And the Oscar Goes to...
This Sunday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will honor cinematic achievements in the film industry. The prestige and accolades of winning the coveted ‘Oscar’ translates into big bucks in an actor’s career. The easiest part of acting, and hardest at the same time, is using imagination. It’s called visualization…the process of making movies in our minds. We all have the capability to do that, although many of us have forgotten as we’ve grown up. But it’s a skill you can refine. By developing positive strong mental movies, you can use the incredible power of your mind to picture your way to greater practice profitability and enjoy success at your own box office.
How often do you stay on the track of ‘what is’ rather than challenge your initial reactions and ask ‘what might be’? When you only focus on the problems of your life – revenues are down, holes in the schedule, employee conflicts – you are near-sighted. You allow your vision to be obstructed by what you see now or what you believe based on past experiences. Success truly begins in your mind. As the motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, “You must see the reaching before you reach the reaching.”
Although the human brain is able to take a lot of helpful shortcuts, our minds often misperceive reality through the distortions of our own thinking. Once you recognize that reality is an invention you’ve constructed, then there's no reason not to believe that you can create what you once considered impossible.
Leadership is about thinking in new ways, about envisioning possibilities that do not yet exist. Sight without vision is dangerous because it has no hope. The question of vision is a very simple one - what do you want in your life?
Be aware of the things that are influencing you. For example, what books do you read? What words do you speak? What thoughts do you think? With whom do you spend the most time? If you’re constantly mixing with people who talk about how lousy life is, these people form the basis of your reality. Be careful about what you allow into your head, because these things shape your views and eventually your vision.
Although it can be difficult for some, everyone has the capacity for vision. The problem is that most people use their vision the wrong way. They imagine what they don’t want! Here’s a quick example.
While you silently count to 10, do not think of a zebra, that horse-like animal with black and white stripes.
If you were successful in this little exercise it’s probably because you directed your mind to other possibilities. Perhaps you pictured a giraffe or an elephant. You had vision that enabled you to go beyond the obstacle of ‘zebra’. If you only focus on the “zebras” of your thinking, you’ll remain near-sighted.
Just like physical exercise, visualization requires dedication and practice. If you focus on problems and obstacles, you will find yourself directing a horror film that is filled with fear. When you create images of where you want to go, that energy propels you to new levels of success and achievement. You have total control over the pictures that occupy your mind. So the tip here is to consciously decide which pictures & movies to play and your mind will actively select the mind movie for you.
Set aside five minutes every day. During that time, imagine that everything you want for yourself and your practice has become a reality. Concentrate and focus on the details. Once you have captured the specifics, imagine how you might feel waking up in the morning. In your mind’s eye, notice how you would respond to people at home and at the office. Picture yourself driving to work and what differences there would be. How would you respond to traffic or aggressive drivers? How would you talk with your staff? What kind of expression would be on your face as you worked? Make your visualization come alive.
Before your next appointment with a patient, a staff meeting, or any new interaction, produce a new movie where you see yourself as confident and persuasive. See yourself enthusiastically explaining your points and see the other person being receptive and interested in what you're saying. See a successful outcome.
Imagine what might be.
Lights, camera, ACTION!!
Dr. Haller provides training for leadership effectiveness, interpersonal communication, conflict management, and team building. If you would like to learn more contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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