Lovers Leap is by far my favorite run at the Vail Ski Resort in Colorado. We’re lucky to live only a few miles from the lifts. This proximity gives me endless opportunities to hurl myself into space from the top of that rugged ridge each winter. A place you better visualize your success before you take it on.
But not the winter of 2010. On January 3 at 7 A.M., I had both knees surgically replaced at a hospital in Denver. “Bilateral Knee Arthroplasty,” the surgeons called the procedure. I called it “bilateral end of ski season.” The replacement operation became necessary due to years of wear and tear from excessive use rather than from any specific incident. I spent most of January on our sofa with ice bags secured by Ace bandages on both elevated knees.
All I could do was jump from Lovers Leap in my mind.
Use Visualization as a Planning Tool
Visualization is one of our most powerful life tools. I don’t just believe this; I know it with certainty. As humans, we have the seemingly unbelievable ability to create any image, story, or experience in our minds. I’m talking about conscious visualization—not just the dreams of deep sleep. Wide awake in the middle of the day, we can create in our minds a movie or still picture of anything we choose.
A black and white dog. Do you now have an image of a black and white dog in your mind? An orange and gold sunset over the ocean. Are you now with me on the beach at dusk? How about a green unicorn? Can you visualize your success?
Anyone can use visualization to recall past experiences. And that’s exactly what I did every day as I lay in my living room in the weeks following my knee surgery. I took dozens of runs down Lovers Leap, each time choosing a slightly different course. I even modified my competence level to make it appear as if I were a better snowboarder than I was. What an outstanding athlete I was—at least in my mind!
You can just as easily recall past events, modify and edit those experiences, combine multiple related and unrelated events, and play them back in any way you choose. Chances are you do this every day without conscious effort.
Now, pivot that ability 180-degrees—from looking back on your past to looking into your future. Can you use visualization to predict your future? Perhaps not—because planning must take into account a degree of uncertainty. But you can use visualization to influence the probability of your results.
I have zero doubt that this works; I’ve used it successfully for years.
A Clear and Detailed Vision
I’ve described myself as a fact-based businessperson. An auditor. Analytical and logical. A professional observer of what works and what holds people back. From my years of business experience and many more of life experience, I know that having a clear, detailed vision of what you want, where you want to be, and who you want to be dramatically increases the probability these things will manifest.
Remember what Emerson said: “You become what you think about all day long.” Implicit in this statement is that the more you think about what you want, the more you bring what you want into reality. The more clarity and feeling you bring to that vision, the better.