“Visualize this thing that you want, see it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blue print, and then begin to build.“-Robert Collier
I’ve been waving goodbye to another summer season (sniff, sniff) and reflecting on the experiences I’ve had and the people I‘ve been fortunate enough to meet and spend time with. With the passing of days, seasons and years, I’ve understood that nothing is random or coincidental, and all that is put in our path is to teach, remind, or give us the opportunity to choose where to go next. I’ve also noticed that the universe tends to deliver new ideas, concepts and thoughts for us to ponder with subtle repetition. There is a commonality not always evident in the moment. Sometimes it takes a bit of squinting to see what has been connected with the universe’s invisible thread.
I wondered what pattern there waster me to see in the mélange of people that come into my summer sightline – like the high energy gallerist who looks forward to spending every birthday alone, not speaking, immersed only in his rich inner world of thoughts and ideas; the young man seated next to me at a dinner party who has framed blueprints of his future dream home; a family friend seeking advice on building her design career, and an Olympic swimmer wearing more gold around his neck than anyone in history. While different in age, sex, ethnicity and vocation, that invisible thread was replaced by a common one. I realized that in their own unique way, all were devoting time to creating the image of the end product, be it what they wanted or where they wanted to go.
In order to manifest anything successfully we must first bring focus to what it will look like using the process of visualization.
Think about it. How often have you gotten an idea, hastily purchased what you thought you needed and jumped into a project – only to find you were in over your head? Or gone shopping and come home with clothes that you’ll never have an occasion to wear. Or realized that sale sofa was a big mistake the minute it came off the delivery truck. Homes, garages, closets and dumpsters are full of projects aborted mid-completion, impulse purchases, and wastes of time and money.
We often hear that planning is the most critical stage in achieving a goal or intended result. While I don’t disagree with the importance of planning, I contend that visualizing must happen first, so you know what you are planning for. Ironically, you must have a fully realized vision of the end point to start moving forward in a direct and efficient way.Visualizing is more than pinning pages or doing dream boards and involves not only the visual senses but the emotional ones as well. To visualize the mind must be quieted to connect with our inner-most selves so we can hear the answers to the questions that need to be asked, like “why am I doing this”, “what value will this bring to my life”, or “does this feel right?”.
Many times we skip right to the doing, the action, the selecting and hope the vision will form in the process. But that’s not how it works. Without a clear picture there is a high probability of a disjointed and disappointing outcome. Since my area of expertise is in the realm of the home, I spend lots of time thinking about how a house needs to function and feel. Countless scenarios for color, furnishings and layout float through my mind, are toyed with, and disregarded before a solid idea is put to paper. And, while daydreaming gets a bad rap, I find it a great way to play out various outcomes without real consequence. It is from this critical time spent visualizing that the lines emerge on the paper bringing form to an idea, which can go into the world to be made or found. Without this step, you may miss seeing the pitfall in the plan until it’s too late.
Visualization is an integral tool because it readies us for change. When we prepare for change we put ourselves in a position of power – acting instead of reacting. Change is difficult for most of us because it has an annoying way of letting us know when it’s coming our way. Perhaps our thoughts get jumbled, we are irritable or feel ungrounded and no decision we make seems to be a good one. Making change in our environment, or our lifestyle, requires intentional action not frenetic wasting of precious time. Visualizing the possible outcomes before planning occurs and action is taken helps to insure smoother sailing.
Taking the time to visualize is an added step that can save you from irreversible or costly mistakes. It can steer you away from undesired outcomes and leaves you with a road map of where to go next. And, if you envision it, you may even find yourself in the place of your dreams.
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