I recently gave a friend some unsolicited advice (no! not me!) garnished with the caveat that he may find it ‘new age’ and creepy, but which has worked for me, many times. I learned it from my guy, who regularly practices it. Whenever he gets an ache or a pain, a symptom that is causing him discomfort, he places his hand over the spot, and finds a few quiet minutes to concentrate on it. He visualizes it as being pain-free, and as being flooded with healthy red and white blood cells.
This is nothing more than mind over matter, or believing that we are a triumvirate of mind, body, and spirit. We’re all taught to believe that doctors hold the answers, the key to good health. They went through many years of college, and a rigorous internship. Were they ever able to figure out what ailed my mother, and help her? No, they were not. They (whoever they are) named her condition COPD, which is a convenient way of saying, ‘we don’t know what the hell is the matter with you. You have a chronic condition. Here, take this drug; it should ease the symptoms for awhile’. There are other ways to achieve better health, overcome some chronic conditions, and achieve goals.
Abraham Maslow, an American professor of psychology, developed the hierarchy of needs. Up until he began studying psychology, it was mainly unhappy, unwell people, who were the subject of study. Maslow suggested that happy, successful people should be studied as well to find out what they had in common. What a great idea! Don’t ordinary people, who don’t have the benefit of a degree in psychology, routinely do this when they find someone they admire and want to emulate? They study what that person does, or did, that made them successful. Outside of being taller, or being born rich, which none of us has control over, emulation is a very valid way to help you self-actualize.
The best way to achieve goals is of course, to know what they are. But that is only the beginning. Napoleon Hill, Brian Tracy, and other motivational leaders tell us that visualizing and praying are tools, but they alone will not help you achieve your goals. Every path to the realization of a goal is fraught with setbacks, roadblocks, obstacles, and all manner of annoying things designed to keep you discouraged.
Think about your last attempt to lose weight, or something similar. Setting a new weight as a goal did not help you achieve weight loss, and you did not achieve it through prayer, or visualizing it, either. You had to put in the work of exercise, shopping for the right foods, passing up some of your favorite comfort foods, and sometimes, you gave in and ate the cheesecake and skipped the exercise. It was a long haul. However, you never would have started the journey if you hadn’t set the goal, visualized yourself at the new weight, and asked for help to achieve it.
Brian Tracy says that our attention goes to where our thoughts go. He says that people visualize all the time; it is what they focus on that is the problem. Successful people focus almost solely on what they want to achieve. There isn’t room for anything else. Most of us give up at the first roadblock, or the second, or the third. But as one CEO has said, ‘all you have to do is succeed the last time’.
Brian Tracy says one of the best ways to do this is to write your goal down, but write it as a question, ‘how do I achieve this goal?’ Disciplining yourself to write 20 different answers to this question will stimulate creativity. He further says this should be a regular part of your day, and that it will create happiness because it gives you a feeling of forward motion and success.