I love to find an inspiring teacher, and I get a little obsessed (yes, I have Mars and Mercury in Scorpio.) When I find a role-model, motivational speaker, philosopher, mentor or teacher who I click with, I go into a learn-a-thon, gathering as much of their wisdom as I can. The information that comes through always feels right on time and I am so grateful that these wise folks feel called to share their knowledge.
Right now I am reading “Smarter, Better, Faster” by Charles Duhigg.
I’ve only just gotten into the book, but so far I love the suggestion that one way to increase your productivity and focus is to hold an image in your mind of how you want things to be. This image could also be called a story. It's something that you want to call into your life. One example of this image is a clear idea of how you want your day to be structured. Another example is a plan for how you want a task or project to be executed. People who do this kind of visioning are more likely to succeed at their goals and are more productive
So tonight before I go to bed, I am going to try to create an image of my most wonderful day tomorrow. I'll go through it step by step, and tomorrow when I wake up, I'll take a few minutes to go through it again.
I won't judge myself if my day doesn't work out the way I envision it to, that's not really the point. The idea is to plan for the choices I would most like to make.
I want this practice to feel empowering! And I do think that clear intention can get me closer to my goals.
Building aspirational images or stories is a practice. You can create the image by brainstorming, collecting evidence in your surroundings (noticing admirable way of being in real life, on tv, or in the images around you,) or fantasizing. Day-dreaming is the perfect way. If you feel as if you have been trained out of daydreaming, now’s the time to bring this powerful tool back into your life!
If you focus on a goal and it seems impossible to imagine, you might have to do some deeper digging. Notice if an outdated belief is holding you back. We can create stories that help us expand and we can also create stories that keep us stuck. It’s normal for the human mind to create stories. It's what we do! Stories are based on evidence. The only problem is that sometimes the evidence is bad or outdated and needs to be reviewed. Usually our minds accept the evidence as true without really evaluating it.
Start by running yourself through a barrage of questions. Think about a life area in which you feel stuck. Name the feelings associated with your "stuckness." Where are they located in your body? When was the first time you felt them? What was going on in your life then? Can you think of an agreement you may have made with yourself to explain what was happening? Can you name a belief that may have formed?
If a belief comes to mind, ask yourself is this belief really true? Is there evidence that supports it now?
What would the opposite of this belief be? Is there evidence that supports that?
How would you like your life to be instead? How would you prefer to feel? What belief most supports your goals, health and happiness?
Do a little visioning work and find a place where you can create a new image that is inspiring and helps you focus. I’m going to try to vision out my day first thing in the morning and see how it goes.
I loved reading about this because this is exactly the work that I do with my Hypnosis clients (and sometimes my Astrology clients too!.) We recognize what needs to shift, create a new vision, then we use hypnosis to deliver that image to the subconscious mind.
Speaking of stories— here’s another inspiring note from the book that is super helpful: Productive people narrate to themselves or others about what they are doing throughout the day. Try that next time you get caught in a Facebook scroll! Sometimes a little awareness goes a long way… “Right now I am scrolling non-stop through Facebook.” or “Right now I am working on my Smart goals that support my Stretch goals.” or “Right now I am watching a beautiful sunset and then I am going to watch three hours of Gilmore Girls.” Whatever it is-- don't judge it, just narrate it! This will help you stay focused and aware.