May 27 2013

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If You Visualize It Will It Happen?

Through the ages, many people have said that if you visualize something, it will eventually come true.  This principle has been most commonly applied to wealth where people believe that if you visualize yourself rich, you will eventually become rich (e.g. Think and Grow Rich, The Science of Getting Rich).

If You Visualize It Will It Happen?

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal called Can You Get Rich by Visualizing Yourself Rich? by Robert Frank that explained what happens when you visualize something.  He discussed the ideas that go with  visualization.  Robert wrote about Sara Blakely, the billionaire founder of Spanx, because she is a proponent of visualization.  Sara said, “I believe you can take mental snapshots of your future and what success looks like to you. If you mentally see yourself in a scenario, you’ll start to make decisions in your life that get you there.”  In addition to talking about the proponents of visualization and how to visualize, Robert mentioned that many critics say visualization is just a flight from realism.

What Should You Visualize?

I believe that if you visualize success, you are far more likely to be successful if you couple that vision with action. Without a vision success is very difficult.  Leaders need to create a vision for their companies to be successful.  A vision is important because it causes you to stretch.  As a leader, the following three things will lead to your success.

Have a vision of your success.

There is a saying that, “If you imagine something, you will begin to think about how to make it happen.  And if you think about how to make it happen, you will figure out what to do to make it happen.  Then if you think about what to do to make it happen long enough, you will eventually do it.”  All actions start out as thoughts in your head.  By envisioning success, you allow yourself to think bigger.  The more you visualize success, the more you act as though you are successful.  You gradually gain more confidence in yourself and your abilities which causes you to perform better.

Have a vision of the success of your employees.

Have you ever worked for someone that didn’t believe in you or expected you to fail and treated you accordingly?  In that situation, it was probably hard to be successful because you didn’t have someone who believed in you.  In addition to visualizing your own success, when you visualize the success of your employees you will help them to be successful.  You will help them reach success because you see their potential, and you work to help them reach it.

Have a vision of the organization’s success.

Whether you are a middle or upper level leader, you have a lot of power to help your organization be successful.  When you have a vision for the organization, it will rub off on others until they catch the vision as well.  You will be motivated to see that vision turn into a reality.  Your motivation will be contagious and spread to those around you.

Your vision for yourself, your employees, and the organization will have a major impact on the amount of effort you put into your job.  So what do you think?  Does visualization work as a leader?  What are your thoughts on visualization?  Do you think having a vision is helpful or do you believe it is just an escape from reality?  Please share your thoughts and feelings in the comments section below!

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  • I can’t stress how important vision is. I may have a vision greater than what I may, in the end, accomplish for myself or my brand and projects, but it is what keeps me motivated. Besides who says I won’t reach my goals and beyond?! Go bedhead moms!

    • Welcome Wendy! Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I completely agree with you about what a vision does to help motivate people. Without a vision, there are no goals. Vision gives you something to reach for. To make it come true you need to visualize yourself obtaining it.

  • Celeste

    I completely agree that any venture begins with a vision. Usually, in my experience, I see in my mind’s eye, what I want the end project, event, etc., to look like. As the article says, you then start to think about how you are going to get there. How will this idea actually be a success??
    In my mind, I begin thinking of the end result, as an inverted pyramid, if you will. The base, instead of being the bottom, actually becomes the top. It represents the “Big Picture of the Success” of whatever it is that you are trying to accomplish. In it, the questions: who, what, when; why, and how are encompassed within the “Big Picture”.
    The next levels of the pyramid, begin to provoke and answer the questions that are encompassed within the large base, ie: “The Big Picture”.. As you work through the issues, each level grows smaller, as you have solved the issues associated with the ultimate goal. And, it leads you to the very few items that remain, to actually implement, and attain your goal.

    One thing that was not mentioned in the above article, that I have found to be of the utmost importance, whether running a business, or heading a Volunteer Organization, is that along the way, as one solves the obstacles, which will ultimately be present, is this: PAY ATTENTION TO EACH AND EVERY DETAIL, associatiated with each step. This includes supporting the people that are working with and for you. If they have been assigned a task, given a deadline, and have met that, be sure to not forget the detail of letting them know how much you appreciate their efforts. It instills the self confidence, mentioned above, incites excitement into them, and keeps them asking for more to do, to help.

    Lack of attention to detail, will bring an otherwise wonderful concept, idea, plan or project, to failure. Example: You could be putting on a $1,000 a plate fund-raising event, in the most posh venue, the decorations could be wonderful, the food – fantastic, but what happens when your guests sit down for dinner, and someone has forgotten to get ice for the water goblets?? Will it really matter that although you are using fine china, crystal etc., when the first guest takes a sip of lukewarm water? One to three seemingly minute details, that may have been overlooked, will add-up in your guests’ minds, as a flop. You will not get those people back again next year to pay their $1,000.

    I believe that being prepared for whatever unkowns may be ahead, is of utmost importance. And, by looking at the details of every phase of your plan, will minimize unexpected pitfalls, and will bring you into the “Winners Circle”, of your successful visualization.

    One other side note, is this: Never underestimate the “WOW FACTOR”. To achieve your successful dream, you must have an element of giving your audience, employees, clients, patients, etc., the unexpected. To put it another way, give them at least one strong focal point to talk about to others. If it is a product, a service, or a function, and all has gone well, the extra “WOW”, is what will motivate them to tell others about you, your organization or your company.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my opinion.

    • Welcome Celeste!

      I love your comment and insight! You make some excellent points. As you mentioned, it is extremely important that when you are making your vision a reality, you pay close attention to detail. I have seen people that forgot about what seemed like small things and just as you mentioned it led to their downfall.

      I also like that you talked about the “WOW” factor. You must always give people something to talk about. If you don’t, you will become irrelevant as your competition will have the wow factor. People will talk about them instead of you. As you make your vision a reality, you have to impress many people and give them something that wows them.

      Ultimately, every vision must have action behind it. With each step you take you can’t forget the small details because they make up the big picture. Thanks for your great thought provoking comments!

      • Celeste

        Dear Mr. Jones,

        Thank you for your kind remarks. I really appreciate you for taking the time to respond to my input.

        As it happens, just this morning, I was thinking about your article, (which, as you know, I agreed with) and a new thought came to me.

        It was this: If two stores, (for example grocery stores) are advertising the same item on sale, and assuming that both are at equal price, (as well as all other things being equal – convenience, etc.) what would make a person choose one store over the other? In my opinion, it would be the CONSISTENCY OF SERVICE EXPERIENCE, that the customers have experienced, and/or come to expect.

        This line of thought, goes back to painstaking attention to the little details, of every aspect of running a business, campaign, or organization.

        In my area, an example of this is a family owned, growing chain of grocery stores, whose Mission, and Branding, is based upon, what they have named: “The Boomerang Theory” . Each and every piece of advertising has this statement on it. Every employee, as you go through their store, greets you with a smile, or some form of acknowledgment of your presence in their store. Once at the check-out, the customer is always greeted, often assisted in unloading their cart, and always, always, asked: “Did you find everything you were looking for today?” If you have not, or you have forgotten to pick something up, they will call for someone to either bring it to you, and/or, order it in for you.

        Yesterday, they happened to be short on a particular item that I needed, for my dog. An employee approached me and asked if she could help me. I asked her if they could possibly order more of that particular item, as it seemed that they were always short, on it. She immediately got on her headset, (all of hte employees have them), and checked to see if there was more in the back of the store. Unfortunately, there was not, however, she then suggested that I order it by the case, explaining that they would call me when it came in, and that I could save 5% by doing so.

        I could go on about other “service” experiences with this particular store, but I think that the point of “details” has been made.

        As a result of their Operational Policies and Mission Statement, they are growing in leaps and bounds. They have hired staff, young and old, who are outstanding with their people skills, and, although they are higher priced than the other stores in town,they are always busy, They also draw customers from a 50 mile radius, due to the reputation that they have built for themselves. (I know this, because I talk to people while I am shopping and often ask where they are from.)

        One other point that hasn’t been mentioned, as of yet, is; it pays for a business to give something back to their Communnity. The above mentioned example, does this on a consistent basis, in a variety of ways. They have actually built an exterior pavillion, so that our community organizations can have year-round “Brat Frys”, rain or shine. They sponsor things like the City Fireworks, for the 4Th of July, Community Art Festivals, etc.. All of which is consistent with the image that they have set for themselves.

        I have no ties with this particular business, but have observed how well they have implemented, on a consistent basis, to their customers, as well as their employees, the importance of paying attention to each and every detail. And, how they make their customers, as well as their employees, feel that they are appreciated and important.

        Their two words ” “Boomerang Theory”, succinctly sum-up their premise for existence. And, it works!

        Thank you again for the information that you have shared, and for the opportunity to exchange ideas.

        Have a wonderful, successful weekend,


        • Celeste,

          I really like the story you mentioned. Since I read it, I have thought about it a lot. It is so important to take care of your customers so they will take care of you and advertise for you. If you forget about your employees, they will not value your organization. Thank you for another great comment!