What would you-at-your-best do? Would you flash smiles to lift spirits? Would you build networks of chums who serve as secret Santas at Christmas? Or would you spend your life-savings on Botox and a plastic chest?
You don’t need to look like Wonder Woman to flourish. Author Maxwell Maltz says seek out your most genuine self instead. A self not driven by ego, but by dignity.
Specifically, Maltz says to daydream, daily, a ten-minute mental-movie of your ideal self. Imagine your best behavior and peoples? positive responses. Imagine the objects, scents, sounds, and sensations surrounding you. Watch yourself as if You’re the audience.
Go further: play out your biggest dreams in mental movies. How would you feel if you achieved glory? By imagining success, you bee-line your subconscious toward getting the goal.
When I dwell on my dreams, I drum up feelings of euphoria. But That’s not how realized dreams feel. When I won a silver medallion for academics, I felt glory, but also mixed feelings. My relationship fell apart. My mom and her family didn’t show up. I felt fearful of facing life alone.
And sometimes our dreams don’t lead to glory. Consider superficial dreams: fame, good-looks, wealth. We flourish with these things, but only when coupled with integrity. Without integrity, these dreams lead to suffering.
So, when you imagine your mental movie, strive for goals that lead to optimal outcomes you feel good about?that don’t lead to regret.
Recently, I imagined myself showcasing a tech-piece at an art exhibit. I imagined shadows lighting an auditorium, videos murmuring within a silence, and abstract imagery lacing the aisles. I then imagined my tech-piece birthing thought, smiles, or laughter from onlookers.
My mental movie didn’t spark euphoria?instead, it gave me peace. And it awoke my subconscious. Fast-track your dreams by sincerely watching your mental movies.
Maxwell Maltz in his book Psycho-Cybernetics: Updated and Expanded explores the power of imagination?and mental movies. His key ideas sit in bold below:
We can use our imagination for our benefit or our harm. Focus your energies on beneficial thoughts.
When we fail to act, we don’t do so because of a lack of willpower. We do so because of a lack of imagination. So, imagine your best self.
Our nervous systems react to both real stimuli and imagined stimuli. Optimize the contents of your imagination.
Our beliefs cause us to act in certain ways. Hold beliefs that benefit you and those around you.
Our mental movies act as “practice” for beneficial behaviors. Practice your ideal behaviors.
When we imagine successful people, they model our behaviors. Inspire yourself through successful role models.
Our imaginings of good form lead to actual good form. Imagine yourself performing your best, and your subconscious will autocorrect weaknesses in your form.
Our subconscious shifts when we play mental movies of our peak performance. Play mental movies of yourself realizing your dreams. Soon, you will come to act your ideal self “automatically and spontaneously?without even trying” (p. 51).
We add to our mental movies when we imagine past successes and let them guide our future goals. Call up something you did that excited you?a success. Invite that feeling into your mental movie.
We need to strive toward benefiting humanity. Act cheerful, serve others, and emanate love.
Lotto winners, supermodels, and celebrities can suffer or flourish. So, star with integrity in the mental movies streamlining your dreams.