Last week, we introduced the MoneyNing Manifesto for financial success in the new year. Its purpose is to empower and motivate you to financial success next year. Another powerful technique in changing your money mindset is visualization.
If you look up visualization online, you’ll find page after page of “self-help” gurus shilling the idea that you can achieve your goals through the simple act of picturing their achievement in your head.
According to them, if you see yourself achieving your goals, you eventually will.
While there is scientific evidence to back this theory, it’s buried beneath countless pages written by Internet marketers. These guys have been touting this method of turning impossible dreams into easy reality for years.
The data, however, is there, and the method does work.
But, this is a financial blog, not a self-help blog… so you know where we’re going with this, right?
Visualization Transforms Thought
Visualization trains you to change your thinking and feelings so that, in turn, you can change your behavior. Sounds simple enough, yes?
Well, it is. And, then again, it isn’t.
This is where most people get everything wrong.
Many people incorrectly believe that they can simply sit and picture themselves earning millions of dollars, then wait until their world is raining green. But making visualization work for you is a practice that takes plenty of time to perfect.
You can’t just pull up images in your head and think, “Oh! Yes! I want that!” Though this is tempting to many people in search of shortcuts, it won’t work. You must take time to learn the right techniques, and to slow down and practice every day.
Your brain is a fascinating organ that executes millions of processes each day. If you want to change your way of thinking through visualization, you must first study the method, then slowly start your practice.
So, what is the “right” way to visualize and train your brain to think differently?
The Right Method for Results
First, find a comfortable, quiet spot where you can focus on what you’re doing (no TV, radios, or people speaking).
Settle into your new spot with some simple brain wave music. Yes, this is admittedly a bit “new age-y,” but fine tuning your thoughts will be easier with this music playing. Theta binaural beats are super brain trainers for visualization. Get yours here:
Second, sit comfortably or lie down. Begin exploring your ideal life — in this case, your ideal money situation. Focus on your breathing and thoughts. If you find your mind wandering, bring yourself back to your focus. It will take consistent practice before you can turn this into something that’s as easy as breathing.
Would you like to develop the ability to fly wherever you want, whenever you want? Do you want to sleep at night knowing you have X dollars in the bank? Would you like an extensive portfolio, or a sizable retirement fund waiting for you?
Start thinking about what life is like with the things you want most.
Don’t just hold these images in your mind; interact with them. Feel them.
What does it feel like to have the things you want?
Does your worry about not having a large enough nest egg disappear?
Are you free to shop as you like?
Are you smiling because your savings is in an account earning more than 1% interest?
What do you see around you?
What do you smell?
Where are you?
Are you out shopping in the mall? Can you smell the coffee at Caribou as you and your best friend discuss your happiness — now that you’re no longer struggling to save?
Play your ideal situation repeatedly in your head. Allow yourself to get lost in the physical feelings of your “dream” so that your brain can begin to carve a new pathway. This pathway will help it wake to behaviors that will eventually bring you what you want.
Your brain will grow increasingly alert to the things you must do to render your dream into a reality.
Do this every day: work out your brain like you work out your body. Once you’ve aced this technique, you will no longer have to depend on brain wave music or your special locale. You’ll be able to dip into effective visualization at any time or place.
After your brain has been trained, you’ll hopefully start thinking differently about money. You’ll start reconsidering your purchases before making them. If saving money is your goal, savings will become one of your top priorities, and you’ll strongly consider consequences before spending your hard earned dollars on frivolities.
Have you ever tried any visualization techniques — for money or something else?