Visualization is actually a simple everyday thing which almost all of us are unconsciously doing.

Many accountants can mentally take a set of figures, visualize a Balance Sheet or Profit & Loss Account and can instantly tell you what will happen to the numbers if a particular amount is treated as an expense or capitalized. Mechanics can visualize the complex interplay of moving parts, as much as a surgeon can visualize our internal organs.

One can use it in hundreds of different ways, from repairing a machine or a gadget to plotting a novel way to reach Mars, far more economically than the Americans did. In fact, it performs almost the same function as a simulator, except that the human imagination which powers the visualization process is far more powerful.

Since it was given to us without our asking for it, and particularly, since there is no cost attached to it, most people are not even aware that they visualize; much less that it is a great tool which we can sharpen for use in our daily life.

It is the one thing which is as useful to the entrepreneur as it is to the woman in marketing or research or to the line workman.

We would value it as much if not more, if we had to actually go to a store to buy it!

What does a simulator do?

It helps you to train a person to drive a car or any other vehicle by giving her or him, all the visual, aural and tactile effects to create the exact experience of the vehicle he will actually drive one day.

But an innocent child needs no simulator. The little piece of wood or a small toy car is as real in his head as the real thing. Imagination and visualization do the rest, accompanied by realistic grinding sounds as the car takes sudden turns, swerves, avoids other cars and finally meets its end with a terrifying sound…accident!

Astronauts use simulators to understand how to navigate in a weightless environment or to do repair jobs where the tools may go floating in the air.

Visualization helps you to do exactly the same thing, at zero cost and all that you need is your own mind.

Imagination and Visualization

What is the difference between Imagination and Visualization?

Imagination refers to the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses.

Visualization is the representation of an object, situation, or set of information as a chart or other image. It is also the formation of a mental image of something.

For example, when the apple hit Newton on the head, he automatically visualized it falling down from the tree, wondered why it fell down and not up and imaginatively deduced that there must be a Force pulling it down… which we now call gravity.

Imagination & Visualization feed on each other. It is impossible to think of the one without thinking of the other. Both are crucial to what we call human intelligence and many or most of man’s achievements on this planet would be impossible without imagination and the ability to visualize. Here we use the words almost interchangeably.

Visualization is the simple technique of creating the things you want in life, first in your mind. You can use it in everyday life for organizing things.

An Olympic Platform Diver

Let’s take one example which tells us how the power of visualization operates. The Olympic Platform Diver is leaping from a platform 10 meters high and hits the water at upwards of 30 miles per hour. The time actually available for her or him to perform acrobatics is 1.45 seconds or so. Within that time, let’s say she or he have to do 3 some results and straighten out to hit the water or do a backward flip, half turn, double somersault and straighten out to hit the water.

You can see, there is hardly any time to think through the required movements before the body hits the water. So, the diver has to be programmed through set body, arm & leg movements and the awesome power of visualizing her own body, movement of limbs etc, to perform flawless acrobatics and straighten out piercing the water without a splash. The fixed stare of the diver reveals the extraordinary effort needed to reach that level of concentration, where the programmed visualization is dredged up in the mind, so as to prepare the sub-conscious to take over the body for the next 1.45 seconds or so.

To a lesser degree the power of visualization is used even in touch typing, to instill what is called “muscle memory’’.  The keys and their interrelation are visualized and re-enforced through constant practice to the point the fingers seem to know where the keys are without conscious thought.

Which are the areas in which Visualization can help?

As far as MSMEs or Industry in general are concerned there is scarcely an area in which the power of visualization does not help.

  • Planning your factory layout.
  • Marketing
  • Meetings & Negotiations
  • Finance & Accounts
  • Research/New Products
  • Organizing Events
  • Logistics
  • Human Relations
  • Health

Practice visualization as a tool…

All of us, to a greater or lesser extent use visualization &imagination in our everyday lives. However, very few of us are actually aware what an important and mighty tool visualization can become in our work and personal lives.

Different people are born with different abilities. So too it is with visualization.

But while not everyone is gifted with outstanding powers of visualization or imagination, there is scarcely a person who is not happy with what someone else has imagined or visualized.Whether it is an idol in a temple or a painting in an art gallery or a brochure for an industrial product virtually everyone relates better to imagery.

There can be a dramatic change and edge in what one accomplishes if we can consciously apply visualization as a tool.

Innovations and Inventions

Visualization can be thought of as an aerial view of the landscape, object or even ideas or symbols.Start by stilling the body, closing one’s eyes and in the darkness, allowing the mind to move freely. So, for example, you can actually visualize the room you are in, then move out of the room, mentally explore each room in turn, actually think you are suspended from the ceiling and view the furniture from above, move out of the building, rise above it, view the local area from above, move higher and view the city from above and so on.

This is a very interesting exercise. Sometimes, you will be surprised at how many features of your office or home or the surroundings your mind has observed without your even being conscious about it.

Actually, this is what a marketing man does when he plans to introduce his line of products in a new town. He travels a lot, checks out a lot of stores in town, talks to many people and assembles the thousands of facts and impressions which build up a visual picture of the town as a whole, its features and peculiarities, its traffic flow and culture, the areas of prosperity and the areas of poverty.

All of this is the material he needs, to visualize an aerial, as well as, a ground level view of the town. The better the picture he builds up, the finer the visualization, the better his imagination can come up with the innovations necessary for his campaign.

What it does, is to give him an overall sweeping view of things, which any amount of dry data or statistics can simply not supplant.

It does not apply to just marketing. What imagination does is to go one step beyond visualization and think up something totally novel and out-of-the box. This is what leads us to innovations & inventions.

Visualizing and the art of communication…

Whether you are writing or speaking, visualization is a truly great help.

Those of you who are jittery about stepping on stage or giving a talk will find that visualizing yourself on stage, speaking confidently; with a rapt audience giving you a thundering applause at the end is no mumbo-jumbo, but a very sensible way of boosting oneself.

It does a lot to counter a hundred nameless fears and above all the fear-of-failure which is lurking just below the skin for most of us.

But that is not the only advantage. As you practice and develop your capacity for visualization, you will notice a strange spin-off in your communicative ability. Your writing which was pretty dry will suddenly acquire the quality of a painting. That is because words will not only describe thoughts; your words will begin to literally paint a picture of what you are now able to visualize. The impact of the verbal imagery on your listeners will be vastly more powerful.

What is the magic which has happened? Simply that you have learned to see in pictures….to visualize.

Visualize the outcome as if it is a done deal…

Whether we are thinking of how to introduce a new product in Shimoga or the layout of a new housing complex in Gurgaon or composing our mind as we enter an interview, in each case, the more powerfully we can visualize the outcome we want, the more synchronized and purposeful our actions and words will be, in achieving it.

If on can actually see tall buildings, visualize the façade, see the swimming pool, children playing in the garden, the jogging path and senior citizens on a garden bench, where if you blinked, there is actually only tall grass and bare patches of land. That should make you happy.

This vision, this picture will be the driving force infusing your sub-conscious with the power to overcome a thousand glitches, reverses and pitfalls.

It is precisely to help people who have this inability to visualize, that Architects who create plans on paper, prepare scaled down mode is or brochures or videos. Spatial vision is not given to everyone. But give them a realistic model or image or video and the impact is immediate. A picture they say is worth a thousand words. That is the power of visualization.

In sum…

Let us be clear. The power of visualization and imagination are not given to everyone. For many people it is an effort. What is beyond doubt is that images are the best way to communicate a thought or even emotions, even to those who are not very imaginative.

Can visualization be taught or improved with practice? The answer is a resounding yes.

Does it have practical use? The answer is a resounding yes.

Is it transformational; meaning does it have the power to change the way one is leading life? At work? At home? Relationships? The answer is another resounding yes.

The most beautiful aspect is that there is no cost attached to it. The power lies within you. You can do it all by yourself.




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