Dr. Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously and never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop this picture!”
For many, this is easier said than done. From being naturally pessimistic to getting too busy to think about the future, there are a lot of excuses for avoiding business planning. Especially when planning is predicated on a mental picture of what success will look like.
Yet, time and again, we hear from world class athletes and business leaders who credit a big portion of their success to the fact that they pictured it long before it happened. Success was not an accident; it was intentional. Their mental picture of success helped them formulate a path that allowed them to achieve their ultimate goals.
Are you ready to give it a try? (This is an exercise I use in my Business Accelerator program.)
Then it’s time for some simple reflection. Shut your door. Turn off your phone. Ignore your computer for the next 30 minutes. Clear your mind.
Next, use these questions and statements to get your mental picture started…
- Imagine yourself in one year, in a couple years, at the end of your career or all three – the timeframes are up to you.
- Picture the successes you will have achieved – no matter how big or how small.
- Think about how you will look and feel – to yourself as well as to the people who are important in your life.
- Think about the recognitions you will receive – industry, company, community and family.
- Consider your personal life – what does success look like away from your business?
- Remember, it’s YOUR picture of success, don’t second guess yourself – you don’t have to worry about what other people will say or think.
- What other thoughts do you have?
- What questions haven’t you answered?
Finally, write it down. Avoid the temptation to edit.
You’ll end up with a paragraph or two, a bunch on unconnected sentences or a ton of bullet points. The format doesn’t matter.
How did that feel?
If you were patient and truly allowed your thoughts to flow, you probably feel relaxed and rejuvenated. You may even be excited. Remember this feeling, hold onto it, and be prepared to build on it.
As time passes, take time to regularly reflect on your mental picture. Occasionally repeat this exercise. You may tweak your thoughts or even add to your vision. But most importantly, don’t back away. Develop your picture.
Success will surely follow!
(In my next post, I’ll share some ideas on how to build on your mental picture of success.)