Did you know that even before events happen the brain has already made a prediction about what is most likely to happen, sets in motion the perception, behaviors, emotions, physiological responses and interpersonal ways of relating that best fit with that which is predicted? Amazing as this sounds, psychiatrist Dr. Regina Pally states that studies in the field of neuroscience tell us “we learn from the past what to predict for the future and then live the future we expect.”
Perhaps NBA superstar Michael Jordan put it more succinctly: “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” Continuing to refer to studies in the field of neuroscience, it is much easier to achieve something if you can visualize yourself already achieving it. As we struggle over creating our mission and vision statements, we are forced to focus on our desired future and to consolidate that future in our mind. Even without being consciously aware, our brain begins to set in motion that which is needed to make this outcome possible. There are activities to promote this reaction.
Here are two examples. Pretend it is five years from now and you are living in your ideal future. Write several diary entries pertaining to that future. Visualize this scene: you are attending a talk as part of a large audience. Everyone in the audience is deeply touched and inspired by the speaker. The speaker is you, fifteen years from now. Ideas move from the impossible to the improbable, from the improbable to the possible, then, finally, the possible to the actionable. In other words, the more we talk about our vision, the more we envision it actually happening, and the greater the chance it becomes possible.