Erik McClure

Properly Dreaming About Success


“We are what and where we are because we have first imagined it.” - Donald Curtis

The wisdom of antiquity suggests that we must first imagine what we want to achieve if we are ever to succeed, but science has other ideas. A study demonstrated that visualizing yourself reaching a goal tricks your brain into thinking you actually did it, causing a relaxation response, which in turn robs you of ambition and energy.

This is a troubling counter-argument to age-old wisdom, but perhaps both sides can be right? I have been relentlessly pursuing the same goal for many years, and from my experience, it matters what you visualize just as much as if. In particular, one should imagine what you are actually trying to create, rather than what you would do with all your riches.

By coupling your imagination to your problem solving skills, you can draw a line between where you are now and what you need to do to make your vision come to life. This both solidifies your goals, highlights potential problem areas and outlines a clear plan of action, which helps prevent procrastination caused by not knowing what to do. Simply imagining that we are living the high life after hitting the big time, however, merely drains us of ambition by creating a false sense of accomplishment. You must visualize your finished creation, not the act of finishing it.

There is a marvelous, unspeakably beautiful thing that wanders around in my subconscious. Every now and then I am given another glimpse, or shown another spark of inspiration of this indescribable vision that seems so real and yet could not possibly be written about, because nothing like it has ever existed. It’s like looking into a future that could arrive tomorrow if only I could bring it to life. Sometimes I wonder if I’m losing my way, only for something else to trigger another magnificent concept. It shows me why I can never give up, even it if takes me an eternity to craft my thoughts into a new reality.

Your imagination is a tool, and like any other, it can be used or abused. Wield it wisely.


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