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HOT! Does visualization really work?

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smtlaissezfaire

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If you're curious on the science behind visualization:

From Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals: Halvorson Ph.D., Heidi Grant, Dweck, Carol S.: 9780452297715: Amazon.com: Books (p 206)
What about "visualizing success"?...if they just picture what they want in their minds, it will somehow happen. That would be great if it were true, but scientifically speaking, there really isn't much evidence for it. On the other hand, visualization can be very helpful, if you imagine the steps you will take in order to succeed, rather than the success itself. Mentally stimulating the process of achieving the goal, rather than the hoped-for outcome, not only results in a more optimistic outlook, but in greater planning and preparation. Picture yourself doing what it takes to succeed, and you will soon find yourself believing that you can. The best part is, you'll be absolutely right.
 
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Invictus

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Y’all might find an anecdote interesting.

Back in college I was lifting weights with a friend. We were doing skullcrushers, essentially laying on a bench, lowering a bar down to our forehead, and lifting it back up.

By the third set, I was struggling. My right arm was literally shaking and it was dipping far down, so the bar was uneven. There was no way to get it further up. I figured I had hit my limit and would have to call it.

My friend simply says, “Imagine the weight further out and the bar is even.” Easy enough, so I did.

It was like magic. The bar IMMEDIATELY stabilized and went even, and I got it back up and even managed a couple of extra reps. I could have done another set entirely.

It was scary how quickly that set changed from literally just engaging my imagination.
 

Sharona87

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Why call it visualization? Confusing. Just call it focus. As you think, so you do, and as so you become.
I completely agree with this take! As someone with aphantasia, I technically can't "visualise" anything. Ask me to close my eyes and visualise an apple and it'll be all black, I won't see anything. I've tried to believe in it and force it, but I just can't do it. So I don't think that belief is the only factor, there is a biological aspect that enables you to visualise. If you can that's great, if you can't that's fine too.

For me, focus, analysing and planning work better.
 

mdot

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I completely agree with this take! As someone with aphantasia, I technically can't "visualise" anything. Ask me to close my eyes and visualise an apple and it'll be all black, I won't see anything. I've tried to believe in it and force it, but I just can't do it. So I don't think that belief is the only factor, there is a biological aspect that enables you to visualise. If you can that's great, if you can't that's fine too.

For me, focus, analysing and planning work better.
Very interesting point!

@Eudaimonium do you perhaps have aphantasia as well? For me, the word "visualize" is completely the right term for the practice, but I totally get that the term might not make sense to anyone that can't visualize in the way most can.
 

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Thinh

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I don't think there's a definitive answer to whether visualisation works or not.
It just works for some people, and doesn't for others.

You'll see some people ultra successful waking up 5am every morning, and others even more successful and they couldn't care less about waking up early.
Some will say meditation changed their life, others say it was meh.

Give it a wholehearted try, and see if it works for you.
But if you don't really believe in it, no amount of discussion will convince you more than experiencing it yourself.
 

Mattie

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In the The Millionaire Fastlane there was something about visualization . I wanted to know that do you guys believe in visualization. I totaly hate it and i don't believe in it . But my father follow a so called "guru" who always promote visualization. so I was curious is that really work because it didn't work with me.
Another name for Visualization is Mental rehearsal. I have no problem with visualization. In fact, I always have to pay attention to what I'm focused on because it's the way you interact with other people, the choices you make, the actions you take. The outcome of what your focused on.

If your focused on becoming a "Victim" they you will create a situation with your anger, revenge, and get even with someone and create the crisis for you to figure out why you needed to get in fist fight with your neighbor over a bag of chips. Then was it worth it to have stitches in your forehead for a bag of chips? When you could have chosen a more mature way to deal with the situations where no one got hurt by staying calm.

With all the technology of A.I. in the future it's where you have to be focused and if you don't know how to visualize, focus, and concentrate, it might be hard to change your television channel for example, or record your dreams, or different technology coming out where you have a band.

 

Eudaimonium

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Very interesting point!

@Eudaimonium do you perhaps have aphantasia as well? For me, the word "visualize" is completely the right term for the practice, but I totally get that the term might not make sense to anyone that can't visualize in the way most can.
Wouldn't say so, but when a scenario is imagined / hypothesized in the mind, it can be perceived with all mental senses. So for some, the visual aspect could be stronger, for some the imagination can evoke a feeling, or a sound, or even a taste or smell. They are hallucinations (sensory experiences that appear real but are created by your mind)

Hallucinations can be of all sensory types:
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Olfactory hallucinations
  • Gustatory hallucinations
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Tactile hallucinations
So we might as well call the practice of 'visualization' -- voluntary hallucination / self-induced hypnosis.

Some people do drugs for this sort of experience, others get their mind involuntarily warped by other people. If you want to do it on your own, you have to be relaxed mentally so you can focus on creating the imagination of the experience.

To focus is to remove distraction, which is active.

To then perceive / feel / experience, is passive and a result of having removed distraction.

If you only close your eyes and imagine, you may only experience the visual hallucination. If you remove all sensory distraction, by getting in a float tank or similar, you can experience the other sensory hallucinations more clearly.

Concept is the same with meditation, which is passive, and requires no focus. Getting into the state of meditation is what takes focus.

Just my thoughts.
 

Student

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The great physicist Albert Einstein once said: "Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions." The great preacher Norman Vincent Peale even said it better: "Prayerize, visualize, actualize—that is the formula for successful imaging."
 

woken

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Dear reader from the future.

The forum is full of hidden gems like this.

There’s no reason you shouldn’t be the best version of yourself.

Start here and now.


Awesome thread !
 
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SteveO

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What's a crazy thing that you did that people wouldn't believe?
I'll give you a few examples. For starters, this one is documented here in the forum.


- Then there was the time when I was 14 that a couple of drama student buddies and I wanted to see if we could stage a kidnapping and have people believe it.

One was my girlfriend at the time. She walked through the park while I followed her (I wore no shirt, had waist length hair, and a great gatsby hat on). One guy with a built chevy malibu came sliding up in front of her and opened the door. I ran forward, grabbed her and threw her into the car. We fish-tailed out of the park and took off.

The police pulled us over a couple hours later by surrounding us in a parking lot. Guns drawn. I was laughing like a fool as they drug us out of the car. I had the pleasure of riding to the station with the chief of police.

- Then there was the time that I whooped a football player in high school. He thought he was a bad a$$. I was a 128 pound cross country runner and this guy was over 6 foot and had about 100 pounds on me. He had the locker above mine and decided the best way for him to get access was to push me out of the way, which he did. I began to work my way back in when he put his hand on my shoulder. I elbowed him in the stomach and doubled him over.

I began hearing shit talk from other people that he was going to kick my a$$. So I waited for him after school and beat his a$$.

The next day he told his football buddies that I ambushed him with 3 people and knives. Now the quarterback was going to beat me up. I found him, the quarterback and 3 other football players standing in the quad at lunchtime. Walked right into the middle of them and stated "you want to kick my a$$, do it here in front of everyone". Needless to say, they walked away. I got suspended.

- Had a 3 male and 4 female orgy on a whim.

- Had 2 guys kick my apartment door open with a gun pointed at me. I was only wearing a towel and headed to the shower. Lucky I was able to hold on to it. They were looking for a girl that wasn't there.

- With a group of friends walking down the beach in San Diego. They were getting bashed into the cliff by large waves at high tide. I decided to climb the cliff a bit and avoid the beating. I kept looking for a way back down but kept going up. Ended up high on the cliff and stuck at a point that I felt I could not go in any direction.

So I sat. Nobody below could really see me because they had to navigate too close to the edge and did not have an angle. My friends thought I had turned and gone back. Finally some snorkelers saw me. I waved both arms. They waved back and went back out into the water.

Couple hours later the sun was beginning to set. I was shivering from the cold. A lifeguard came climbing up. He asked me how in the hell I got to that point. They threw ropes over the side and drug me up the cliff bashing me all the way. Turns out the snorkelers did report that I was up there.

- While on an lsd trip at the age of 16, my friend came over to see me. He pulled up his shirt and said "Look, I have a police wire on. We are going to bust this guy." Well, my friend was 17 and in the Navy. A couple weeks back we had gone to a pimp's house after he was invited over. When I showed up with him, the guy pulled a gun on us and threatened that I was not welcome there and was not invited. So we left. My friend told his brother that was a cop. So they set up a sting.

Three hours later, I was tripping the entire time. My friend took him to meet the undercover cops at a 7/11 and told him that they worked civil service at the base and were interested in action. The guy said to us after we left them that we were in trouble for taking him to the cops. He had seen the gun tucked in to one of their pants. My friend convinced him that the guy always carries one. For some odd reason my friend finally got him to say a price which the cops were waiting for.

We left and I practically collapsed. This one may be hard to believe because the cops used me without consent from my parents! They sent me in with my friend.

- Left a job with HP after 19 years and was working my way up the management ranks. My family was "blown away".

- Trained to run marathons in my late 40's. At the age of 49, I came in 17th place overall out of thousands of runners. This qualified me to run the Boston Marathon. They stage people in corrals and let one corral go at a time. Out of 60 corrals, I qualified to be in the 1st one.

- Coached all of my children's sports teams while they were growing up. Won most of the time while typically playing everyone more than the minimum time.

Won our league of girls 11 and 12 year olds and the league offered to sponsor us for a couple of tournaments. I could only find one so we signed up for one girls and one boys tournament. We won both. Some of the boys cried when we beat them in the finals.

- Had an incredible run with softball tournaments. Played until I was 56 years old. Mostly on very competitive teams. We were typically playing in the highest level. In Phoenix, we were told that we were too good and could only play again if we changed out half the team on the roster. We did and won the season again. Then we were removed from the entire city softball program.

We played a lot of tournaments and worked our way into the highest of four divisions. We played and won about half the tournaments. This was slowpitch and I was a pitcher. Had the ability to curve the ball both directions which pissed off a lot of the young studs. I was frequently hit intentionally by the other teams trying to shake me up.

We were allowed to invoke a rule if either team decided to help protect the pitcher. The upper division never requested this rule. One day I had been hit a few times and made the request. Any ball coming close to the pitcher by either team would be an out. The other team complained loudly. First batter slammed the ball straight back at my face. I caught the ball and fell over backwards. We ended up beating them and I retired the game after that.

- Married 3 times. Nuff said about that.

- Climbed Mt Whitney, over 14,000 feet, in a day. Ran the last 2 miles in an effort to speed it up. Got altitude sickness so bad that I could not put together a sentence. Was falling all over the place while trying to get down the hill. Lost my ability to think straight but knew enough to get down. At some point I regained my senses and laughed at my antics. Made it back to the car by dark.

- Climbed San Jacinto mountain out of palm springs on a warm day. 100 degrees at the bottom but cooler as you climb. The issue was that it was all on the side of a mountain very exposed to the sun. The plan was to catch the tram back down but we found that it was closed when we finally reached it. Did not have any water left. We hiked for hours back to the bottom with body cramps and extreme thirst. We were not sure that we would make it. Finally did and headed straight to a bar where we downed an incredible amount of water and beer.

- In general, I love business. But, I also do constant adventure trips hiking, 4-wheeling, softball, golf, camping, beach, etc. Have more stories but have wasted enough time on these. Some things can't be discussed as there may be a bit of respect lost. :)
 
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Sharona87

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@Eudaimonium , another interesting point re hypnosis - no one has managed to successfully hypnotise me. I've been more than willing to try but it just can't/hasn't happened. I've gone to professionals for therapy purposes and even volunteered myself with entertainers (I actually had to get asked to get off the stage once because I just wasn't going "under"!).

May or may not have something to do with the aphantasia, who knows.

Just adding another 2c worth from a different perspective :)
 

doster.zach

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Visualization does really work. The most talented humans will entirely take over a space once its been proven it can be done.

Probably one of the most famous examples of successful visualization is the 4 minute mile. Most people thought it was impossible and that any human that would get close or under 4 minutes would die! Roger Bannister used visualization techniques every day for an entire year in combination with his training before he broke the record. Since then, over 1,400 athletes have broken the same mark.

There have been studies on other factors such as diet, running shoes, and the running surface, but none of those studies were able to explain the difference in performance between runners before and after 1954. Here is a great video that explains it!
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8COaMKbNrX0
 

Mattie

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Another name for Visualization is Mental rehearsal. I have no problem with visualization. In fact, I always have to pay attention to what I'm focused on because it's the way you interact with other people, the choices you make, the actions you take. The outcome of what your focused on.

If your focused on becoming a "Victim" they you will create a situation with your anger, revenge, and get even with someone and create the crisis for you to figure out why you needed to get in fist fight with your neighbor over a bag of chips. Then was it worth it to have stitches in your forehead for a bag of chips? When you could have chosen a more mature way to deal with the situations where no one got hurt by staying calm.

With all the technology of A.I. in the future it's where you have to be focused and if you don't know how to visualize, focus, and concentrate, it might be hard to change your television channel for example, or record your dreams, or different technology coming out where you have a band.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOuw6gMj1d0
 

Manifestor

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I'm a great believer.

When I was young, I constantly had kidney infections, internal bleeding, and organ failure. I ended up with very serious kidney damage and I was in my late teens and early 20s. I took tons of antibodies -- they didn't work. My body was too weak. At one point the doctors at a world-class hospital told me that I had 2 weeks to 2 months to live. Since there was nothing they could do besides dialysis, and I was too weak to walk or do anything, I had to make a plan.

Packman was a very popular new game at the time. So I spent all my time flat on my back playing Packman in my head. My white blood cells were the Packmen hunting down and consuming the bad bacteria. I mentally hunted down all the bacteria by targeting the different areas of my body. Then I sent my imaginary handyman crew to fix the damage. I imagined my kidneys and other damaged parts to be whole and healthy pink rather than scared and damaged.

In a short time, I gave the pain pills cold turkey, against my doctor's advice. I took hypnosis lessons to learn how to make powerful self-suggestions and do natural pain control. By then, the doctors said I'd never make it to 30 and sure not to 40. I just laughed at them and carried on.

I worked in real estate so I could control my activities and work as I was able. When I was out door-knocking and got too tired, I'd sit on the curb and rest for a while. I became very successful regardless of the health issues.

I'm now in my late 60s and I'm still here. I still must watch everything that I eat and how many activities I can do. I can't run, but I can walk. Sometimes I still have the terrible kidney pain, but most days I am just about pain-free. My blood work still shows that I have kidney issues, but they are not immediately life-threatening. Most people around me don't know about my kidney problem. And yes, I'm still working...

I have also used a similar technique for healing myself. 30 years ago I was diagnosed with a rare virus and was given 6 months to live. I refused to believe the prognosis. I would do intense visualization that a vacuum cleaner was sucking the virus out of my bloodstream, organs etc and a scoreboard that would run down to zero when all the virus particles were sucked up. I would do this several times a day and I believe it helped me recover. I have used visualization to manifest new jobs, money etc. I practice it and it works.
 

TylerDW

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MJ DeMarco" data-source="post: 968825" class="bbCodeBlock bbCodeBlock--expandable bbCodeBlock--quote js-expandWatch">
I used to be in the camp that visualization was dumb.

Then I started using it in my workouts.

Then I started lifting massive amounts of weight, so much more than my small frame could handle, to the point the beefy bodybuilders were like, "Huh?"

After 3 expensive orthopedic surgeries on various body parts due to an extremely heavy lifting routine, I'm now a believer in visualization.

As a human, you can believe, or disbelieve, whatever you want.

Some people still believe the Earth is flat and everything related to space is conspiratorial theater.
I'm currently Reading your book Millionaire Fastlane. Thanks, I needed that!
I also think that visualization can create whatever you want to believe, sometimes it doesn't line up with natural laws, but you can still choose it. Do you think that it is a good long term theory though? To believe things that aren't real? In your case it caused you to get Ortho surgery. In earth flat cases they just fear of falling off of the earth or reaching the 'wall' at the end of the planet or board game, whatever they call it.
 

AJ..

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MJ DeMarco" data-source="post: 968825" class="bbCodeBlock bbCodeBlock--expandable bbCodeBlock--quote js-expandWatch">
I used to be in the camp that visualization was dumb.

Then I started using it in my workouts.

Then I started lifting massive amounts of weight, so much more than my small frame could handle, to the point the beefy bodybuilders were like, "Huh?"

After 3 expensive orthopedic surgeries on various body parts due to an extremely heavy lifting routine, I'm now a believer in visualization.

As a human, you can believe, or disbelieve, whatever you want.

Some people still believe the Earth is flat and everything related to space is conspiratorial theater.
 

Mattie

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Hi Mattie,
Very interesting video. Yes, I think that virtual reality therapy will be the future in conditioning people's minds from negative to positive.
i agree. It worked for me. I'd recommend it anytime.
 

BriVi

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I find visualization to be helpful. We are people, we have eyes and can discover something new through visualization. Why shouldn't it work? Look at all those presentations with schemes and videos. They always work better than just a long speech.
 
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