Musings on Visualization and Goal Attainment

I've been reading a lot about the concept of  visualization. The process includes filling the mind with possibility and seeing success in a certain area of life or pursuit. Top athletes use it as they navigate through their worlds, artists see something in their mind's eye and bring it to life,  and successful entrepreneurs stay awake at night contemplating their goal until it becomes a reality.

In my own quest for bold living, I must use the power of visualization more. The process has to include clearly defining my goals - knowing that I can reach them with hard work - and actually willing myself to believe that I am capable.

Quite some time ago, I sat next to  my brother in his Jeep as he tried to navigate through a major life change. At the time, he was living on his friends' couches and trying to determine his next step. It appeared that he was going through some sort of refining process...nothing seemed to come all that easy for him. Yet, he shared with me something that I will never forget. Out of his briefcase he pulled a notebook...he opened it to reveal his dreams. He had written down all that he wanted to become, the home he one day dreamed of owning, trips wanted to take, and things he wanted to accomplish.

"I wrote it all down and think about it each day," he said. "One day I'll make it all a reality...just you wait and see."

I was touched. Today, my once nearly homeless brother has attained many of his dreams. He owns a home...has an amazing job...and makes a major difference in the lives of his employees. His life isn't perfect...he doesn't always make the right decisions or say the right things...but he's a visionary.

Yesterday, my sweet cousin told me, "I try to think of the one thing I can do in a single moment that can have the most impact...that is my focus." I like the way he said that...

For me in this moment...I need to dig in and believe. I need to visualize what I want to accomplish...smell it...feel it...and then become the task.

The easier, lazier path is to listen to the voice that says, "You aren't quite enough. Other people are more worthy. You're just a dreamer."

If everyone said that, nothing would get done in this world. There wouldn't be a Disneyland, no skyscrapers, no Great Pyramids, no Apple Computers or iPhones, no cars, no running water..."

Why is it that we all too often allow other people to be great, while settling for mediocre in our own lives? Why is it that we allow our daily dramas to consume our minds and zap our strength?

The mind is a tool that we must use with care. I'm thinking I need to feed mine with vision. See what I wish to see and stay focused on making it happen. I must know that my vision determines my steps. Vision determines outcome.

- Jen Engevik

Project BE Bold

Ideas for Discovering Your True Calling in Life

We wouldn't be human if we didn't question from time to time why we are floating around on planet earth. Are we here to simply survive? To have fun? To work until our bones are weary? The answer to these questions most likely varies from person to person. We each have a different beat to which we groove...and that is what makes the world go round.

What happens when you reach a crossroads that finds you searching high and low for your purpose? When you find yourself at work blankly staring at your computer screen thinking "I can't do this anymore. This is simply not me..."? You know that if you were to follow your passion and leave your current job behind, it would cost you financially. People close to you may think you mad. You may fail and this scares you to the core.

If you've reached this point in life, you may want to give the following a try:

1. Begin journaling. Keep a daily journal of your thoughts. Share your passions, fears, hopes and dreams. Writing clears the cobwebs from the mind and helps you to think constructively.

2. Get a therapist or life coach. Finding someone impartial to talk to helps beyond all belief. A good one will help you dig into the core of your being and develop solutions to take you to the next level.

3. Invest in a large drawing tablet.  Go to your nearest office supply or crafts store and buy a large tablet on which you can map your dreams out. Make lists of pros and cons. Set goals. Develop timelines. Draw. Scribble down affirmations. Make to do lists. Wildly enough, your dream/goal/inspiration tablets will help make your most inner thoughts concrete. Don't be surprised if one day you pull your tablets out of the closets or from underneath your couch and discover that you accomplished many of your goals and dreams.

4. Get working out. By getting in shape, you will have more stamina to make wise decisions and enable yourself to take a giant leap of faith. The mind/body connection can't be overlooked.

5. Realize that Reality is what you make it. It is all too easy to let everyone else set the rules for your life. You have been conditioned by your parents, relatives, friends, church, government, politicians, and more as to how life should be viewed. If you were taught from the time you were a child that the world is a big, scary place and people are freaky -- you probably have accepted this as fact. On the contrary, if you were told that the world is your oyster and is full of opportunity -- you most likely believe the world is a magical and amazing place.

It takes a mental 360 and a bit of faith to move from a fearful & limiting perspective to one of possibility.

I have often thought it fascinating that once I am made aware of something new in my world - I begin to realize that I have been surrounded by it all along. I was just blind to it. An example is the geocaching phenomena. I had no idea that all around us are hidden treasures placed throughout the world by geocachers, a group of people who hide treasures and then input the latitude and longitude coordinates into the Website. The first time I gave this a try, I was thrilled and amazed that all along there are been adventurers playing the game and having a ball.

Opportunity is all around us -- we just have to channel into it. As a journalism student in my college days at USC, we were taught how network news identifies breaking news, and if the story was shocking enough, producers look for other similar stories. Once identified, they reveal the most shocking breaking news such as a horrific shooting in downtown LA. Then they bring to light other shootings in nearby areas. Pretty soon, newswatchers are thinking there are shootings everywhere....when in reality most neighborhoods are safe and sound. My question remains - what if they were to point out the positive? We just may begin to see the good that surrounds us.

It is one thing to discover what  your calling is in life - but if you have a possibility problem. You may not get very far.

I'm going to be blunt now - so please forgive me if I make you squirm...

You are going to die. I am going to die. We are all going to die. So what the heck are we trying to live so carefully for? So that we can be 99 after living a safe and boring life? No thank you.

I took a huge chance to leave a well paying job and work as a freelance writer. Has it always been easy? Definitely not. Have I had fun? Yes. Without a doubt. The benefits have been that I am now writing from Scandinavia - I can work from anywhere I choose. I can study people and enjoy new cultures.

But are you rich? may be asking. My answer is Yes & No. My life is soul is amazed...I am damn happy to not be stuck. I'm not rich like Paris Hilton...I don't own a large home. I have worked to pair down my life -- no storage unit, no boxes stacked high in a garage. After a recent move, I got rid of nearly everything I didn't need. Who knows what the future holds financially...but I really do have faith that with hard work it will be amazing.

You create your reality and are only as stuck as you allow yourself to be. To truly discover our callings in life...we have take giant leaps and know that we will find wings with which to fly...

- Jen Engevik

Project BE Bold

Ten Questions for the Dalai Lama – Time Magazine Interview

Enjoy this powerful interview with the Dalai Lama! Within the interview he discusses religion, success, life, dreams and his story with honesty and humor:

Dream by Whoopi Goldberg

I CAN DO ANYTHING.  I can be anything. No one ever told me I couldn't. No one ever expressed this idea that I was limited to any one thing, and so i think in terms of what's possible, not impossible.

They did sell me the notion of reality. That I got. I got the laws of physics and nature pretty much down and knew early on there were very specific things I couldn't do. I knew I could never make anyone float, or turn water into wine, or make cats speak French.

I knew I couldn't bring people back from the dead. I got that part of it. But I also knew that if I was with someone who had lost somebody I might be able to make them feel better. I couldn't keep someone's house from burning down, but I could help them sort through the rubble and get their shit together and start in on another one. So I realized I wasn't God, which was a slight disappointment, you know. Just a slight disappointment--and a mild suprise.

Movies were my first window to the outside world, and they told me stuff. They told me I could go anywhere, be whatever I wanted, solve any damn puzzle. The right movie was my ticket to any place I wanted to go. But it had to be the right movie, and it had to come from the right place, 'cause I had to bank on it being historically accurate. See, in sch, nobody talked about black people unless they had us picking cotton. Who knew there were free blacks? Maybe you heard about Frederick Douglass, but you didn't really knew about Frederick Douglass. You couldn't always trust the history books. They told diluted truth, truth by committee. It was only later that I learned that there was something missing in what went down with the landed Americans and the indigenous people of this country. In movies too. They didn't always get the story right, especially when it came to our nonwhite history. You knew the Indians didn't look like Jeffery Hunter, but you didn't know what they really looked like either. It was a great mystery. There weren't too many Indians in my Catholic school in New York, so you had to use your imagination a bit.

In my head, Queen Elizabeth was just like Bette Davis. That's how I saw her. She walked and talked and proofed--made grand statements in staccato sentences. Movies opened doors to a lot of things for me for every one they opened another one closed. The casting always messed with the way I saw it. It changed the terms. In this way, books were more liberating, more magical, and so I started to read. To really read. Books opened the mind to all kinds of possibilities. There was nothing on Dickens to leave you thinking there were no black people in England, or that Bob Cratchit didn't pass you on the street every single day. But movies made you believe there were no black people, except the ones who were picking cotton, or tap-dancing up a flight of stairs, or birthin' babies. When I was little this didn't strike me as odd, but as I grew up, all during the 1960s, it bothered the *#@*! out of me. I knew there had to be more to us than that. Now I know there are all-black movies, but gumshoes and heroes, cowboys and harlots, but these were not shown on the Million Dollar Movie, and when I started to figure this out I realized life was what we put in and took out, and we were all in the same soup. Indians, blacks, Asians, women...It never even occurred to me that Emma wasn't black. It wasn't apart of the equation. Why shouldn't we have been in a Jane Austen situation?

Why wouldn't we have been in a manor house in a Dickens novel? Why couldn't we have been the light in the forest? And don't tell me Robert Louis Stevenson didn't have me in mind when he wrote Treasure Island, because, you know, even the Muppets understand this notion.

Daydreaming, I used to think I was Sherlock Holmes; it's a part I've always wanted to play. If you're the most brilliant detective, the people will come to you. They won't care if you're black, or a woman. It might even give the story some new dimensions. The Speckled Band, staring Whoopi Goldberg. I like it!

This--the possibility--is why I took on acting as such a joyous thing. As I write this, I'm appearing eight times a week, on Broadway, in a part originally written for a man, but you'd never know, right? If you come to a thing with no preconceived notions of what that thing is, the whole world can be your canvas. Just dream it, and you can make it so. I believe I belong wherever I want to be, in whatever situation or context I place myself. I believed I could pass as an ancient Roman in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. I believed a little girl could rise from a single-parent household in the Manhattan projects, start a single-parent household of her own, struggle through seven years of welfare and odd jobs, and still wind up making movies. You can go from anonymity to Planet Hollywood and never lose sight of where you've been.

So, yeah, I think anything is possible. I know it because I've lived it. I know it because I have seen it. I have witnessed things the ancients would have called miracles, but they are not miracles. They are the products of someone's dream, and they happen as the result of hard work. Or they happen because, you know, [stuff] happens. As human beings, we are capable of creating a paradise, and making each others' lives better by our own hands. Yes, yes, yes...this is possible.

If something hasn't happened, it's not because it can't happen, or won't; it just hasn't happened yet. If I haven't done something, I just haven't gotten around to it. For a long time, I wanted to sit with Stephen Hawking and have him explain all of his theories to me so that I could understand them and build on them and find ways to adapt them to my own life. But I never got around to that. I would like to be a diplomat in some foreign country for a couple of months. I would like to play for the Knicks, and dance with Alvin Ailey, and ride a camel down Sunset Boulevard. I would like to find a way to stop famine, and to free the children from the orphanages in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Romania, and here at home. I would like to do a lot of things. All I need is Time.

- From Dream by Whoopi Goldberg