In My Mind’s Eye

Mind’s Eye: the mental faculty of conceiving imaginary or recollected scenes  ~Merriam-Webster

By the time I was in a summer traveling baseball league in middle school, I had been visualizing my success for a couple of years. With a cassette tape recorder and earphone to boost my imagination, I would lay on my bed or sit out back under a tree and listen to the Elliot Blair Orchestra and imagine. I’d close my eyes and see myself making a great throw to first base, sliding into second with a double, or making a diving catch in slow motion. It gave me confidence and strengthened my state of mind.

I much prefer my modern-day headphones over this earphone!
To help with my visualization, I’d record music from my phonograph to my cassette recorder, then play the music back through my earphone.

If you haven’t practiced using your “mind’s eye” to see your success before it arrives, I highly recommend working on it. Take a minute right now. Think about something you love, you want to happen, something you love to do or place to go. Then close your eyes and watch it, full color, in your mind. (I’ll give some tips in a moment).

I’ve seen wins over and over again before they happen. Often, they look just like I pictured it. Often not. But when things happen the way I imagined, when the goal turns out the way I pictured, it’s thrilling and inspiring. I’m thankful and give thanks.

I’ve recognized over the past couple of years that using my mind’s eye is helpful for my anxiety. For those of use that battle anxiety, we often don’t know what it is that is making us feel worried or apprehensive. Honing the skill of using my mind’s eye has been helpful.

In high school, my football teammates and I would gather to listen to a recording of a motivational speaker. I can’t remember his name, but it was an old recording. He recited a poem from a writer named Walter  D. Wintel called “Thinking.” It was about being intentional about your state of mind. We would sit in one of the hallways outside the locker room, turn out the lights, listen to the recording and run through plays in our minds. I would imagine the perfect block, or pick a pass play and run out into the flat to catch the ball. And in my mind, I would always catch it. I still think of that poem more than 30 years later. Like my tape recorder and earphone, it facilitated visualization.

I still use the same technique. I use inspirational music, or a motivational speech or even silence. Using my mind’s eye I can walk through how I want the day to go. I see people I need to talk to, build relationships, find audiences, see success, reach more clients, strategize my work, and see the world as a wonderful, big, loving place. Play by play, I imagine winning throughout my day, throughout my life.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8).

It was the late 1980’s I watched a video of author, psychologist, and speaker Dr. Denis Waitley. Waitley has the most successful selling audio tape in history, “The Psychology of Winning.” He explained how the mind cannot tell the difference between reality and imagination. He had done several studies, one with athletes.  One group of basketball players practiced free throws in the gym with a ball. Another group practiced free throws using their mind’s eye, visualization. Both groups, the same amount of free throws, the same amount of time. When the two groups were tested shooting free throws, the group that practiced through visualization had a higher percentage of improvement. He contended that it was because when visualizing, the first group could make 100% of their practice shots.

Dear People, your mind is a powerful computer. If you decide you want to be better at something, you can. It requires patience, a process, study, visualizing success, measuring your wins, loving yourself enough to keep going and believing you can. Going through stressful times? Visualize over and over again how things will work out for the better. Have a presentation to give? Visualize over and over how it’s supposed to go. Have a financial goal? Visualize over and over doing the things that will help you achieve it. Take some time to imagine what heaven looks like! Change your state of mind. You’ll find the path will become clear.

I’ve used this understanding to lengthen my days adding 500 days to my projected life, created a better diet, lowered anxiety, saved money, built a better exercise regimen, built a better morning routine, increased my confidence, advised others in getting better in different phases of their lives.

My tips for better visualization:

  1. Prepare. Know where you’ll be, know it will be quiet and you’re likely not to be interrupted. Know the subject you’d like to visualize.
  2. I visualize for 10-20minutes each day.
  3. Sit in a chair (I resist lying down, I fall asleep too easily).
  4. Choose selected music on your phone or device. No words, please – instrumental only. (Quite works great too if you know you’ll have 20 minutes of quiet.) The key is finding a good spot to relax.
  5. Begin by imagining the scene you’d like to change – then step into that scene. You can imagine stepping through a television screen and entering into a scene. It’s three dimensional. Remember that you can see on all sides and up and down.
  6. Replay the same scene  – getting better and better each time. Don’t be afraid to change the scene, the people or places in it as long as you are getting to your goal of being better in the scene.
  7. Be patient and enjoy the victory, the encouragement and fulfillment of getting right every time.

For more resources, Google: Visualization and you’ll find lots of information online!

There is a power you’ve been given. Learning to use it effectively will make you better, and happier. Change your state of mind.

Epilogue: One of my favorite songs from DC Talk:

In my mind’s eye

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