Do you fantasize? Or do you visualize?
Fantasizing is picturing that super-awesome-amazing dream home on a cliff overlooking the beach in Hawaii.
Visualizing is picturing AND planning (in your head or on paper):
- Every detail of the house, down to the color of the grout between the imported Italian tiles in the 5th bedroom.
- Who will help you build it.
- Who will live there with you.
- Who you will invite to visit (and to whom you will say, “um, sorry, we’re busy that week”).
- The steps you will take to build the house, from hiring the architect to purchasing the land to filling the saltwater pool in your lusciously landscaped back yard.
- What you will need to do/have/become in your life to start moving from your tiny dump of a house (relatively speaking, of course) to that Richard Branson-like villa by the sea.
The Problem With The Secret
Like many people, I watched and/or read the make-your-dreams-come-true phenomenon, The Secret. It basically preaches “Visualize what you want and it will come to you.”
Hogwash. They should have used the word “Fantasize.” Fantasizing is a good first step that can kickstart the process, but if that’s all you do, it gets you nothing but a few pleasant moments of daydreaming.
The Best Always Visualize
Champion athletes don’t incorporate “fantasizing” into their training, but almost every world-class performer visualizes their winning event from beginning to end. And not just once, but over and over and over until it is completely real to them in their mind and they know exactly what they must do to make it real.
The problem with most of your dreams and goals is that they’re fantasies with no real detail or plan of action. You fantasize about what you’d like to have, but you fail to visualize how you’ll actually get it. So, you never do.
A recent Powerball lottery topped $550 million. Countless millions of people fantasized about what they’d buy with their first check, where they would vacation, or what charity would die of a heart attack from their unprecedented donation. I kinda believe if a few more people actually took the lottery out of the equation and visualized HOW they might make that stuff happen, well, we probably wouldn’t need the lottery anymore.
Next Time, Visualize
Next time you catch yourself fantasizing, take it another step and visualize the who, what, where, when, why, and how to make it happen. It doesn’t require studying with a zen master or entering a deep meditative state. In fact, it actually works best with your eyes open, a partner to ping-pong ideas with, and a pen in your hand to capture your thoughts.
Stop fantasizing. Start visualizing. And see where you end up.