Create a Mental Movie to Achieve Your Goals
We all have something in life (or work) that we want to achieve.
Most of the time we don't know how to go about achieving these goals.
Often when we do know how to go about achieving them we just allow ourselves to fail by simply giving up.
Creating a mental movie can increase your chances of success as it is a creative and simple way to program your mind.
A mental movie is a creative visualization technique used by Neuro Linguistic Practitioners to help clients reprogram their mind to overcome fears or phobias, heal past traumas or to achieve work or life goals.
If you know the goal you want to achieve then you can take advantage of this powerful tool to help you create a successful outcome.
Step 1: Decide your goal.
It is essential that you can identify the goal you want to achieve. It must be precise. Write it down.
Step 2: Create a blueprint.
You know the end point; the goal. It is important that you create a blueprint describing the exact change you want to make. For it to be useful and generate a successful outcome it must:
• Use all five senses;
• Be very descriptive; and
• Be written in the present tense
For example, if your goal is to become more confident in social situations your blueprint might look like this:
I am at a party for a colleague's birthday. The room is brightly lit with music playing. There are red, blue, yellow and green balloons everywhere. I can hear people talking and laughing. I am standing in the centre of a group of colleagues talking about a movie. Everyone is listening. They are smiling at me and I feel happy. The beat of the music pulses through me making me feel invigorated. I feel comfortable talking and listening with others.
With every sip of my drink I feel stronger and more confident. Each bit of the delicious food makes me feel happier. I am smiling…
You can include different scenes, just like in a real movie. So change the situations to include any that are important in helping you to create the movie of the life you desire.
Step 3: Relax
It is important to relax as this is how you will get your subconscious mind to open up and be receptive to your mental movie.
Find somewhere comfortable. Close your eyes. Tense every muscle in your body and then release. Repeat twice more. Next, breathe in deeply through your nose to a count of five and out through your mouth to a count of eight. Repeat this three times or until you feel relaxed.
Step 4: Play your movie
This is where the mental programming takes place. You play your mental movie visualizing you living the goal you set. It is important that your movie is played as if you are living it now. Feel the emotions, experience the sights and sounds. Don't forget to include all your senses to make the experience feel real.
To make sure that your new mental program is fully installed you will need to repeat steps 3 and 4 every day for 30 days for best effect.
"Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve." - Napoleon Hill
This is a version of the SHiFTing method explored as part of the Dream Realisation Technique in the forthcoming book : The Secret to Your Future History.
This book due to be released Spring 2018 is a complete exploration of personal development through psychologically supported techniques.
Join the closed Facebook group to ensure you are kept informed of publication dates and materials to support the approaches in the book.
FACEBOOK GROUP : Your Future History
Positive Thinking - The Problems
A quick look beyond the covers of any self-help book and you will find the same, possibly dangerous, rhetoric of positive thinking.\
You have a really bad day at work - just think positively...
Your relationship ends terribly - just think positively, there is a silver lining...
Superficially subscribers to what is termed Positive Thinking , tend to be endorsing an attitude to lief in which 'the darker side' is repressed, or given short shrift. Indeed any philosophical approach in which personal realities are polished or shrouded may contain a problem.
Put more directly, if you focus on only the positive aspects of your life, then you are in danger of discounting (repressing) other parts of you life.
In short you are creating a fluffy reality - one in which the gulf between what you are feeling and you are allowing yourself to feel grows.
Jung spoke of the idea of our shadow and maintained that enlightenment was not about finding the light, but shining the light into the darkness.
In terms of our ability to 'bounce' back from difficulties, our emotional resilience, denying the light in the shadow and the shadow in the light does not the 'skill' of 'bouncing back' to be practised or developed.
No I am not for one minute saying that we should adopt morose attitude to life, what I am saying is that there needs to be a desire to 'walk in balance'. It's as ok to 'sad' as it is to be 'happy' as long as you 'own' those feelings as yours. Such ownership can encourage deeper and more relevant personal development.
Again to put another spin on things...
If you refuse to see the pain, does not mean that the pain ceases to exist.
I may not like the darkness, and I may prefer to stay in the light, but simply thinking about the light does not mean we actually have 24 hours of sunlight.
The challenge is about exploring the causes (attachments to) of sadness as well the causes (attachments to) happiness. In a forthcoming book I explore the idea of happiness in a bit more detail, but for now its worth your consideration to question 'what happiness means to me?'
Stoic philosophers maintained that any event is just an event. It is the meaning that we attach to each event which gives it its importance.
To be mindlessly happy despite the intensity of any event is to fail to explore the real attachments you place upon it.
In a spiritual sense, such denial does make personal enlightenment a bit of a challenge.
To say that Facebook is a bit of phenomena is a bit of understanding...
1.37 billion people on average log onto Facebook everyday, in fact some of the statistics around this social media platform are staggering.
Photo uploads total 300 million per day. (Source: Gizmodo)
Five new profiles are created every second. There are 83 million fake profiles. (Source: CNN)
Every 60 seconds on Facebook: 510,000 comments are posted, 293,000 statuses are updated, and 136,000 photos are uploaded. (Source: The Social Skinny)
And the list could go on.
What is of interest here, however, is some of the psychological aspects of this platform. We could talk about trolling and the other kinds of abuse that the system is open to, but what about the nature of what we post?
In a research paper published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences Vol 85 2015, it was reported that ...
"....extraverts more frequently updated about their social activities and everyday life, which was motivated by their use of Facebook to communicate and connect with others.
People high in openness were more likely to update about intellectual topics, consistent with their use of Facebook for sharing information.
Participants who were low in self-esteem were more likely to update about romantic partners, whereas those who were high in conscientiousness were more likely to update about their children.
Narcissists’ use of Facebook for attention-seeking and validation explained their greater likelihood of updating about their accomplishments and their diet and exercise routine. Furthermore, narcissists’ tendency to update about their accomplishments explained the greater number of likes and comments that they reported receiving to their updates."
The Facebook users surveyed in the research were asked to complete a personality profile known as the Big Five as well as measures of elf-esteem, narcissism. Big Five personality traits, also known as the five factor model (FFM), is a model based on common language descriptors of personality.
Other studies have suggested that:-
"....people who tend to be more agreeable post less often, people who are more open-minded are less likely to respond to other people’s updates yet will post more often about political issues and those who are conscientious tend to agree more often with other’s updates."
When it comes to overall Facebook use, other research has shown that excessive time online can damage relationships, make you less happy and even be difficult for those suffering from self-esteem issues.
Other research suggests that frequent postings that include selfies represent a longing for connection.
A paper published in 2012 had this to say about personalities and Facebook posts.
People with a lot of Facebook friends tend to have low self-esteem
Extraverts update their status more often than introverts.
Conscientious people organize their photos carefully.
Open people fill out their personal profiles most thoroughly.
Narcissists make deeper self-disclosures
Narcissist are prone to overly post self-promotional content.
Neurotic people post mostly photos
Agreeable people are tagged in other people’s photos most often.
As one writer noted:
Although we may think we’re masking our insecurities or portraying ourselves in the most favourable light, our behaviour on social media reveals more than we might think. It’s not just what we post on Facebook that reveals information about our personalities — it’s also what we don’t post that can be quite telling. (Amy Morin 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do).
Our social media profiles and interactions are used as indicators of the type of customer we 'might be' an so marketeers are VERY interested in this kind of analysis. Perhaps we, as social media users, might like to consider how what we post can be interpreted by others.
Scott Ayres, author of Facebook All in One for Dummies, has produced a guide for marketers about Facebook Personalities as he sees them. Whilst not subject to the same rigours of the earlier academic papers, it does promote some very worthwhile discussion...
1. The Social Athlete
2. The Social Luddite
3. The Social Nurturer
4, The Social Lazzies
5. The Social Geek
6 The Social Doer
7. The Social Lurker
8. The Social Inspirer
9. The Social Ranter
10. The Social Visionary
You can read Scott's descriptions for each of these in his 'post-planner' post (link below).
(remember Big Five personality descriptors are just that, descriptors of personality type and related behaviours, NOT a psychiatric diagnoses
WATCH THIS VIDEO BEFORE READING ANY FURTHER...
Ask 100 people what they want out of life and invariably there will be the response - to be happy!
(the following is taken from the forthcoming book The Secret to Your Future History)
You need to think carefully about what happiness is for you.
Research has shown that once some basic living needs are met and there is a small degree of financial security an increase in terms of money (wealth) does not increase personal measures of ‘happiness’.
By the same token any relief of sadness obtained through ‘retail therapy’ is both short lived and can lead to personal recrimination for having ‘wasted money’.
In terms of focussing on long term financial gains, studies have shown that individuals often underestimate the time they spend on obtaining such gains, at the expense of other things which have no financial reward (family life and health for example). The end result is a generalised sense of unhappiness.
We also note from research that happiness is not achieved by simply repressing or avoiding the things that cause pain and burying them in overly positive affirmations.
By way of a direct example…
Don’t think of a Pink Elephant…
The mind cannot process a negative, so simply trying to not think about the things we ‘believe’ make us unhappy is a pointless task. The pink elephant proves it - right!
So, practical keys to discovering your own happiness…
Well if we take note of what Buddhist teaching affirm, we need to develop a series of personal values, attitudes and practices which remind us of our own response-abilities. If tranquillity, peace of mind, focus and ability find a middle-path are considered as measures of, or even routes to, happiness then there must be something to consider there.
Mindfulness practices, as shown in numerous studies, are beneficial in terms of stress-reduction - stress, perhaps being a ‘happiness killer’.
Psychologists who have been involved in the study of cognitive behaviourism have noted that ‘attention’ is a far more complex thing than we think it is. Where we place our attention, the unconscious processes which tell us what to ‘pay attention to’ and ‘what to ignore’ are important here.
In what is now a classic experiment observers were asked to watch a video of students throwing a ball. (the one at the beginning of this article).
They were given the task of counting the number of times the student in the white T-shirt caught (or threw) the ball.
At the end of the film observers were asked to report the number of throws/catches they had counted - most of the people were able to recount a number which matched the number in the film.
They were then asked if they had seen ‘the Gorilla’ - almost everyone (around 95%) said ‘no’.
When they were shown the video clip again, a short way into the sequence, a person in a Gorilla suit is seen to walk through the circle of catchers/throwers; stand in the middle, beat their chest, and walk off slowly. This was not a trick - the ‘gorilla’ was there on the first viewing of the clip.
However, because the focus of the activity was the counting of the catches/throws, the mind deleted the information that was ‘the gorilla’.
The original video, is now world-famous and was designed by Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris. You can check out their book and website for more information (www.theinvisiblegorilla.com)
Conscious Attention is a limited commodity. In a classic piece of work George Millar demonstrated that we can only pay conscious attention to between 5 and 9 ‘chunks’ of information - the rest is processed unconsciously or even ‘deleted’ from your experience of the world.
Noting what you pay attention to in your surroundings, your work, your relationships is a good place to start considering what you are missing. A saying I use frequently, which I believe to be a ‘truism’ and stems from the research of cognitive behaviourists, is - attention goes where emotion flows.
So, if you are in a situation where you feel threatened, your attention will be directed towards possible sources of physical or emotional ‘attack’.
Your unconscious will select where to place your attention and you will be on ‘high alert’. Such an internal state will affect what you see, hear, feel and understand.
If you are aware of this possibility, you can allow yourself to direct your attention (consciously) elsewhere and so, perhaps, have a completely different perspective on the same situation.
In one experiment psychologists asked volunteers to end each day by creating a list.
One group were asked to list five events that had happened during the day; another group was asked to make a list of five things that annoyed them and a third group were asked to make a list of things they felt grateful for.
Follow-up questionnaires relating to feelings of ‘happiness’ and ‘personal value’ found that those who had made the list of things they were grateful for scored more highly than the other two groups.
What could be easier than creating your own daily ‘gratitude list’?
Earlier it was suggested that ‘retail therapy’ produced a fairly short-term change in terms of ‘being happy’.
Well that is generally true, with one key exception. The ‘purchasing’ of ‘experiences’ has a longer term ‘happiness’ factor than other forms of buying therapy. So, if you are going to spend, purchase those experiences which create positive, social emotional memories.
In a parallel study, it was found that engaging in Random Acts of Kindness also resulted in higher scores on personal measures of happiness, satisfaction and valuing of self.
Finally, then comes the notion that happiness is not an emotional state nor a commodity. It is a range of experiences, attitudes and practices which are reported to ‘the self’ as being happy. There are no limits to the amount of happiness and it is best considered as a personal journey, not a destination.
You are responsible for your own happiness, since it is about how you perceive yourself and your interactions with others and your environment. Other ‘things’ and ‘people’ can influence your immediate sense of happiness, but ultimately it's about you not getting in your own way when it comes to your journey towards it.
(Taken from a draft version of The Secret toy Your Future History to be published early 2018)
Dr Alan Jones : Personal Alchemy
Dr Alan B JOnes
Director Inspire NLP