creative visualization is not a magic spell.
Do you think that creative visualization works?
Do you ever consciously use creative visualization to attain goals? Do you believe that creative visualization is connected to an element of spirituality or mystical power? Have you visualized your success as an author (or whatever your field of interest is) and what have you seen?
Stop by tomorrow when I will have a special post with a scheduled stop on Tamara Hart Heiner's book tour appearing on Tossing It Out.