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Visualise and experience success

Set a positive goal for yourself and then train your mind and body to achieve it Chitra Jha reports

education Updated: Mar 03, 2010 09:25 IST
Chitra Jha

What do I want? How will I know when I have got it? These two questions have changed my entire outlook towards life. I would also suggest that you seek answers to the same and make sure you write them down.

The first question, ‘What do I want?’, invokes some soul-searching. It takes into account the fact that our human nervous system is geared for ‘goal-seeking’. All of us work more effectively if we have an objective to work for. The aim varies at different stages of our life. What I wanted as a student is different from what I want today. So, what is it that ‘you’ want? Perhaps you want good marks, an admission into a reputable professional course, a well-paying job, a great lifestyle, etc. Pay attention to your answer. Is it stated in the positive or negative?

A positive goal would be ‘I want good marks’, while a negative goal would be ‘I don’t want to fail’. I want to quit smoking, I want to lose weight, or I want to stop procrastinating are all negative goals. If I were to tell you to stop thinking of a blue elephant, you will find this command difficult to obey, because the moment I say ‘blue elephant’, that picture will flash in your mind. Similarly, if your goal is stated in the negative, the focus of your mind will be on the wrong thing. ‘I-don’t-want-to-fail’ makes you focus on failure and you’ll make things difficult for yourself. So ensure that your goal is positive.

The second question, ‘How will I know when I get it?’, is very tricky. A student who wants ‘good’ marks should say, “I will know when I stand first in class. But I prefer specific evidence. I would like to know what I will see written on my mark sheet (exact percentage/grade); how I will feel (elated, ecstatic, jubilant); what I will hear (congratulations/ compliments); what I will do (throw a party) etc.” Try this exercise. It will provide your nervous system with a graphic representation of success when it comes to a particular goal.

Ask yourself: “What will I see, hear, and feel as I achieve my goal? ” As you involve all your senses in this experience, you tell your nervous system exactly what to aim for. So, get your whole body and sensations involved in achieving your goal. Once you have done this exercise to your complete satisfaction, stand up, and take a long step (literally), imagining that you are stepping into that time in future — when you have achieved your goal. And you would be closer to it.

The author is a life-skills coach, time-line therapist, and new consciousness writer