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How To Make Your Own Luck

 Some folks do have all the luck — and psychologist Richard Wiseman can teach you how to be one of the lucky few.

BY Daniel H. Pink | June 30, 2003, http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/72/realitycheck.html

 “It’s better to be lucky than smart.” “You make your own luck in life.” “Some folks are just born lucky.” In an environment marked by rising tensions and diminished expectations, most of us could use a little luck — at our companies, in our careers, with our investments. Richard Wiseman thinks that he can help you find some.

Wiseman, 37, is head of a psychology research department at the University of Hertfordshire in England. For the past eight years, he and his colleagues at the university’s Perrott-Warrick Research Unit have studied what makes some people lucky and others not. After conducting thousands of interviews and hundreds of experiments, Wiseman now claims that he’s cracked the code. Luck isn’t due to kismet, karma, or coincidence, he says. Instead, lucky folks — without even knowing it — think and behave in ways that create good fortune in their lives. In his new book, The Luck Factor: Changing Your Luck, Changing Your Life: The Four Essential Principles (Miramax, 2003), Wiseman reveals four approaches to life that turn certain people into luck magnets. (And, as luck would have it, he tells the rest of us how to improve our own odds.)

Wiseman’s four principles turn out to be slightly more polished renditions of some of the self-help canon’s greatest hits. One thing Wiseman discovered, for example, was that when things go awry, the lucky “turn bad luck into good” by seeing how they can squeeze some benefit from the misfortune. (Lemonade, anyone?) The lucky also “expect good fortune,” which no doubt has Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking, grinning in his grave.

But if these insights aren’t exactly groundbreaking, neither are they wrongheaded. For instance, Wiseman found that lucky people are particularly open to possibility. Why do some people always seem to find fortune? It’s not dumb luck. Unlike everyone else, they see it. “Most people are just not open to what’s around them,” Wiseman says. “That’s the key to it.”

Wiseman began his career as a teenage magician who joined London’s prestigious Magic Circle society and journeyed to Hollywood to perform for thousands. “Magic is very good training for seeing the world from somebody else’s perspective,” he says. Wiseman’s latest research makes several forays into areas where most scholars rarely tread: He has investigated the psychological underpinnings of magic, the dynamics of deception, and the psychology of the paranormal. In 2001, he achieved international notoriety conducting a yearlong search for the world’s funniest joke, testing how some 350,000 participants reacted to 40,000 jokes.

Fast Company was lucky enough to catch up with the hip and affable professor at a café overlooking London’s Hyde Park.

How did a serious academic like you become interested in a squishy subject like luck?

Round about 10 years ago, I was talking to people about why they’d ended up where they’d ended up in their lives — the people they were with, the careers they were in, and so on. And the words that kept coming up were things like “luck” and “chance.” People said, “I met my partner by chance.” Or “I’m in this particular career because I just happened to go to this party.” I knew from the psychology literature that psychologists avoided luck. They said you couldn’t do science with it. So I decided to test that. I did some research that asked people, “Do you consider yourself unlucky, or lucky?”

Over time, we built up a database of about 400 people from all over the UK, all walks of life, who considered themselves especially lucky or unlucky. The people in both groups were saying, “I’ve no idea why this is the case; I’m just lucky” — or unlucky. But I didn’t believe that for a minute. I thought there was something else going on. So in the Luck Project, we’ve had them take part in experiments, interviewed them, had them keep diaries — all sorts of things — trying to piece together why you’d have one group of people for whom everything would work out well and another group for whom things would be completely disastrous.

Isn’t there a distinction between chance and luck?

There’s a big distinction. Chance events are like winning the lottery. They’re events over which we have no control, other than buying a ticket. They don’t consistently happen to the same person. They may be formative events in people’s lives, but they’re not frequent. When people say that they consistently experience good fortune, I think that, by definition, it has to be because of something they are doing.

In other words, they make their own luck.

That’s right. What I’m arguing is that we have far more control over events than we thought previously. You might say, “Fifty percent of my life is due to chance events.” No, it’s not. Maybe 10% is. That other 40% that you think you’re having no influence over at all is actually defined by the way you think.

What are some of the ways that lucky people think differently from unlucky people?

One way is to be open to new experiences. Unlucky people are stuck in routines. When they see something new, they want no part of it. Lucky people always want something new. They’re prepared to take risks and relaxed enough to see the opportunities in the first place.

How did you uncover that in your lab?

We did an experiment. We asked subjects to flip through a news-paper that had photographs in it. All they had to do was count the number of photographs. That’s it. Luck wasn’t on their minds, just some silly task. They’d go through, and after about three pages, there’d be a massive half-page advert saying, STOP COUNTING. THERE ARE 43 PHOTOGRAPHS IN THIS NEWSPAPER. It was next to a photo, so we knew they were looking at that area. A few pages later, there was another massive advert — I mean, we’re talking big — that said, STOP COUNTING. TELL THE EXPERIMENTER YOU’VE SEEN THIS AND WIN 150 POUNDS [about $235].

For the most part, the unlucky would just flip past these things. Lucky people would flip through and laugh and say, “There are 43 photos. That’s what it says. Do you want me to bother counting?” We’d say, “Yeah, carry on.” They’d flip some more and say, “Do I get my 150 pounds?” Most of the unlucky people didn’t notice.

But the business culture typically worships drive — setting a goal, single-mindedly pursuing it, and plowing past obstacles. Are you arguing that, to be more lucky, we need to be less focused?

This is one of the most counterintuitive ideas. We are traditionally taught to be really focused, to be really driven, to try really hard at tasks. But in the real world, you’ve got opportunities all around you. And if you’re driven in one direction, you’re not going to spot the others. It’s about getting people to have various game plans running in their heads. Unlucky people, if they go to a party wanting to meet the love of their life, end up not meeting people who might become close friends or people who might help them in their careers. Being relaxed and open allows lucky people to see what’s around them and to maximize what’s around them.

Much of business is also about rational analysis: pulling up the spreadsheet, running the numbers, looking at the serious facts. Yet you found that lucky people rely heavily on their gut instincts.

Yes. You don’t want to broadly say that whenever you get an intuitive feeling, it’s right and you should go with it. But you could be missing out on a massive font of knowledge that you’ve built up over the years. We are amazingly good at detecting patterns. That’s what our brains are set up to do.

What are some other ways you found that lucky people’s minds operate differently?

They practice “counterfactual thinking.” The degree to which you think that something is fortunate or not is the degree to which you generate alternatives that are better or worse.

Unlucky people say, “I can’t believe I’ve been in another car accident.” Lucky people go, “Wonderful. Yes, I had a car accident, but I wasn’t killed. And I met the guy in the other car, and we got on really well, and there might be a relationship there.” What’s interesting is that both ways of thinking are unconscious and automatic. It would never occur to the unlucky people to see it a different way.

Isn’t there something delusional about that approach — sort of a modern version of Dr. Pangloss’s “All for the best in the best of all possible worlds”? Suppose I said, “I just wrote this article, and the article stinks, and nobody read it. But hey, at least I have two arms.”

What’s so delusional about that? If it keeps you going in the face of adversity and softens the impact of the fact that no one read your article, and therefore you think, “Well, I can write another article, and I’m going to learn from the mistakes of the past one, and I’m going to keep on going,” I think that’s fine. It would be delusional if you took it to the extreme — especially if you weren’t learning from your mistakes.

But can we acknowledge that sometimes bad stuff — car accidents, natural disasters — just happens? Sometimes it’s purely bad, and there’s nothing good about it.

I’ve never heard that from a lucky person.

So if you buy that way of thinking, then there is no bad luck.

That’s right. That’s what was weird about conducting some of the interviews. Subjects would say, “I’m the luckiest person alive” — and they’d come up with dreadful stories. They’d have the same life events as the unlucky person, but they’d look at them entirely differently.

Isn’t that just a fancy version of the power of positive thinking?

There’s more science to it — as opposed to the classic “Just think positive, and you’ll be successful.” I think if you understand a little about where it’s coming from, it’s a bit easier to adapt into your life.

We had a subject named Carolyn. When she would come to the unit to be interviewed, it would be just this whole string of bad-luck stories: “I can’t find anyone. I’m unlucky in love. When I did find someone, the guy fell off his motorbike. The next blind date broke his nose. We were supposed to get married, and the church burned down.” But to every single interview, she’d bring along her two kids. They were 6 and 7 years old — very healthy, very happy kids who’d sit there and play. And it was interesting, because most people would love to have two kids like that, but that wasn’t part of her world, because she was unlucky in her mind.

How do you get people to begin thinking like lucky people?

We’ve created a Luck School that teaches people certain techniques. One thing that we do is have people keep a luck diary. At the end of each day, they spend a couple of moments writing down the positive and lucky things that happened. We ask them not to write down the unlucky stuff. Once that starts to build up, what they’re doing is adding on, each day. So they look back, and it’s five days’ worth of positive events, and now it’s day six. After doing that for a month, it’s difficult not to be thinking about the good things that are happening.

What are the applications of your research to business?

We’ve just done our first Luck School with an entire company. We took all 35 employees through it. The CEO was very open to change. The ideas resonated with him because that’s how he has lived his life. So when he heard them, he said, “I want everybody in my organization to think like this.” If we did nothing but make his employees feel better about themselves, he’ll be a happy man. If it has an impact on profits and productivity, he’ll be a very happy man.

Do you think that lucky organizations really exist?

Yes. Whether it translates to just percentages of lucky people, or whether it translates to a particular mixture, where some score high on one principle and others score high on another, I don’t know. In the sense of organizational culture and identity, I think that some organizations will be seen as lucky and successful and others will be seen as unlucky, in the same way that individuals are.

You spent a year trying to find the world’s funniest joke. Could you tell us the joke that won?

Two New Jersey hunters go hunting. After a while, one of the hunters clutches his throat and falls to the ground, his eyes roll back, and he’s lying there motionless. The other one picks up a cell phone, dials 911, and says, “I think my friend is dead! I don’t know what to do!” And the operator says, “Just relax. Calm down. The first thing to do is to make certain your friend is dead.” There’s a pause — then a gunshot. And the hunter gets back on the phone and says, “Okay. Now what?”

That’s some bad luck for the friend.

Yes, unfortunately. But bad luck is funny.

Bad luck is funny?

Bad luck is funny — provided it’s not happening to you.

Sidebar: Wanna Get Lucky?

According to Richard Wiseman, these four principles can create good fortune in your life and career.

1. Maximize Chance Opportunities

Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing, and acting upon chance opportunities. They do this in various ways, which include building and maintaining a strong network, adopting a relaxed attitude to life, and being open to new experiences.

2. Listen to Your Lucky Hunches

Lucky people make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings. They also take steps to actively boost their intuitive abilities — for example, by meditating and clearing their mind of other thoughts.

3. Expect Good Fortune

Lucky people are certain that the future will be bright. Over time, that expectation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because it helps lucky people persist in the face of failure and positively shapes their interactions with other people.

4. Turn Bad Luck Into Good

Lucky people employ various psychological techniques to cope with, and even thrive upon, the ill fortune that comes their way. For example, they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse, they don’t dwell on the ill fortune, and they take control of the situation.

Daniel H. Pink (dp@danpink.com), author of Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working for Yourself (Warner Business Books, 2002), is writing a book about the rise of right-brained thinking in modern life. He considers himself one lucky guy. For more information on the Luck Project, visit the Web (www.luckfactor.co.uk).

Simple Stuff 2

(SIMPLE STUFF is a short bit of ideas, quotes, phrases, and ‘stuff’ to help you stay focused, stay loose, ask better questions, and laugh a bit.)

If you don’t like your job, you don’t strike! You just go in every day, and do it really half assed. That’s the American way. – Homer Simpson

“What is defeat? Nothing but education; nothing but the first step to something better.” Wendell Phillips
“Change is inevitable. Progress is optional.” Unknown

I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, “Where’s the self-help section?” She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.
George Carlin

What can I do or say to people in my life to make them feel more special?

Words To Live By – Visualization – part 3

OK, you’ve read other blog postings of mine, can I ask you to listen to a quick story?
Would you picture something for a moment?

Imagine This:

See a father of two beautiful daughters, great loving wife, who used to make a bunch of money, in his house. See that guy in his 40’s as a caring, dynamic person who was successful. The economy changed, he made choices and suddenly, it seemed, he made a lot less money. He is sitting on the couch peering into the distance, blankly staring. His daughter asks him something but he misses it first, she asks again and he gives her a terse response, and later feels bad about it. NO reason to do that, he thinks.
Now the mortgage was a little too high, the tuition was a little too high. The ‘gap’ between the income coming in and the expenses going out was very, very small. Sometimes it was negative. Debt became a huge factor and fear.
In the mornings he would wake early, lie in bed and get a tight feeling in his chest.

He sometimes got an upset stomach, and sometimes even felt like throwing up. This guy, who typically was happy, confident, easy going, fun to be with, was now an anxious guy, lacking confidence, lacking his patience and humor.
He felt bad. He felt like he let his family down. He felt like he got to where he was in life and had nothing to show for it. He was scared, uncertain, nervous.
Picture him in the morning eating breakfast while his kids ate breakfast and got ready for school. Since he sometimes felt sick, he had difficulty eating breakfast. Sometimes he’d try to swallow his breakfast and had to pause so he didn’t get sick. Imagine his daughters sitting there looking at him and asking, “Daddy are you OK? You’re not eating your breakfast very fast. ”

Picture our dad at a party with other families. Everyone is having fun, our guy is somewhat withdrawn. Typically he is engaged and joking, meeting new people, reconnecting with old friends. See our guy hanging back at the party. Notice his posture.

Notice his face. When you shake his hand and say hello, notice how he speaks, how he looks at you and looks away. How does he interact with you?
Imagine seeing our guy at a party. Notice his posture. Notice his face. When you shake his hand and say hello, notice how he speaks, how he looks at you and looks away. How does he interact with you? How is he dressed?

STOP

Would you take a moment and imagine one other brief story?

This one is better!
Imagine This

Picture our good father and husband again. All the above is true. It happened, and it is in the past.Hear him humming an upbeat song from the radio that his daughters love to dance to….he gets a little smirk on his facing thinking about it.
Our guy has some good friends and family around him. Imagine him sitting with some friends and getting some good support, some ideas, some connections. He is having a good time talking and laughing a bit. See our guy in front of his computer getting emails about networking, about a place to send a resume, about a new opportunity.

See our trusty dad and good guy talking with connections on the phone. One quick, casual conversation uncovers a business opportunity. It seems like a great fit.
See our guy excited. He sits up a little straighter. He has more confidence. He is thinking about the future and the future is brighter. Instead of negative worrying, he is thinking of ideas how to solve problems, improve things, improve his finances.
His face seems different. He is more focused and driven. He does smile more often. He has a purpose. He reflects that he put himself where he is and accepts where he is, he also accepts responsibility and doesn’t blame the economy or others like he sometimes did before.
He spends a little more time eating right, exercising, and even tries to dress a little better. Picture a toned dad, trim, in some stylish yet casual clothes. See him and his wife talking about the budget, working in front of a spreadsheet. They’re excited about paying off a credit card that has been around for too long.

Now that couple hundred dollars is available to pay off something else, for reserves, for a fun fund, or whatever. Notice the relief and calm that has returned to his face.

There is another summer party with the families again. Many of the same people are there and new people attend. It is a nice night, a great party with twinkle lights in the background. People are interacting, talking, laughing while the kids play. There is some corn, chicken and beef on the grill. You catch a whiff of the food and it smells great. You hear some music in the background softly playing. Maybe it is a Bob Marley song?

Our dad is there at the party. Life still isn’t perfect but his attitude seems to have changed.You walk over and greet him again. Notice how he stands differently. His posture. His smile? Notice how his handshake, eye contact, and confidence seem this time. He throws in some humor. He has a good smile. What is he wearing? Does he have a different “feel” about him? His voice has a strong tone to it. He sounds confident.
He asks more about your life this time. He is more engaged and listens to what you say. Our guy shares an idea about something in your life; it is a helpful idea, something he recently read and it could actually be something you could really consider. You’re happy to hear about it. You talk more and there is a good feeling going on.
You ask him about his life and he comes across as being very grateful for things. He is happy with what he has in life; friends, family, home, work, income. He feels like celebrating, he says. He is upbeat about the future.
Stop imagining.
Were you able to read that OK? Maybe these weren’t great stories but you were interested for a little while right?
You were able to imagine these things weren’t you?
You had a story, a movie playing in your mind. You now have an image of “our guy”. You probably have an image of his daughters, his wife, the party, etc.
Notice how, especially in the second story, there were details all around, senses, feelings, images, sounds, smells. Emotions are key. I probably should have included more and bigger emotions in the second one.
That is visualizing! That is mental imagery. Easy!
You don’t need a huge Vision Book, some complex outline, and you don’t need to spend 20-30 minutes a day.

The Vision Book will help, outlines help, and you can spend more time but 5 minutes a day is fine.

Create a story of you already “there”, as if you’ve arrived. Imagine that you got a DVD of you from the future – but this DVD has more features..you can also feel and smell what the future you feels and smells. What are the feelings having accomplished things?

How do you feel/look now that you have more income (or whatever)? What is life like? What kind of music is in the background? What kinds of food do you smell? How much are you laughing? Who are you talking with and what does that conversation look like.
Write a story about you and have fun.

Sharing Habits and Daily Ideas with You

After my last post about Habits, two people asked what sorts of things I say/repeat/do each day.

IN honor of my daughter’s birthday, I also wanted to dedicate this to her. She is one of those people who just plug away at things and never seem to complain. She may have a bunch of homework that is daunting and difficult. She just starts the work and keeps on moving until done. She has a great work ethic. I often try to emulate her work ethic in regards to my habits….just face the day, go through all the good habits, affirmations, exercises, be consistent and keep moving ahead. We can learn a lot from our kids! Happy Birthday!

First, I think different things work for different people. Second, my stuff evolves and changes all the time.

I have a little notebook that I carry around. Too often I don’t open it. But more and more I do open it and I must confess, there have been some days that have not been going well and I’m upset, tense, negative, whatever – I open it up and I take the time and I almost always feel better. The world doesn’t change and my problems are still there but I face them in a better state of mind.

The first thing I read in that notebook is a vision – thinking from the end. In the vision I’m sitting on the veranda of a beach house. Inside the beach house are loved ones. We’re there to have a good time. I am reflecting by myself on the veranda how fast things have changed for the better in my life. I am happy, I have lots of friends, I’ve laughed a lot, I have much more income each month, I have much more income than expenses, I am creatively fulfilled, and I am grateful for all of the above, etc. etc. (I have 2 other versions available that I sometimes use – one at my desk, one traveling with my family on one of our roadtrips)

Then there is a list of things that I found by Harv Eker. He wrote the Millionaire Mind stuff. Nothing earthshaking but they are quick thoughts on ways millionaires think differently than others. Frankly, I don’t even think it has to be millionaires – it is more of a mindset whether you want to be responsible, accountable and take action in life or blame others/circumstances, and sit back and wait/complain. A few examples : “rich people are committed to be rich, poor people want to be rich. Rich people believe “I create my life”, poor people believe “life happens to me.””

I try to review a list of things for which I am grateful for. Gratitude really helps anytime!

Then I have a bunch of affirmations and ideas that I’ve written down. As I mentioned, two people asked me to share these thoughts, so here are some. I hope they help you.

  • The world is out to help me and do me good. I see little and big things that fall in my lap, that bring me good luck, each and every day.
  • I celebrate that I am alive and well.
  • I am so very thankful for being employed, receiving income, and earning lots more money than I spend.
  • I am so grateful for the opportunity to go out each day, help people, earn more and more money, share ideas, contribute, and be creatively fulfilled.
  • I take time each day to meditate, reflect, and pray.
  • I am so grateful for my wife, for my two daughters, for my good health, and for all the loved ones in my life. I am grateful for our safety, the laughter we share, the support and love that I feel each day. I am thankful for our home, the beauty that surrounds us, and the people in our lives. I am grateful for all the surprises and new people I run into each and everyday. New things bring fun, opportunity, and good luck.
  • I ask myself, what would the person that I most want to be like do in this moment? How would that person act/think/feel?
  • There is always a way. I always find a way. There’s a lot I can do to make more money/
  • The world is conspiring to bring me good things each day!
  • What can I do or say to make people in my life feel special? To feel more important? To feel loved or cared for?
  • Things have already begun to change for the better. I can see that my past and current actions are compounding and results are beginning to show for the better now!
  • I enjoy the moment, I live in the present and I live life each day, right now. I engage others and I dig for what is important to them.
  • I control my destiny. My self worth is based on my and my own thoughts. My future is unwritten, the past means nothing. I control and use my emotions.
  • Good things often happen in my life that seem magical – like miracles. I am blessed with little miracles and big magic in my career, with my family and with my loved ones. I enjoy seeing what is coming today!
  • I focus on what works. I focus on what I want and what actions I can take today.
  • How can things get any better? What else is going right for me?

(the key to all of the above is to infuse emotion with it! Try it while exercising or just after exercise. AND/OR put on some upbeat music and get pumped!)

Words To Live By – Visualization – part 2

“People who fail focus on what they will have to go through; people who succeed focus on what it will feel like at the end.”
Anthony Robbins

I want to discuss more about Visualization – more about technique in this session.

The simplest thing to do is tell a story, from the end, as if you’ve already done it. How do you feel? How did you think/act/behave, etc.

Also, I just finished reading the book “The Power of Habit” – which I recommend. Anyhow one study sighted in the book describes that people did better in many situations in sports/work/life when they not only visualized, set goals and asked questions before a situation but also asked themselves how they would react if different scenarios came up.

Example: “What would I do during the presentation if the power went off? What would I say if someone brings a politically charged subject up? How will I regroup if I get off the subject? How will I re-direct if an attendee gets us off track?” – Etc.

How should you visualize?

Write a story! Once upon a time I was about to compete in a big competition before the event I felt like….. just before I felt like……. During the competition I felt like……. After the event I felt like………. .Write a script like you’re writing a bestselling movie starring you!

The whole idea behind this technique is to imagine all the possible scenarios, positive and negative, and all the possible feelings, positive and negative, associated with them.

I would suggest that any of the counterproductive feelings of stress and anxiety stem from the ‘great unknown’. If our mind has already experienced the stressful scenario in the comfort of our home, using mental imagery, then it is more likely that we will manage to manage the scenario when it happens for real.

Misunderstanding the how and why visualization works often results in failure.  It is easy to become disillusioned about the power of visualization when, no matter how often or hard we concentrate on visualizing the outcome we desire it just doesn’t happen.

Many Americans first became aware of “visualization” as a technique when the Russians used the technique as central to training Olympic athletes – with great success.  Since that time, the idea of visualization as a tool to live a better life has become practically a mainstream assumption within American culture.

Visualize what we need/want and it will come.

A common complaint of people wishing to employ creative visualization is that they can’t “see” – or create a clear enough picture.  They close their eyes and maybe all they see are colors, or even just a “blank screen.”  They are having trouble visualizing.  This is where detail comes into play.  So far we’ve been concentrating on visualizing (“seeing”) as it relates to improving athletic performance; however, creative visualization is just as powerful technique for achieving anygoal or desire.  For example, you have decided to pursue finding another job.

You’ve set a scheduled time to visualize (say right before getting out of bed in the morning and right before going to sleep at night – both great times to visualize.)  You close your eyes and start thinking that you want to get a picture of your new job – and get nothing.  The more you strain to “see”, the blanker your mental screen gets.  Now is a great time to remember that you have five senses – not just one.

If you can’t see your new job – can you hear it?  Imagine a conversation you may have with a colleague or superior.  A very detailed conversation where you are expressing yourself to others with extreme confidence and competence.  Your listener, in turn, responds as you would wish them to in the most optimal circumstances you can imagine.

Can you smell your new job?  Perhaps your desk is near the coffee maker.  Now the conversation you have imagined has smell attached to it.  Can you touch your new job?  Maybe you can feel yourself standing by your desk with a cup of coffee in your hand having that successful conversation with your colleagues.

Now that you can hear and touch your visualization, you try to imagine you can see yourself at your new job, but – darn – all you can see is the color red.  Ask yourself, what is red about my new job?  And you realize that it is the tie or sweater a colleague you are speaking with is wearing.  Before you know it you can see, hear, and touch your new job – exactly as you desire it to be.

Creative visualization must be practiced consistently

“For changes to be of any true value, they’ve got to be lasting and consistent.”
Anthony Robbins

“What if my beliefs don’t fully support what I want or what I visualize”

In other words, even though we visualize,  do beliefs sometimes overcome visualization? Visualization techniques can change a negative self fulfilling prophesy into a positive self fulfilling prophesy.  For instance, frequently, consistently, and in a detailed manner visualizing one’s self actually taking the test successfully is very powerful.  For one, the level of self confidence is improved.  Those who feel confident are not focused on perfection, they are focused on realizing their full potential.

WHY– I think it is crucial, in addition to adding emotion to visualization, that you add the Why. Why do you want the end result? Describe why you really want it. If powerful enough, one or two sentences is OK.

HOW – It is my opinion that when you visualize an end result, don’t focus much on the “How’s”. In other words, if you want to be happy in a situation, for instance, don’t focus on how you’re going to ‘get’ happy. If you want money, don’t get too tied up in “how” the money will come. This lets your creative mind work out solutions that you can’t think of – and take advantage of opportunities that you can’t see now. Be open to the goal, think about the WHY, and anchor good emotions. Forget how it will come about.

I read an example of a visualization exercise in Mike Dooley’s books. They helped me. In one example he is sitting on a veranda at a beach house. He talks about how he feels, the changes, and it paints a great, simple picture. There are no details how he got there. It could be the lottery, maybe he wrote a book, maybe he did ten things to get there. It doesn’t matter. He set the stage for happiness, abundance, loved ones, etc. etc.

You can read about these good examples at http://wp.me/p2mGFu-h

You can watch on YOUTUBE at http://youtu.be/FTAdjr1n7m4

Creative visualization (C.V.) is used to create change in your life. Anything you desire to achieve has to exist in your mind first, whether the end result is physical or mental. Creative visualization means picturing your desired end result. You ‘see’ it, and feel it in your whole body before you take action on it. Creative visualization begins to change the way you perceive a goal, taking it from the realm of dreams and wishful thinking, to reality. The more you visualize, the more your actions will reflect that mental image.

Creative visualization can be used to acquire a new skill. Athletes use it all the time: a skater may know how to perform a certain jump as a double revolution: using creative visualization, the skater can take that skill and expand on it to mentally learn how to do a triple version of that same jump – before ever going out on the ice.

It can be  used to embed a new belief system in your subconscious. For example, if you want to improve your financial situation, you have to be able to visualize yourself receiving large sums of money – and not have any internal resistance to that visualization. This takes time, and mental reprogramming to release feelings such as “I’m not worthy” and “money is hard to come by.” Unless these limiting beliefs are reprogrammed, you will unconsciously keep taking actions that make sure you will not be financially abundant.

Also – a good quote relevant here:
“Whatever your goal may be, if you create in your mind a clear image of the result you want and represent it to yourself as if you’ve already achieved it, then you will go into the kind of states that will support you in creating the results you desire…. you’re not just a leaf in the wind. You can control your beliefs. You can control the way you model others. You can consciously direct your life. You can change.”
— Unlimited Power, Tony Robbins page 62

More in Part 3- soon to come!

One Web Strategy Video 1

Yes, it is fresh to you, my first video.

http://youtu.be/gnyeZRXKuSc

OK, nothing fancy but hopefully you get my sincere thoughts about what I’m trying to do at www.onewebstrategy.com

Watch it here and now!

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