Monday, December 22, 2008

Jack Nicklaus won 18 majors with this!

Jack Nicklaus used it and won18 PGA Majors. Albert Einstein used it and developed his Theory of Relativity. Jack Canfield used it for the Chicken Soup series, the most successful series of books ever published. Adam Dreamhealer used it to cure Ronnie Hawkins of terminal pancreatic cancer.

NASA calls it Visual Motor Rehearsal. In the 80s the U.S. Olympic team hired Dr. Denis Waitley to teach athletes the power of Visual Motor Rehearsal. 

Here are observations from Dr. Waitley. Using this program, Olympic athletes ran their event –but only in their mind. They visualized how they looked and felt when they were actually participating in their event. 

The athletes were then hooked up to a sophisticated biofeedback machine, and its results told the real story about the value of visualization. The same muscles fired in the same sequence as when they were actually running on the track! 

This proved that the mind can’t tell the difference between whether you’re really doing something or whether it’s just a practice. Dr. Waitley says, “If you’ve been there in the mind you’ll go there in the body.'

Visualization is a powerful tool that most people accept as part of an ongoing athletic conditioning program. Most professional athletes use it on a daily basis. Most sports psychologists teach their clients the value of creative visualization. Most Olympians, golfers, football players, soccer players, even hockey players us it before major contests. Why? Because it works – proven over and over to have significant impact on an athlete’s performance.

I ask you then, if it is such a powerful tool for athletes, why don’t we use it and benefit from it in conditioning our minds for success.

Here is what science has shown us. Visualization, or imagery or feelization strengthens the neural pathways (ie psycho-neuromuscular explanation). When you imagine performing a particular sport, your muscles fire in the same sequence as if you were actually performing the skill. Second, imagery may function as a coding system in the brain to help athletes form a plan or mental blueprint; imagery strengthens the mental blueprint, enabling the actions/ movements to become more familiar or even automatic.  Recent research (Taylor 1995) has focused on the effectiveness of imagery as an important self-regulating skill – ie the ability to set goals, plan and solve problems, regulate arousal and anxiety, manage emotions effectively.) The key is to program your mind and emotions for success, and to make your imagery as vivid, realistic and detailed as possible. When you vividly imagine yourself accomplishing a plan your central nervous system becomes programmed for success. It’s as if the activity you have visualized has already happened.

Imagery can also be used from relaxation to improved interpersonal communication skills – visualize yourself asking someone a difficult question, asserting needs to a boss, or when recovering from an injury – direct healing thoughts to an injured part of the body –  and there is enough anecdotal evidence to show that actual healing results. Chronic patients use it for pain management.

What we have discovered is that the imagery must get as close to real as possible in terms of thoughts, emotions, the feelings, senses and actions. You must feel yourself moving, hear the sounds, smell the smells and create the feeling in your visualizations. It may seem foreign at first, because this part of our brain has atrophied. But with practice your visualizations will become more powerful.

For those of you who saw “The Secret,” visualization is mentioned throughout as the technique to bring your thinking, your desires into reality. But it is not just your thinking. It is the feelings that work vibrationally. It is the power of your emotions. It is the feeling that creates the mental blueprint that wires the brain and resonates through your core and brings your wishes into reality. And as they have discovered, you make no discernment between reality –what is happening on the outside – and what is being visualized. It is all real to your mind.

You can use visualization for just about any change you want to make in your life. It is more than just positive thinking or using positive affirmations. It is one of the tools you posses to create the world you want to live in. It is a fundamental part of a personal development program and when done daily will impact your life on an ongoing basis. I strongly recommend that you begin a regular practice of visualization.

This is the last of our sessions for this year as the holiday season approaches. Maybe you can begin to see the impact thoughts have on the reality you live in. I strongly recommend that you stop taking in the negative thought patterns that are in our world today. Stop reading newspapers, turn off the television and radio news reports. Stop watching movies and shows that promote bad feelings and negative emotions. Begin to see your life in a brand new way. As Mahatma Ghandi said – “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”

Here is a clip from the Secret that includes powerful positive imagery and great insights that reinforce what we have been talking about.

Finally, one of you sent me an amazing piece on the principles of living a great life. This person is a great soul that does so much to bring “life’s messages” to us on a regular basis. Thank you Lori.

Since Blogs will not allow you to upload PowerPoint presentations, I have attached this special piece to the email with this link. Enjoy!

I wish you a relaxing break from everything and a happy holiday season to you and your family. See you next year.


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