I remember one time watching a marksman shoot at a target with a blindfold on. At about 50 yards away, I would have been challenged to hit any of the rings of the target with both eyes open and focused. The marksman was turned so his back was to the target and then the blindfold was put on his face. To make doubly sure that he could not see, a black hood was placed over his head. The marksman then turned, stood stock still, steadied his breathing and squeezed off a shot. Then a second. Then a third. All in slow deliberate succession. And assistant retrieved the target and the shots all touched the bullseye in a tight pattern. How did he do that? And why do you care how he did it?
The short answer is this: What you can see in your mind you can achieve. What you cannot, you won’t. From before Napoleon Hill, these words have been spoken by sages to those too busy or inattentive to listen. Yet, they remain true.
Hitting an unseen target is not all that different that hitting a seen one. Most goals in life are easy. Lose ten pounds, get a better job or find a place to live, these are goals that are easy because we know the steps. What about other goals like, increase sales to our customers by 20% or choose a college or getting to a $100,000 income? These goals have many parts and steps, some of which are unknown or there can be multiple paths to the same goal.
What will help you with these goals, and what help the marksman hit the target is visualization. Visualization means seeing the future you want now, in your mind, in the present. It is taking what you want to have happen and imagining it in your mind. Seeing it as clearly as you can, with as much detail as you can.
This is all the marksman did. He practiced repeatedly hitting the target using his sight. Then he closed his eyes and saw the target in his mind and fired the same shots. Nothing was different. He practiced enough that his muscles remembered the height he had to hold the rifle, what a level rifle feels like, what position his head must be in and so on. Once the closed eye shot was mastered, then the turn was rehearsed, but the most important aspect was that the marksman could visualize exactly where the target was without seeing it.
This is also true for achieving any goal, especially starting or growing a business. Next week we will talk about the next step in achieving your goals.