As a financial advisor, I often tell my clients that the most important investment they can ever make is that of their energy and attention in their future, as I’ve seen first-hand what happens when people learn to consciously direct their thoughts toward the future they want to create.
When I give seminars, I’ll often ask, “What are you going to do differently this year than you did last year?” Often, I get a kind of blank look in response. They come in with their goals: What are you going to do differently today? “I’m going to make more money than I did last year,” or “I’m going to see more people than I did last year.” But when I ask them what they will do differently, they say, “What do you mean?”
There is a well known definition of insanity, which is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. And when I say doing the same thing, I mean at the most fundamental level–how we spend our attention and energy.
The human mind is like a bio-computer that is continually processing input and output, and so, whatever you put in is understandably what you’ll get out. Put in junk and you’ll get junk. But put in good programs, and you’ll get good results.
A metaphor I like to use is that of my car and its built-in navigation system. If I want to go to the city to meet a new client, I can enter the address and the system guides me–turn right, turn left, drive straight ahead for three miles. This has certainly made driving much easier over the last several years, but I still have to program the navigation system with a destination in order to get where I want to go.
In a way, our subconscious mind is a like a navigation system. It’s constantly giving us directions, but if we haven’t plugged in the right address with our conscious mind, then we’re going to be going in circles.
The good news is that visualizing and learning to redirect our future is not as difficult as some people might think. The first step is to create a two-minute movie in your head of you in the future, being the person that you always wanted to be, and imagining that money is not an obstacle in any way. The second step then requires five minutes a night, before you go to bed. Spend a minute or two in meditation and/or doing some type of relaxation technique—anything that will best help you to focus. Then, once you feel centered and grounded, play your movie in your head.
There’s an old saying, “act as if.” Or, as we often say, “fake it till you make it.”
Your movie has to be a snapshot of a day in the life of you, playing bigger in the world. Go from morning to night and make it as sensory as possible, so you can see the house you want to wake up in, and you can smell the air when you walk outside. Try to add as much detail as you can–objectively and subjectively. What job do you have? And what do you do when you get there? Whatever it is, it should be you living your fullest expression–and filled with happiness as you do what you love to do.
Then play your movie every night for thirty days, because this is how long many people believe it takes for a new habit to form in the subconscious mind. For example, if you smoke once, it probably won’t become a habit, but if you smoke for thirty days you’re hooked.
I can’t stress this point enough: if you don’t believe that your thoughts are creating the life you’re living and that you’re the principal author of your own destiny, writing your own story every day, you will remain a helpless audience member watching your life go by. The visualization process gives you something far more useful to focus on than the old counter-productive messages of your mind. Over time, you’ll be amazed how quickly your outer world will begin to change once you’ve learned how to rewrite your script.
About the Author
Jeffrey Gitterman is an award winning financial advisor and the founder and CEO of Gitterman & Associates Wealth Management, LLC. www.gawmllc.com, and Beyond Success, www.BeyondSuccessConsulting.com, a consulting firm that brings more holistic values to the world of business and finance. His first book, Beyond Success: Redefining the Meaning of Prosperity, was recently published by AMACOM.
The article is adapted from Jeffrey’s book Beyond Success: Redefining the Meaning of Prosperity.
© 2009 Jeffrey L. Gitterman – All rights reserved – Published by AMACOM Books. www.amacombooks.org – A Division of the American Management Association.