Active visualization of desired task

지난달

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I recently started reading a book called "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" written by R. Stephen Covey.

I expected the book to be some kind of motivational fancy 200 page long essay about how Bill Gates spends 60 minutes before bed reading or how Jeff Bezos spends I don't know how much time doing yoga before making any serious decision.

Instead, I was greeted with a lot of useful information and some different perspectives on life and becoming better as an individual that actually made me think about myself a bit and how the way I see things influences the way I do them. That was quite a pleasant surprise.

The bit that I want to focus on right now is a part of chapter 2 that focuses on the idea of visualization and self "programming".

Now, before you roll your eyes and click away, give me a chance to explain.

I roll my eyes as well whenever I see terms such as "visualization" and self "programming", because they usually involve two things: the idea that if you think about it and you really desire it, somehow the infinite universe will focus specifically on your desires (you absolute princess) and will help you achieve it, or the idea that you are being "programmed" by the world to want and do something (like watching television PROGRAMS), and brainwashed, and how you should change that and rewire your own brain.

But it's not the case here.

Visualization, as the way the author describes it, is exactly what it sounds like - visualizing a specific situation you might be in at some point in the future, in order to familiarize yourself with the situation, the results you are striving for and how you will get to those results.

That is something most of us do, quite a lot actually. I know I do it pretty much every time I get out of my house (which happens rarely, especially now), and I know it helped me get past a lot of things in life, simply because I had some kind of a mental "plan" set in place for whatever I had in a particular day, which resulted from me visualizing and thinking about that specific thing for hours.

The second concept, "programming", is you, visualizing a specific situation in which you dislike the way you act, and then actively re-imagining yourself in the same situation, but with the desired attitude, and, finally, acting in that particular situation, in real life, with the desired attitude instead of the undesired one.

Both concepts are quite interesting and, if you have nothing to read at the moment, I suggest you give the book a try in order to better understand them.

What I want to focus on right now is the act of visualizing a desired task.

I've been having problems with my motivation lately, regarding pretty much anything in my life, including the things I used to love doing, like playing games, writing, or creating art, and no matter how much I tried, I just couldn't get back the enthusiasm I had years ago for any of those things.

One pattern I noticed, however, was the fact that I always get short bursts of motivation for one or two things, that last a few days or weeks, then stop, and most of those bursts come to me after consuming content, or watching something related to those type of activities.

For example, watching several videos about programming makes me want to code. Watching several videos about writing makes me want to write. Watching several gameplay videos make me want to play some games.

That's mainly because I get easily motivated when I see people doing something that I like better than me. It's why I get really motivated whenever I watch movies with smart characters in them, like V from the movie "V for Vendetta".

But it's also because watching those videos, made me visualize myself doing those particular activities. They made me visualize myself coding, or writing, or playing games, and enjoying it, and all that gave me a bit of motivation to try and do those things myself.

That's an interesting thing, and it obviously is related to visualization. So, I decided to try to conduct another small "experiment" on myself, like I did in the past when I timed every minute I worked to see exactly how productive I am, or when I watched certain type of movies before starting to work.

This time however, the experiment will be quite simple - I will try to visualize myself writing every day, for a week, and see how motivated I am to actually do it.

What that means is that I will try to think about writing, about posting, about getting rewarded for my work, about making some money with writing, about getting better, and so on, all things I actually want to achieve when I write.

Visualizing all that should, in theory at least, make me think more about the act of writing, of taking my ideas and sharing them with you. And if that's the case, then it might be what I need, at least temporarily, to get back the motivation I want.

Theoretically, I wouldn't need motivation. As I said in the past, consistency is actually the most important part. However, I will not be able to be consistent for long, since in a few weeks, or months, I'm gonna start working again (as in, a proper job), and I will have to break that consistency. So, for now, I'll focus on motivation.

I will try to "document" this experiment and tell you the result at the end of the week. I will not set a limit to how much I'll write, and how many articles I'll post, so we'll just have to see.

To increase the chances for this experiment to succeed, I will also try to surround myself with elements that should remind me of the activity I want to do. I will change my desktop and phone wallpapers to something related to writing, I will watch more videos made by writers, maybe even watch a movie about a famous writer.

At the end of the week, we'll see how all this went.

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