Think of something you really, really want. Now, close your eyes and imagine having it. Wait, did you just close your eyes? I meant for you to close them for a second or two, not indefinitely. Go ahead and close them for a few seconds. I’m hoping you opened them again. Okay, forget about closing your eyes. Gosh. This is getting complicated. Let’s start over.
Think of something you really, really want. Now, imagine having it. Can you see it? If it’s an object, can you feel it? What’s the texture like under the pads of your fingers? Try to imagine the sensation. If it’s something you’ve wanted to do like, take that vacation you’ve been thinking about, imagine the spot. Are you feeling the water splashing over your skin while you’re lying on the beach? Can you feel the sun beat down on your head? Okay, so maybe a sunny spot is not for everyone. How about a refreshing Alaskan Vacation? You can’t beat six months of sunshine or six months of darkness.
The thing about the imagination is the brain can’t tell what is real and what is make-believe. To the mind, it’s all the same. Have you ever seen a movie where you’re on the edge of your chair wondering what will happen next? The brain is telling you that it’s firing its synapses in order for you to feel the thrill the movie is providing. The brain thinks it’s real.
Studies have proven the brain is a resilient organ. It remembers things beyond what we think it remembers. When we think about the past, it’s as if we’re reliving the experiences all over again.
Let’s go back to thinking about stuff. Are you ready? Imagine the first time you fell in love. Do you have the thought yet? If you’ve never fallen in love, then imagine your first crush. Better still, do you remember your first kiss? Really, take a moment and think about it. Remember how your heart flipped inside of you, how the center of your being burned with the pangs of wanting this person in your life. Do you feel your palms sweaty, your lips tingly and your breath speeding up? Remember how you couldn’t sleep without thinking about them? How you couldn’t eat because your stomach had a knot the size of a baseball twirling about, never leaving you alone?
If you’ve really stopped to think about it, and felt all those emotions all over again, then that’s your mind at work. It can’t tell the difference if those thoughts you’re having are real.
That’s why it’s important to think of your goals as if you have already achieved them. I’m not talking about that self-hypnosis/self-enlightenment movement going around in the entertainment industry these days. We have enough of that in the gossip columns when we read about stars who have lost touch with reality because they think they are better than everyone else.
What I’m referring to is about work and reward. Training the mind with the feeling of having attained a reward. The best way to do this is to write things down in a list and crossing the items off as you complete them. Instant reward. The other way is thinking about having already won the fight. The mind doesn’t know better, so the mind will release the same chemicals into the brain to provide that satisfaction a person would receive when achieving a goal.
When this happens, the mind will press you to want to achieve that goal.
Only, you’ll have to follow through. It’s not enough to think about what you want. The mind will reward you, but that feeling in the pit of your stomach, when you see things haven’t really changed, will want you to change.
You can only go so far with the mind. Eventually, you’ll have to take steps to achieve the goal in reality in order to receive the reward in reality.
Make a list. Follow through. Win.
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What’s on your list? Does anyone know the goals you want to achieve?