What is it that you want? Do you want to be an in-demand professional speaker? Maybe you just want to have more peace in your life?
There’s one common mistake that people make when visualizing over and over… and it’s one I’ve even made myself! As I’m writing this, I hear the calming babbling waterfall that cascades down into my beautiful pool. I often sit here to write, the funny thing is… I don’t have a pool or waterfall yet! See the picture above of me in my backyard writing on my computer.
Many people are excited about the idea of visualization — others think it’s “hokey.” I used to think that, too. Just before I competed in the finals of the World Championship of Public Speaking, I happened to see a photo in Toastmaster Magazine of Ed Tate (the 2000 Champ) holding his trophy with two hands. So, I thought to myself, “Even though it may be ‘hokey,’ what if it does work? What if those visualizers are right?”
So I did it. I started visualizing a picture of me holding the trophy with one hand, and started writing out affirmations each morning.
I retrospect, I don’t think the visualization made all the difference. I believe I was well-versed with much stage time already under my belt. But, what the visualization activities did do was give me new thoughts, and got me to work harder in the direction of my goal. I started running, to be in better shape. I believe my visualizations also helped to attract my coach, Mark Brown, into my life. It also got me to drive 2.5 hours each way to spend just a couple hours with Mark. I did that twice. That made the difference.
I believe the difference was made by the thoughts that I acted on. It started with the thoughts. I believe my thoughts were manifested from the affirmations.
Here’s another funny part, I haven’t really done it very much since then. Nobody’s fault but mine! I see people excited about the movie, The Secret, and liking the idea that thoughts become things. However, I have friends that have trouble in their relationships, and I ask them if they’ve written out a gratitude list as the program mentions. They say they have… although, I’m quite certain they haven’t made the “gratitude list” a habit. Have you?
Ever wish you could change someone else? I have a friend that was not in a good place with her husband, when she heard about this concept. The only thing she could appreciate was his hair! Ouch! But, she started with that — and focusing on that helped her to find more things to appreciate. It may not have changed him, but it changed her. Her thoughts and actions towards him got him to start acting differently. They’ve now turned around their marriage. It started with focusing on one sincere appreciation. Seek and ye shall find. What can you appreciate?
I recently sat down and interviewed Las Vegas Headliner — and America’s Got Talent winner — Terry Fator. What an incredible guy! He was such an inspiration to me! Terry was awarded a $100 million dollar contract to perform at the Mirage for five years. If you’ve ever seen him live, you’ll agree he deserves every penny. He is one of the most amazing entertainers I’ve ever seen.
I asked Terry if he used visualization to achieve his goals. He said that he decided about five years ago that every time he came to Las Vegas, he was going to stand below the Danny Gans billboard at the Mirage, close his eyes, and imagine that it was his name up there on the billboard. He said:
but it’s not like it is Harry Potter Magic…
I worked towards it.”
Terry told me that visualizing would stir something inside him and get him to work harder and practice more. It helped him spend more time on his show, and more time on his impressions. He wanted to make sure it was the best it could be.
But that wasn’t Terry’s only goal-setting habit. He also put himself in the mindset of “one day this will happen.” He bought himself a Sharpie magic marker. He told himself that “One day, people are going to want my autograph.” Terry carried that Sharpie around for four years. What constant reminder do you have for yourself — to keep you working for your dream?
This interview inspired me to go back to what worked for me and work towards bigger dreams. I may not have my swimming pool, but I already enjoy it. I’m also working very towards my own inspirational comedy show here in Las Vegas.
While you are reading this, I’m on a plane to Florida to perform this show and get more feedback. I’m also returning to my acting dream, as well. What can you visualize? What affirmations can you create? Here’s my most important question for you: Will you act on the thoughts that will be stirred inside you?
2001 World Champion of Public Speaking
This Week’s Video Clip:
Ever revisit an old dream?
Darren takes you with him, starting over:
P.S. LAST CHANCE! Early Bird Special Pricing ends on October 31st for the Humor Boot Camp… so if you’re even thinking about it, be sure to register by Oct 31 to save! You can bring a friend for free!
I decided I had to post on your blog…this article was one of the best I have read about visualization. I’ve had an aversion to the “magic Secret” and have often had some reticence about sharing it with people. I think everyone should have your article along side after seeing “the secret”. God puts the dreams in a person’s heart…..and we act them out by believing and doing what it takes to get there. I don’t always do it….but thanks for reminding me. Loved the article and I will pass it around. If someone has never heard you speak, they ought to. I heard you in Kansas City and what a awesome speaker with practical applications we can use. Thanks…and may God continue to bless you with your passion.
Your ideas today are very inspirational! Not that I haven’t heard most of this before. But your fresh way of presenting them and the particular timing was perfect.
There are some things I haven’t done for quite some time:
1. I haven’t been focusing on my dreams
2. I haven’t been reading your messages.
During the past three days, however I’ve had several opportunities to decide to refocus. And I almost did that. And then today I “just happened” upon your message and almost absent-mindedly decided to read it for a change. What a coincidence!
Darren, you have pushed me over the edge. Since reading your inspiration minutes ago I have …
1. written down my dreams
2. written out an action list
3. written out thumbnails of my visualizations.
The next step is to “work towards them” and I see that definitely happening.
Thank you Darren!
Darren, I LOVE this article (actually I love all your articles–this one just has significant timing in my life 🙂 ). Where are you going to be performing in Florida. I’d love to come out and see you!
It really works. I have been practicing visualization for 25 years.
i agree with you that a simple goal for life/career/marriage/family relationship….(on and on) can be reinforced thru visualization. And if the goals are not being reminded again anad again, they may stay in a plan and never get into action. So i will go to find a litle something, equivelant to the “sharpie” to remind me of my goal and remind me of visualizing it every morning.
tks, darren for the inspiring article
What a great article!
“The conscious use of this great (visualizing) power attracts to you multiplied resources, intensifies your wisdom, and enables you to make use of advantages which you formerly failed to recognize.” – Genevieve Behrend
It is the image that we hold that dictates our vibration, the vibration attracts to us ideas, people, circumstances, events. By seeing ourselves as a success (in your mind) we ACT with confidence. If we can’t see ourselves on the BIG STAGE, then it is hard to express the confidence needed to be on the big stage.
The winning formula that your readers can take home with them tonight…
Hold the vision while taking continuous inspired action.
You are inspired and inspiring!
See it Perfect!
I often remind myself that either action or visualization alone is like trying to run on one leg. Your article led to a discussin of this at http://ping.fm/tiX4u — thanks.
The line “What constant reminder do you have for yourself — to keep you working for your dream?” is what did it for me! An inspiration to my day, thanks Darren!
While practicing for the finals of the WCPS contest, I watched hours and hours and hours of previous championship contests on DVDs. It was, in part, to study the techniques of the champs, but I found it to be crucial in helping me VISUALIZE the contest setting for myself. I had never been to the Toastmaster convention, and had no idea what the environment of the contest was like. Hearing the music, seeing the lights, feeling the thrill of the winners…it all helped me visualize myself on that stage. By the time I got to the stage, I was not intimidated by the crowd, the size of the stage or the intensity of the moment. (Well, maybe I was…I was just so sleep deprived I couldn’t tell!) Even though I didn’t win a trophy, I am proud of my performance, and I would NEVER have been able to say that without my visualization. It works.
I really appreciate everything you said in this great article. All my big achievements started with a “vision” I had longed to actualize, worked very hard towards and finally they happened.
I really liked what Terry Fator said “it’s not like it is Harry Potter Magic…I worked towards it.”
Last week, I gave for the 1st time a 3-hour educational session titled “Pack it with punch..Humorously” for 250 people in Dubai. This started with a 30-minute educational session on DTAC 2008 in Bahrain. The work I put to make the 30-minute session into a 3-hour session was enormous true work that took 14 months of time and effort; it was not a magic that happened ovenight.
If you want to excel in something, you must pay some of your life for it…..Mohammad Al-Issa