Saturday 11 July 2020

The Power of Visualization (Part Five): A Shoulder To Stand.

What do you see?

Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone, in their book “Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude,” relate the story of Irving Ben Cooper, who became one of America's most respected judges. As a boy, Ben lived in a permanent state of fear and self-despising. This was occasioned by a gang of boys who found great pleasure ambushing, beating, and tormenting him. Then, one winter, something happened. He came across an adventure book series about a youngster who faced great odds and overcame them with courage and moral strength. 

A Shoulder to Stand On.

Ben found here his hero. He found his giant on whose shoulders he could stand. And, stand He did. He spent the entire winter reading as many of the book series as he could. As he read, he lived the part of the hero, in his mind’s eyes. He visualized himself in the hero's stead. Like Napoleon Hill rightly says, "Great self-esteem comes from simply taking the successes of the past, focusing on them, and projecting them into the future."

When the gang ambushed him again, run some months later, his first thought was to turn. However, he had found a new resolve. He marched straight ahead as if he were one of the heroes in the book series. It was a brutal fight, but Ben was able to overcome the three boys. It was worth it! It was a great day in Ben's life. At that moment, he overcame fear. Ben Cooper wasn't much stronger than he had been a year earlier. His attackers were no less tough. 

The difference was in Ben's mental attitude (drawing, picture, image, visualization). He had faced danger despite fear. The secret was, he identified himself with a successful image. Like William S. Gilbert rightly said, "Losers visualize the penalties of failure. Winners visualize the rewards of success." Ben had focused his mind on the rewards of success, looking through the lenses of the heroes he had read about, all winter. That which he spent his time focusing on became alive inside of him. 

Which Story Are You Carrying?

Ben could see in the eye of his mind that which he hitherto thought impossible as possible. "Ordinary people believe only in the possible. Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And, by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible." (Cherie Carter Scott). Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.), as a small boy, imagined a vast land of continents to be conquered. 

It was then just a mere visual imagination that he created and nurtured in his mind through his boyhood days. This gave him the energy and confidence to lead an army at eighteen to conquer the world. What are you creating and nurturing in your own mind? Before May 6, 1954, the experts believed the human body was incapable of a 4-minute mile. They said it was not just dangerous, but it was impossible. Roger Bannister set out to break this barrier. 

As part of his training, he relentlessly visualized the achievement to create a sense of certainty in his mind and body. The result: he did break the barrier, and others have since followed in his footsteps. "Visualize the most amazing life imaginable to you. Close your eyes and see it clearly. Then hold the vision for as long as you can. Now place the vision in God’s hands…and consider it done." (Marianne Williamson)

Will you?

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