Please note that Current of Life was previously published under the title: Living Your Potential
(#6 of 7) from the series: Does Positive Thinking Really Work?
Hit it to the Picture
Tiger Woods once commented that each time he plays golf, he has the same intention: Picture it in. Hit it to the picture. Athletes and entertainers have sports psychologists and performance coaches to help them master the art of visualization. There must be a reason.
While training for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Laura Wilkinson, champion diver, broke three bones in her foot. During two months of recovery, she was only able to practice by imaging the dives in her mind. Enduring being called a “has-been” and “ridiculous” for even continuing to train, she reentered the pool just weeks before the trials and had to wear a special shoe just to climb the ladder. Laura received the gold medal and upset the heavily favored Chinese team who had won the event in seven of the last eight Olympics.
In the late 1950’s, during the Cultural Revolution, a Chinese pianist named Liu Chi Kung was imprisoned for seven years. Once released, he resumed playing concerts to the amazement of his fans. They wondered how it was possible that he played better than ever, after having been denied access to a piano during his entire imprisonment. He answered their curiosity by saying, “I did practice, every day. I rehearsed every piece I had ever played, not by note, in my mind.”
Rehearsing for Success
Are these success stories just for the masters of their craft? Certainly they know the impact of visualization. The ability to mentally rehearse a desired outcome, however, is accessible to anyone who is willing and committed.
Olivia, my eight year old niece, recently reflected on her soccer team’s losing streak. “Mom, I know winning isn’t everything, but it would be nice to win sometimes.” Then she added, “But I don’t think we’ll win next time.” Olivia was prone to storm down the field determinedly, and then hesitate as she approached the goal, intimidated by the goalie. Her mother told her, “Well you won’t win if you don’t think you will. How about thinking that maybe you’ll win?”
The morning of the next game, Olivia’s Mom was out of town on business. She called her daughter (who was en route to the game with her Dad) and told her that she had an image in her mind of Olivia scoring a goal that day. Her daughter smiled. Later that morning, her cell phone rang. Olivia had scored two goals! Even though they didn’t win the game, it opened up a whole new field of possibilities.
Be as willing as Olivia to picture the possibility of success. Try it this week with something specific you are attempting. Prior to acting, see the result you desire. What does it look like? Bring the picture to mind. Connect to the feeling it produces and know that: “Everything you can imagine is real.” (Pablo Picasso)
© 2005, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to www.inthecurrent.com.
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