The Power of Visualization: One Man’s Journey by Clint Warren

I recently connected with Clint Warren and I’m so excited to have him share his story here on Daily Alchemy. I think you will quickly see that he is an incredible example of the truth that we end up we focus our vision and our past does not determine our future. I’m sure you will find him as inspiring as I do. Here’s Clint:

The Power of Visualization: One Man’s Journey by Clint Warren

Let me start by quickly introducing myself and my background. My name is Clint Warren – I’m an ex-con and recovering heroin addict turned motivational speaker, author, and entrepreneur. When people ask how I made that transition so quickly, my answer is pretty simple: I started replacing my bad habits with great habits. My driver’s license says it better than I can:

 

Today I’m going to walk you through one of my favorite daily rituals: visualization. I’ll share with you when I started the practice, the initial and sustained results, then provide some tips and resources so you can incorporate this powerful ritual into your life. I greatly appreciate you allowing me to share my time and energy with you.

I first started the practice of visualization in prison. I had been sentenced to 10 months in Connecticut in January 2013 after being arrested on marijuana trafficking charges in 2011. I used the experience to devour self-help literature and reflect about my future. In this case I was reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

At the time, I was focused on creating a WordPress educational business when I got out – workshops to teach people how to build and maintain basic WordPress websites. In addition to writing an outline of the course material and business plan, I began to visualize the first workshop by writing out a detailed description of what it would feel like. Below is the actual scan of my prison journal, for the visualization I wrote out on March 18, 2013:

I would sit on my bunk every morning, after meditating, and visualize achieving this goal. I made the scene as detailed as possible – imagining details like the cut of my pants, color of my shirt, the look on students’ faces and the workbooks in their hands.

When I got out of prison (was released May 23, 2013 for good behavior), I hit the ground running. Visualization is only the first step – without action it’s just a fantasy. Every day I asked myself what I could be doing to turn that vision to reality. Magically, people started to appear in my life who could help me with critical elements of the mission – the venue, a designer, even a legendary marketing mentor. My vision became their vision. We spent the next few months hustling to fill the seats for the first workshop, which occurred on Sept. 28, 2013:

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Virtually every detail matched what I’d rehearsed in my mind for nearly 5 months.

A dangerous thing happened after that event though – I didn’t have another visualization lined up. I began to feel very unfocused and unproductive. I lacked purpose. Then someone pointed out that I’d been working so hard towards a goal for the past 5 months – I needed to figure out what’s next.

I realized my next goal when I went to WordCamp in Boston. WordCamp is a WordPress conference, and when I was in prison one of my ‘goals when out’ was to bring the first WordCamp to Connecticut. So I began to visualize it. Sure enough, someone reached out wanting to help organize and we got the ball rolling. I held the visualization in my mind for the next several months, filling in more details as it came together. On May 10, 2014, we brought the first WordPress conference to Connecticut (on the left is the audience for the keynote speech, on the right is myself introducing keynote speaker Andrew Nacin):

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Opportunities and people continue to flood in my life with abundance. I realize now that the more I give away and the more I help people; the more that floods in. It’s a universal principle I live by, but it starts by clearly knowing what you want, and focusing on it every day.

Tips for Visualization

I recommend visualizing at least once per day, even for just a few minutes. Here are some general tips to help guide you:

  • Use all 5 senses. In your visualization imagine the feeling, the sound, the sight, the smell, even the taste if possible. Make your scene as detailed as possible. By default, you will lean towards 1 sense, but make a concerted effort to incorporate all of them.
  • Write it down and revise it over time. Write out your visualization and continue revising it to add details as they come to you. You’ll be focusing on it each day and what starts out as a vague scene will gradually get more vivid.
  • Set aside a specific time each day to visualize. I prefer in the morning right after my meditation session. If possible, anchor this activity to another habit you already have to make it stick. Put a printout of your visualization next to your toothbrush, for example, so that you do it after you brush your teeth. Make it a habit every day to imagine this outcome and internalize it. Often I will visualize before going to bed as well to let the imagery seep into my subconscious before I fall asleep.
  • Create a collage or ‘dream board’. What can be helpful is creating a ‘dream board’ or collage – a visual representation of you achieving the visualization. When I was imagining the success of my Six Figure Freelancer workshop I created a collage of famous motivational speakers and Photoshopped my head onto them. I held this image in my mind as I began to visualize the first workshop.
  • Take massive action. Do something every day to move your vision forward.

For additional reading, check out Creative Visualization and the associated workbook by Shakti Gawain – highly recommended for developing this powerful practice.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to learn more about the 7 Key Habits that dramatically changed my life, click here to grab a copy of my free ebook, or join me at http://clintwarren.com.

 

 

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