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The Visualization – Where Will You Be?

September 17th, 2007

visualize where you'll be tomorrowOne of the first things my coach had me do was develop a document titled “The Visualization.” This is a very personal one-page document with very specific targets, written in present tense. I was reluctant to spend time on my visualization, but I realized that in order to have our coaching relationship work, I needed to “play along” (I can’t think of a different phrase for that – I don’t mean to trivialize the coach’s system, but sometimes I’m too proud for my own good and disregard things as silly or meaningless).

At first I thought it was going to be a hokey mission statement, with all the feel-good words and cliche phrases that are in just about every mission statement in the world. I memorized the mission statement from my last company – there was the president’s version, and the workers version (which put an irreverent twist on the president’s version). It was fun to memorize, but really, when you got down to work it was easy to disregard.

I didn’t want to come up with a meaningless statement that sounded too good to be true, with little regard for my day-to-day battles.

I found the visualization to be different, though. To get me started, my coach sent me his. I was quite amazed – it was very, very specific. At first glance it seemed a little over-the-top, but as I re-read it, it was indeed achievable. In addition to goals, there was a resulting dollar amount tied to most everything. His was written in a way that it broke big ideas down and detailed certain parts of his visualized accomplishments.

Using my coach’s visualization as a model, I developed my own. It is one page. It serves as a motivation and helps me focus every single day (I have it right next to my keyboard, and on my fridge).

It’s easy to get distracted, or at least wonder if I’m distracted (I have JibberJobber stuff (design for the programmers, marketing and PR, accounting, admin stuff, etc.), this blog, book marketing (thank goodness the writing is done!), and a conference that I’m putting on with a partner in October. Not to mention stuff outside of work… I’m pretty busy, and it’s easy for me to either get too focused on one thing, or spend a lot of time on a lot of things with no focus.

That’s where the visualization comes in – like I said, it does two things for me:

  1. It motivates me. I look at the numbers, which right now are targets, and think about how things will be different once I achieve them. My visualization very specifically declares the income I’ll have from various revenue streams, and for a guy coming out of unemployment, that’s very motivating.
  2. It refocuses me. My most important target is in the first five words of the visualization document. It just happened that way – which is interesting because it’s obviously the most important thing on my mind when I wrote it. But now, more than 60 days after I wrote it, I find myself using the visualization to see if I’m deviating, or indeed working towards the goals I set.

I can’t share my personal visualization here on my blog – it’s too private. But tomorrow I’ll write a visualization that I should have written for my job search… and you’ll see how it differs from a regular old mission statement.

Have you gone through the visualization exercise, formally? If so, has it been beneficial to you?

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7 Responses to “The Visualization – Where Will You Be?”

  1. Chuck says:

    Before I saw this post, I wrote on my blog extolling the virtues of a personal mission statement by coincidence.

    I’ve also encouraged bloggers to write and publish their own on their sites. I understand why you wouldn’t want to publish yours (I’m sure many bloggers feel that way), but I’ll be interested in comparing and contrasting your post tomorrow to what I’ve posted recently.

    Looking forward to it!

  2. Darlene says:

    I just came from a speaking engagement, I was the speaker. My audience, business people and entrepreneurs. I spoke about goal setting and visualizing what they want to accomplish. I gave them a homework assignment before I even got into the meat of my discussion with them. Because I wanted them to know before they even heard me speak, that goals are all about action. What do you do on a annually/quarterly/monthly/weekly/daily basis to accomplish the things you say are most important to you. Seeing what you want to accomplish is 90% or more of the battle.

    One of my friends, his name is Mike, he said that if we write down our goals the night before, while you are sleeping, your subconscious is working for you all night (for free), creating ways for you to accomplish what you have declared on paper that you want to accomplish. Your subconscious will move things around and find creative solutions to help you be successful! That is GOOD STUFF!

    Can you see it? (You define the “it”)

    Darlene
    Interview Guru
    http://www.interviewchatter.com

  3. Krystyna says:

    Positive visualization makes us stronger, does not matter what. As Darlene said, it’s good to visualize before sleep to create what we plan. Visualizion should be in present time; not past or future.

  4. [...] Yesterday I introduced the idea of a visualization, which my coach prompted me to write. Today I will present a visualization that is similar to my business visualization, but customized to my job search from last year (still very fresh on my mind ). [...]

  5. nina ham says:

    As a career coach, I’m delighted to know you found value in doing a visualization, in spite of your initial skepticism. I’ve used visualizations with many of my clients who have been recently traumatized by a lay-off and need a structure for starting to think about what’s next. Another approach I’m very excited about is story-telling as part of a career search. It allows imagination and dreaming, as well as making room for all the uniquely personal life issues that need to be taken into account during a career search. A new book on the topic coming out soon is A Storied Career by Katherine Hansen. Here’s a link to an article of hers already published: /www.quintcareers.com/story_of_ideal_career.html

  6. [...] 4. Do you have a job search coach? This isn’t necessarily someone that you pay (you can’t afford that, as per your e-mail below), but you should be able to find someone that can help you and ask “I really need some help. Would you be able to be my job coach, meet with me weekly, and hold me accountable for my job search?” This person should ensure that you are doing the right things in your search, and will have an interest in your success. Do not underestimate the power of bringing someone in to help you (but, not your spouse). [...]

  7. [...] at JibberJobber posted about The Visualization – Where Will You Be? and Career Management Visualization – an [...]

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