Last month we shared our thoughts on Gratitude and how practicing gratitude can help you overcome challenging times by reprogramming our brains and keeping positive thoughts of things we have to be grateful for at the surface of our memories. More on the topic of reprogramming our brains will be discussed in this month’s topic of Envisioning. Once again, thoughts become things is our motto. By changing our thoughts, we can reprogram our brains to experience new thoughts and perform new actions, breaking the chain of operating our lives on auto-pilot.
Tell me about Envisioning
Changing our thoughts can change our reality. We all have 60,000 to 70,000 thought per day and 90% of them are the same thoughts we had yesterday.
The same thoughts lead to the same choices
The same choices lead to the same behaviors
The same behaviors lead to the same experiences
The same experiences produce the same emotions
And the same emotions drive the same thoughts….
Substituting these automatic thoughts with deliberate and intentional thoughts and visions about what we want in our lives day after day will change our emotions and our actions to reflect the new person we want to become. Create your vision and see it so clearly that it will become your reality. Picture yourself in the life you want to live. Picture yourself as the person you want to be. And then try to feel what it feels like to be this person in this position.
You don’t know what it feels like yet, and that’s ok. Just feel what you imagine it to feel like.
Do this several times a day. Do it in meditation and in journaling throughout your day.
This sounds BOGUS. Prove it!
Ok fine, below are a few examples to prove it to you. They are pretty amazing and total proof that your thoughts become a reality.
Where are my Science nerds at?
In our email I gave an example of mirror neuron in an experiment with monkeys. Below are 3 more examples showing that are thoughts are powerful tools that can change our reality.
- A college basketball team from Massachusetts was shown a certain way to perform a foul shot. After the lesson, half the team was instructed to come to the gym every day and practice for two hours exactly as they were shown. The other half of the team was told to go to the library or their dorm rooms and instead to close their eyes and picture themselves performing the shots the way they were shown. Two weeks later, the group who hadn’t gone to the gym to physically practice actually showed more improvement than the group that worked every day in the gym. Stop it, that’s insane.
- A group of people who had never played the piano before were taught a simple scale. Half the group sat down at a piano every day and practiced the scales while the other half simply pictured it inside their minds. The latter group was then asked to sit down at a piano and they played the scales just as well as the group who had physically practiced. I mean, seriously?!
- A group of people were asked to envision themselves doing arm curls without actually working out at all and a few weeks later came back and were measured with a 13.5% increase in muscle mass in their biceps.
There you have it. Three different examples proving that our thoughts can change our realities.
Self Fulfilling Prophecy
I’m not suggesting life will always be easy if you have the right thoughts, or that blessings will be showered upon you if you simply start thinking positively. But negative thinking sets you back. So many of us take a passive approach to our thinking. We allow negative thoughts and expectations to freely flow into our mind. Or worse, we actively feed our minds negative and pessimistic thoughts about the future. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can proactively create a new reality for yourself.
Below is a list of prompts that will help you with your envisioning exercise. As 2019 comes to a close and we welcome 2020 with open arms, we want to reflect on the positive, practice gratitude for all the amazing things in our lives and envision the new me in 2020. A tub of cookie dough by your side will help this exercise and keep the happy juices flowing, of course! Lets think about the below questions to answer this question: Where will you be in your life 5-10 years from now?
- What will you have accomplished already?
- How will you feel about yourself?
- What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
- What does your ideal day look like?
- Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
- What would you be doing?
- Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
- How are you dressed?
- What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
- What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
- Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.
Now, consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.
- What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
- What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
- What would you have needed to learn along the way?
- What important actions would you have had to take?
- What beliefs would you have needed to change?
- What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
- What type of support would you have had to enlist?
- How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
- What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?
Now stop reading and start envisioning your victories. YOU GOT THIS!