Tuesday, January 3, 2017

SUCCESS STRATEGIES

Extraordinary Power of Visualizing Success
Extraordinary Power
of Visualizing Success

All top performers, regardless of profession, 
know the importance of picturing themselves 
succeeding in their minds before they actually 
do in reality. Something I have been able to 
translate over to the business arena from athletics 
is the power of visualization. It is extremely 
effective when harnessed and used correctly.

Every Friday night after our team dinner, my 
college teammates and I would gather in the 
hotel conference room to prep for our game on 
Saturday.

We were led through a series of visualization
techniques and practices led by a sports 
psychologist. Right away, I started to experience 
the incredible benefits of taking the time to 
picture myself succeeding before actually play-
ing in the game. I visualized every little detail, 
from walking into the locker

 The Extraordinary Power of Visualizing Success
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room, tying my cleats and having conversations
with my teammates and coaches.

Related: How to Transform Your Life in 6 
Minutes a Day

I would picture myself having the “perfect” 
game,executing the defensive game plan and 
making big plays. The more vivid I was, the better
I seemed to play. I couldn’t believe it. Before the 
game even started,I had already played the entire 
game in my mind. This made a tremendous 
difference because it greatly increased my confi-
dence and comfort level.

In turn, I have been able to harness the power of 
visualization outside of athletics. Before I take the
stage and speak to a large audience, I always 
picture myself giving the “perfect” speech. I 
begin weeks in advance by picturing the audience,
my choice of words and the reaction from the 
crowd once I am finished. Visualization can be 
applied to any area of your life, as I know it has
become very beneficial throughout mine.

Consider these three examples:

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali was always 
stressing the importance of seeing himself 
victorious long before the actual fight.

As a struggling young actor, Jim Carrey used to
picture himself being the greatest actor in the

 The Extraordinary Power of Visualizing Success
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Michael Jordan always took the last shot in his 
mind before he ever took one in real life.

These top performers, among many others, have
mastered the technique of positive visualization 
and openly credit it as a success tactic.

When you think of a big goal or dream that you 
want to achieve, it’s natural to think of all of the 
obstacles that will come your way. The problem is
far too often we allow these obstacles to become 
so big in our minds
that it inhibits us from moving forward. This is
when many become satisfied with mediocrity.

Related: How to See (Clearly) What You Want to
Accomplish

Don’t let this be you. Rather than creating larger-
than life barriers in your mind and dwelling on 
everything that will hold you back, envision your
-self victorious like Ali. Picture yourself as the 
greatest at your craft like Carrey. Visualize your 
next shot as your winning shot like MJ.

What will it take?What sacrifices will you make?
How can you handle any obstacles and still have 
enough to make it to the finish line? The key is to
make your positive vision stronger than anything
that can set you back.

The Extraordinary Power of Visualizing Success
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SUCCESS STRATEGIES

7 Psychological Equations to

The truth is, if you can’t picture yourself 
achieving a goal, chances are you won’t. 

The more vivid you can get, the better it will 
work for you. 

Start thinking of your personal goals in life. 

Spend about 10 to 15 minutes picturing yourself 
achieving each one.

Get as detailed as possible. 

Picture what you will do once your goal is reached. 

How amazing does it feel? 

How will this change the course of your life? 

Remember, the little details increase the 
likelihood of the big picture.

You don’t need to spend endless hours. 

Simply get in the habit of putting together a 
positive vision into your everyday life. 

Visualize yourself succeeding, achieving every 
goal, completing every task. 

See what it does for you and how it makes you 
feel. This will likely become a pivotal part of 
your success arsenal.

The bottom line is this: If you can't picture 
yourself in your own mind being extremely 
successful, dominating your market, and 
running a phenomenal business, then chances are 
you never will.


Related: If You Envision It, It Will Come

I’ve had the privilege of interviewing dozens of today’s leading entrepreneurs, celebrities and influencers including Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins, Barbara Corcoran, Seth Godin, Simon Sinek and Chalene Johnson. I've had these amazing, coveted conversations in person, usually in the guest’s home or office. The setting gives me a unique peek into their day-to-day life. To prepare, I listen, read and watch hours of content from or about the guest. Following the interview, I analyze and digest what I’ve learned into written articles and video segments.

I have spent upwards of 4,000 hours studying success in under two years, which puts me in a unique position to dissect success for the rest of us. What are the habits of successful people? What are their secrets? How did they start? How did they defy the odds?

My guests have collectively written more than 20 New York Times bestselling books and employed thousands of people. They have a total combined net worth of more than $800 million. Though they each have a unique story and perspective, the one thing they undoubtedly have in common is these people know how to structure 24 hours for maximum success.

Here are the top seven keys to success for the rest of us when it comes to structuring your day in order to produce your best work and become your best self.

1. Start your day earlier.
We’ve heard the "start early" advice a million times. The unique key is that there is power in being alone and getting focused at the start of the day. Even if you can’t wake up at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. (like many of my guests), consider committing to getting up just a few minutes earlier to calmly plan your day before the pressure to answer emails begins, the phones start to ring or the rest of your family needs your attention.

“I'd wake up early in the morning ... because in those early morning hours, I was not roles, I was just a soul. That's when I came out,” explained Glennon Doyle Melton, founder of Momastery.com and the New York Times bestselling author of Love Warrior.

Related: 11 Ways to Make Money While You Sleep

2. Take charge of your day.
In those few extra minutes, decide then and there how your day will go. My interviewees all agree, you must be proactive about your time rather than reactive. If you start your day reading emails from others about their agendas and priorities, it can derail your own.

“If you jump right into your e­mail,” explained Brendon Burchard, founder of Experts Academy and New York Times bestselling author, "you automatically set the frame in your mind to react to other people's needs. And you're just reacting to the world, you're not strategically thinking, ‘What are my moves forward?’ And so when I begin the day, I'm moving myself forward before I'm replying to anything, and that's the secret.”

Ask yourself, what are your priorities for the day? What are your non-negotiables? Get detailed and laser focused on the most high-value tasks. You can also make these key decisions the night before as you wrap up the previous day. Either way, make sure you’re running your day rather than letting your day run you.

Related: 10 Bad Habits You Must Eliminate From Your Daily Routine

3. Break your day into blocks.
Obviously, Kathy Griffin has a very different day than Seth Godin, who has a very different day than Grant Cardone. One common denominator is to think of your day, and your month for that matter, in blocks. Give yourself blocks of uninterrupted time for creation, blocks for emailing and corresponding with your team, blocks for exercise, etc. Don’t forget to block out time for family or your spouse, making sure you can unplug and be present with those who matter most.

“I really focus on the things that I do the best, which is content creation. I only do meetings, generally speaking, internal meetings on Monday and I do external meetings on Friday,” shared Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, now founder of Platform University and New York Times bestselling author. He explained that his team will record 13 podcast episodes, audio and video, over two days once a quarter.

“I just found for me, that if I batch, I’m way more efficient,” Hyatt said.

One more unexpected note on time blocking is to make sure you have time to think. Seth Godin will create for about two hours per day and then gives himself another portion of the day to walk around town and brainstorm. James Altucher makes time each day to come up with 10 new ideas on any topic, and he will sit and work on it until he reaches 10. If you want to be more innovative and creative, make sure you allow time for your mind to wander.

Related: 5 Steps You Can Take Now to Get Wealthy in 2017

4. Cover the basics.
Entrepreneurs are driven to work hard and move fast. To be honest, many of these moguls did not always prioritize the basics, but later they made the switch and saw impressive results. Your body is the vessel with which you’re going to do your world-changing work, so you need to take care of it. Drink your eight glasses of water, exercise each day, eat food that will fuel you and make sure you’re getting enough rest.

Related: How I Run 3 Multi-Million-Dollar Companies While Getting 9.25 Hours of Sleep a Night

5. Put in the hours.
I always ask my guests how they structured their day when they were just starting their careers. If you study their lives now, it seems impossible. How can she run an empire if she’s only creating about four hours a day? How can he run 12 companies and work out each day and meditate and much more? Yes, they now have very balanced lives with plenty of rest and family time, but they also have private chefs, housekeepers, personal trainers, assistants and even dog walkers. That wasn’t the case when they were building the empire they now run.

“How hard was I working in the early days with my business? As long as it took to make it happen, which were endless hours,” shared Barbara Corcoran, real estate mogul and host on ABC’s Shark Tank. “If you're gonna do well at anything, I think you just have to put the work in.”

If you feel like you’re failing on a few other fronts because you’re growing your business 24/7, know that you are not alone. You’re also probably doing what’s required to get your dream off the ground. Guard yourself from burnout and start implementing these habits as soon as you can in order to make sure you maximize all 24 of those hours.

Related: How This Mom Grew Multiple Six Figure Businesses From Home

6. Get quiet each day.
When I sat down to interview Glenn Beck recently, he asked me what was the most common denominator I’d found with my guests. I’m not sure this is the most common, but it was definitely the most surprising. Almost every single guest makes time for gratitude every single day. Some also include meditation or prayer, but most at least take a few seconds each day to take note of what they’re thankful for.

“People charge $15,000 for a class on entrepreneurship, when really one of the most important things is something you could do for free when you wake up in the morning, which is just find four or five things to be grateful for. And not just easy things,” explained James Altucher, investor, author and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show. “No one thinks, ‘Oh, how can I be good at gratitude?’ It's actually really hard. And to exercise, to make that muscle sweat, is incredibly valuable.”

There is so much going wrong in the world at any given moment, so perhaps this practice explains how these millionaires are such a powerful, positive force -- they are focusing on the good not once a week or once a year but every single day.

Related: 6 Skills You Can Learn Online for a Lucrative and Productive 2017

7. Find what works for you.
Along the way, these innovators each discovered what worked best for them and said “screw it” to everything else. Think of Jamie McGuire, for example, who writes her bestselling novels overnight, because that’s the only way she can get hours of uninterrupted writing time. Imagine what friends and family said to that idea at first!


Over time, these leaders and innovators learned to care less and less about what others think or what is considered “normal,” and they focused instead on the practices that helped them best do their work, improve themselves and change the world. That’s something the rest of us can easily do as well.

Oh, you’re busy? Weird, I thought it was just me.

No matter where you are in life at this moment, there is at least one thing that you and I have in common: We want to improve our lives and ourselves. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with us, but as human beings we’re born with a desire to continuously grow and improve. I believe it’s within all of us. Yet most people wake up each day and life pretty much stays the same.


If success and fulfillment were measured on a scale of 1 to 10, it’s safe to say that everyone would want to live every aspect of their lives at a Level 10.

Here’s the catch: To create the Level 10 life that you ultimately want, you must first dedicate time each day to becoming a Level 10 person who is capable of creating and sustaining that level of success.

But who has time for that, right? Luckily, there is a method to do it in as little as six minutes a day.

Enter the life SAVERS, a sequence that combines the six most effective personal development practices known to man. While someone could invest hours on these practices, it only takes one minute for each -- or six minutes total -- to see extraordinary results.

Just imagine if the first six minutes of every morning began like this:

Related: Press Snooze? You Lose.

Minute 1: S is for silence.
Instead of hitting the snooze button, and then rushing through your day feeling stressed and overwhelmed, invest your first minute in sitting in purposeful silence. Sit quietly, calm and peaceful and breathe deeply. Maybe you meditate. Center yourself and create an optimum state of mind that will lead you effectively through the rest of your day.

Maybe you say a prayer of gratitude and appreciate the moment. As you sit in silence, you quiet your mind, relax your body and allow your stress to melt away. You develop a deeper sense of clarity, purpose, and direction.

Minute 2: A is for Affirmations.
Pull out and read your page of affirmations -- written statements that remind you of your unlimited potential, your most important goals and the actions you must take today to achieve them. Reading over reminders of how capable you really are motivates you. Looking over which actions you must take, re-energizes you to focus on doing what’s necessary today to takeyour life to the next level.

Minute 3. V is for visualization.
Close your eyes and visualize what it will look like and feel like when you reach your goals. Seeing your ideal vision increases your belief that it’s possible and your desire to make it a reality.

Related: How to Become More of a Morning Person (Infographic)

Minute 4. E is for exercise.
Stand up and move your body for 60 seconds, long enough to increase the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain. You could easily do a minute of jumping jacks, push-ups, or sit-ups. The point is that you raise your heart rate, generate energy and increase your ability to be alert and focused.

Minute 5. R is for reading.
Grab the self-help book you’re currently reading and read one page, maybe two. Learn a new idea, something you can incorporate into your day, which will improve your results at work or in your relationships. Discover something new that you can use to think better, feel better and live better.

Minute 6. S is for scribing.
Pull out your journal and take one minute to write down something you’re grateful for, something you’re proud of and the top one to three results that you’re committed to creating that day. In doing so, you create the clarity and motivation that you need to take action.

Start today.
How would you feel if that’s how you used the first six minutes of each day? How would the quality of your day -- and your life -- improve? We can all agree that investing a minimum of six minutes into becoming the person that we need to be to create the lives we truly want is not only reasonable. It’s an absolute must.


Related: 5 Morning Rituals to Keep You Productive All Day Long

At the start of each day, you have a choice: You can work on the noise that shows up, as it shows up. Or work on the signal, gaining momentum toward what you and the team has decided is the next goal.

There’s no secret to being productive. If there were, your search would have uncovered it by now.


No, in order to get things done, you have to sit down and, well, do them. The most important resource of them all -- more than funding, more than time, and certainly more than the next release of your product, app or service - is focus. 

While I was working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory a while back, one of the engineers I met with explained the notion of the “signal-to-noise ratio” to me over lunch. Immediately, I began to apply this electronics term to the field of productivity and workplace performance.  

The Oxford Dictionary describes the phrase as "a measure of how much useful information there is in a system, such as the Internet, as a proportion of the entire contents."

As you look at your own systems (your to-do lists, your email inboxes, your shared project management lists), can you quicky identify the “useful” information? Focus on the most important aspects of your work, and achieve more success each day.

Related: There Is No Magic Formula for Small-Business Success -- Only This

Use visualization to see what you are working toward as you realize each goal. Two reasons for visualizing are to recognize what you want when you see it and so you're ready for the situation or result when it shows up.

Right now, practice an effective focusing technique. Open up your journal or notebook and on the top of a blank page write, “What will get me closer to my next goal?” As you write down each item, ask yourself, “Is that signal? Or is it noise?”

Having a positive focus is different than positive thinking. Watch what happens when you direct your focus on the positive, the plus side of things. An executive of a Fortune 50 company told me that he starts each day with a five-minute focusing exercise. Before he checks email, prints his calendar or sits in on a meeting, he mentally prepares for his day. Yes, he will surely have to put out some fires and handle some crises, but that doesn’t take away from his focus on what he wants to accomplish.

This kind of visualization process (which I've been using for a decade or so) is used by politicians, athletes, public speakers and startup founders. Try it tomorrow morning. Sit quietly and set a timer for five minutes. In that time, imagine what you’d like to see throughout the day. Then as things come up throughout the day, reflect on what you wanted to happen and make real-time decisions to keep you on course.

It’s all too easy to become distracted by emergencies or things that look important (even as you’re reading this article). Try these steps: 

Related: This Mental Trick Can Help You Bust Through Obstacles on the Way to a Goal

1. Think of an event that you'll be attending or participating in soon.

2. Close your eyes. Picture some of the people you might see there. If possible, imagine their faces. Are they smiling, serious, talking or listening?

3. Now think about what you'll do while there. Will you sit, stand or walk around? What might you be wearing?

4. Imagine what you'll talk about while there. Consider the other people who'll be there with you. What might you discuss? What will you ask them?

5. Stop and write down one thing you'd like to do now that you have visualized the event.

When you choose to visualize, you move closer to achieving your goal. And when you arrive at the event, you’ll experience a feeling of “this looks kind of familiar; it seems like I have seen something like this before.” 

When you redirect your focus, your perspective changes. Clearly state what you want and increase the signal aspect of information to achieve the goal.


Related: 4 Steps to Successful Execution of a Strategy

It’s not just mumbo-jumbo: visualize your positive future and you’ll have an easier time reaching that peak performance. There’s a science to visualization that runs much deeper than reading a copy of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

How?

Studies have shown that concentrated visualization efforts work because your subconscious mind does not like the conflict that exists between your current situation and what you’re visualizing. It will try to resolve that conflict and move toward your visualized reality. Your subconscious is like the mediator, trying to arbitrate for a way to get to what you’re seeing.

Related: Become More Positive With These 5 Tips

Your subconscious programs your brain to start opening your awareness to resources that are already around you to resolve the conflict. It does this through the RAS section of your brain (short for reticular activating system). The RAS section acts like a giant filter that basically chooses which stimuli you notice and which stimuli you don’t.

Have you ever learned a new word and then all the sudden you hear that word three or four times throughout the day? That’s your subconscious and RAS allowing the new word to now filter through.

This new allowance filtering means your subconscious mind actively starts to use resources to create solutions to resolve the conflict. You’re seeing opportunities all around you now because you have a focused vision about where you want to go and your subconscious wants to get you there ASAP. All of a sudden, you start remembering old contacts and overhearing ideal conversations you need. Just like that.

With the awareness and solutions starting to marinate and little accomplishments and synchronicities popping up all over the place, your subconscious starts creating new levels of motivation. The first little step of conflict resolution felt so good, it wants another one! And then another, and another, and ... you get the big picture.

Related: The Power of Business Imagination

By now you should be perking up and paying close attention. However, you’re an entrepreneur, you’re smart, you want some case studies, right?

Ever hear of Natan Sharansky? He was a U.S. computer specialist who spent almost 10 years in prison in the USSR after being accused of spying. As you can imagine, there isn’t much to do for nine years in a USSR solitary confinement cell, so he decided he had to focus on something to keep himself sane. In an interview after his release, he said he decided to start playing chess against himself in his own mind. If that’s not brilliant enough, he focused all his energy into believing he could be the best. He said, “I might as well use the opportunity to become the world champion!” Remarkably, in 1996, a free Sharansky beat world champion chess player Garry Kasparov.

Pro-athletes are also famous for visualizing success. Golfers are particularly apt to do it, which makes sense given the highly mental nature of the strategic game they play. Tiger Woods claims to have been using it since his pre-teen years. So does world champion golfer Jack Nicklaus, who has said, “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp in-focus picture of it in my head.”

Maybe it works for prisoners and pro-golfers, but what about entrepreneurs like you and I?

Sara Blakely, the billionaire entrepreneur and founder of Spanx, is a fan of visualization. “I believe you can take mental snapshots of your future and what success looks like to you," she has said. "If you mentally see yourself in a scenario, you’ll start to make decisions in your life that get you there.”

Of course, it takes action to back up your visualization, but if you know where you want to go, it’s very likely you can trick your subconscious into getting you there.


Related: Are You Actually Setting Goals? Probably Not. Here's How in 3 Steps.

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