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Write It, Visualize It, Believe It

da-vinci-reproWrite down your goals – longhand. Formulate SMART goals, and write them down. New research shows that the physical act of writing – using pen and paper – helps to form new neural pathways in the brain, which in turn helps to cement knowledge and improves the effectiveness of the brain. Dr. David Sortino writes, “According to author, Mathew Geiger, ‘as our brains learn to connect our inner worlds to the external universe, we begin to recognize abstract ideas like awareness of others and perception.’”  In other words, the mere act of writing our goals may tend to connect our abstract dreams, ideas, and wishes to a more concrete reality, and move us closer to achieving them.

Visualize the achievements. “Creative visualization” is using your imagination to visualize specific behaviors or events you want to have happen in your life. Use all of your senses: What does achieving your goal look and sound like? What does it smell and taste like? What does it feel like? Dwell on the mental images for a bit. If you need to adjust your SMART goals, do it – again, longhand, in pen on paper. Sketch, doodle, journal the meaning and consequences of success until, in your mind’s eye, you can see yourself as having achieved it.

Relax, believe, and trust. Fear, negativity, and worry are not at all conducive to success. Or to creativity and innovation. Life is full of risk; nothing is learned or achieved without failure. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” If the answer is, “Someone could die,” then take a step back and think things through. Plan, prepare, and practice with a safety net. Some mistakes, as I tell my kids, you cannot afford to make.

On the other hand, you can get hurt by holding on too tight, as this scene from Top Gun so memorably illustrates:

My unwillingness to simply fall off a horse could’ve gotten me killed, years ago. My instructor called me aside, one day, and said, “When you throw your arms around the horse’s neck and hang on for dear life, do you realize what you’re doing?” He pointed to another student in the ring. “When you fall off – and you will still fall off – where do you think you’ll end up?” Suddenly, I had a vision of myself swinging around to face the horse for a split second before slipping to the ground to be trampled under all four hooves.

“Oh.” That’s what Cougar’s talking about, here – holding on too tight. It can get you killed. So sometimes, it’s better to relax, let go, and fly.


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About Holly Jahangiri

Holly Jahangiri lives in Texas and claims to channel the spirits of Edgar Allan Poe, O. Henry and Erma Bombeck. She has known since fifth grade that she wanted to be a professional writer. Holly is a technical communicator whose imagination is allowed free rein in her short stories, children's books, and poetry. You can visit her personal blog, "It's All a Matter of Perspective," at http://jahangiri.us/new.

About Holly Jahangiri

Holly Jahangiri lives in Texas and claims to channel the spirits of Edgar Allan Poe, O. Henry and Erma Bombeck. She has known since fifth grade that she wanted to be a professional writer. Holly is a technical communicator whose imagination is allowed free rein in her short stories, children's books, and poetry. You can visit her personal blog, "It's All a Matter of Perspective," at http://jahangiri.us/new.

Comments

  1. Congrats Holly Jahangiri,

    I like your amazing taught about “Visualize It” , its very interesting one very professional,,,,

  2. Hi Holly,

    I love this post. It is so inspiring. On New Years every year a write down 2-4 goals, check them throughout the year, and it seems that I have usually accomplished all or most of them by the next New Year.

    I may have to link to this post in my blog. Love it! Sally
    Sally Brown recently posted..Veteran’s Day – Honoring All Who Have ServedMy Profile

  3. I can testify that writing your goal gives you a better chance of accomplishing that if you make a simple mental note. I’ve seen times when i “decided” to do something by making a mental commitment only to have the project unfinished. but when i write it down, i allows me to even break the goal down in details, then ingrains the process in my memory and i find myself actually doing what i planned to do with a higher chance of following through to completion.
    Jovie Onyema recently posted..Is death from God?My Profile

    • I learned this many years ago. Actually wrote out and planned my New Year’s Resolutions, then basically “forgot” them. At the end of the year, I reviewed my progress, and was stunned to realize I’d actually achieved MOST of them – certainly all of the most important ones! And these were not trivial things. I think my planning and visualizing and thinking and refining had imprinted the “map” in my brain – my brain and my clearly stated intentions kept on working for me even when my conscious thoughts were elsewhere.

  4. short and sweet Holly! I love free flowing and visualising dreams and capturing ideas on paper..so definitely agree re long hand.

  5. Longhand is cool. There’s just something about forming letters and words that you don’t get from finger tapping – even if revision is a lot less messy :)
    It’s a good suggestion you make to ‘use all senses’. John Kehoe wrote, and spoke, in his various works about the importance of emotion in visualisation. That’s stuck with me since I first read it some time ago.
    Anthony Smits recently posted..Writing to wring a sale is simple if you think journalism first.My Profile

  6. The horse example above makes sense but I think its the natural fight that you show and desire to keep hanging on that get you places. Youw ill fall and you will fail but the desire to win needs to be there to turn it round.
    Lassa recently posted..Payday LoanMy Profile

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