One of the first Americans to practice the technique of creative visualization was Wallace Wattles, who wrote The Science of Getting Rich. In this book, Wattles advocated creative visualization as the main technique for realizing one’s goals; a practice that stems from the Hindu Monastic theory of the Universe subscribed to by the book. Wattles’ book is the first of many generations of success books, which are all based on his approach of visualization and personal power. This concept is now rather mainstream but has existed on the intellectual fringe since the early 1800’s.
Creative visualization is the technique of using one’s imagination to visualize specific behaviors or events occurring in one’s life. Advocates suggest creating a detailed idea of what one desires and then visualizing it over and over again with all of the senses (i.e., what do you see? what do you feel? what do you hear? what does it smell like?). For example, a golfer may visualize the “perfect” stroke over and over again to mentally train muscle memory.
In one of the most famous studies on creative visualization in sports, Russian scientists compared four groups of Olympic athletes in terms of their training schedules:
* Group 1 = 100% physical training;
* Group 2 – 75% physical training with 25% mental training;
* Group 3 – 50% physical training with 50% mental training;
* Group 4 – 25% physical training with 75% mental training.
Group 4, with 75% of their time devoted to mental training, performed the best. The Soviets had discovered that mental images can act as a prelude to muscular impulses.
In business, particularly in sales, visualization can provide amazing changes in performance.
We all have heard, or should have, that Olympic and professional athletes work with visualization to improve their performance.
At the end of your week, sit for a few minutes and plan your upcoming week, then relax and visualize your entire week as planned and imagine it as being supremely successful. See this in as much detail as possible. As the week progresses, finish each evening with a revisualization of what the next day will bring. If you have an important meeting or sales call take one minute just before to visualize a successful result and continue to do this throughout the week.