Kathy Murphy, Ph.D.


The Power of a Vision

In the corner of my mind’s eye, I hold a constant vision of myself as a calm, peaceful, and courageous woman. Now what might be going on may be something quite different – I could actually be frazzled, doubtful, and scared. However, even in the midst of this, I keep the other image firmly in place to serve as a goal, a possibility, and an intention for how I want to be. Even though this gap between how I am at this moment and how I aspire to be is great, I still hold the vision. Yes, it causes some angst and some tension to feel this gap but I continue to hold it. I hold it because I know about the power of having a vision and how capitalizing on this physical tension can help you tap into your natural power.

We’ve all heard about the power of having a vision for our lives – you know, a mental picture of ourselves being who and how we want to be, where we want to be and with whom we want to be. Every self improvement book or life coach advocates envisioning your life. And I do too. I believe that visualization is one of the most powerful tools we have for designing our lives. A good vision is like a magnet. It pulls you to it, moving you one step closer to making your dreams a reality, a possibility for your life.

If you can’t imagine it,
you probably can’t do it.

A lot of people have a hard time believing in visualization because it all sounds a bit too mystical and magical. A good friend of mine calls it “tutti-frutti” stuff. And granted it does all sound a bit too easy and wishful. All you have to do is have a picture of yourself as peaceful, successful, and happy and you will be. Yeah, right. Well, part of it is just that easy. Just like Tinker Bell’s fairy dust – you just have to believe. Never, ever deny these great mysteries and miracles in life.

I also deeply believe in the metaphysical and spiritual process where the divine powers of the universe are activated to answer my prayers. However, dream manifestation is a biological process as well. Like acorns are programmed to be majestic oaks, we, too, are internally programmed to grow – to instinctively move towards things we want and need in our lives. You are naturally wired to be driven to reach your dreams.

When we envision ourselves doing, being, and having what it is that we want, we activate the power of the Reticular Activating System (the RAS). The RAS controls subconscious attention. Having a vision programs the RAS for what to pay attention to. We begin to see opportunities around us because we are looking for them. Our attention becomes like a magnetic process. In the metaphysical world we sometimes call this serendipity where doors begin to open, coincidences occur and what you had been seeing in your mind’s eye is now becoming true. The explanation is that a very powerful unconscious part of you is beginning to believe what you’ve been telling it, began believing that this vision is your reality and then you begin to “act as if” it where true causing you to take steps and move toward your goals.

Consider the Possibilities is about dreaming again. Consider the Possibilities is about having a vision or many visions for your life and activating the power to manifest, to bring to reality, your visions and dreams. Write down what you want, how you want to be, whatever that might be. Your dreams and desires are your maps to your life purpose and your destiny. These become the goals for your life. Then, write a visualization for each of these possibilities in loving detail. Identify clearly what you want, what it would look like, and how you would feel. See the picture.

Then, use the PIP technique. Televisions sometimes have an added feature called the “Picture in a Picture” box. This feature allows you to have another picture up in the corner of the screen. Imagine that on the large screen of your mind’s eye is the actual moment-by-moment experience of the now. However, in the corner, on a small screen is a smaller picture with a snapshot, or even a running movie, of your vision.

Don’t worry about the gap between the big picture screen and the vision. More specifically, pay attention to the tension created by the gap. Let this tension work for you. The human system is designed to alleviate tension in our lives. Just as Piaget taught us about cognitive theory and the need to create equilibrium, we are driven to reduce the tension of the gap. Sometimes we reduce the tension by ignoring or denying it, or changing the goal, or giving up. Another way to reduce the tension is to move towards closing the gap, to bring the smaller picture to our bigger screen of reality. The tension then works for us in helping us to physiologically move toward our goals. This process is not always easy. It requires a lot of personal power. But as master manifestors we know that is precisely why we have to hold on. Don’t let the picture, the vision, go.

Don’t worry if you have trouble actually seeing pictures. Let the vision come to you however it does. You may see your vision in descriptive words. You may envision your own movie or script of what your dream or desire would look like. Use as many descriptors as you can. This also helps plant the seeds of the goal in your subconscious. Envisioning your future achieves four things:

  1. It gives you direction. If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.
  2. It is a source or motivation. You do what is needed to create what you want.
  3. It provides clarity about what changes you need.
  4. It illuminates the roadblocks, fears, and doubt. You have a mental rehearsal that helps to develop a map.

Do you have a vision for yourself and your life? What do you see in your mind’s eye for yourself? What are your dreams? According to Carl Sandburg,

“Nothing happens unless first in a dream.”