A Mom’s dying wish

A dying mother’s handwritten note to her family ended with this message:
Keep putting one foot in front of the other . . .
there’s a brighter tomorrow that’s just down the road.
Don’t look back, you are not going that way.

When I found a copy of this note in my file from a young woman I knew years ago who died from pancreatic cancer, it hit me, once again, that her advice to her children was profound.

Our thoughts about what’s ahead, what we want to do, what we can do, what is possible, pull us forward. Keeping our eyes on the goals we set for ourselves strengthens our resolve to get there. Step by step, one foot in front of the other.

When we think of things we want to get better at, it brings to mind a mental vision of us doing it. Picturing ourselves working on getting better at whatever it is, and how we will look, feel, act, sound, be, is vital to getting there.

Visualizing as a means to an end has been proven successful for centuries.

Here’s an approach that works. Picture – right now – something you want to get better at. It could be a something you want to strengthen within, or maybe it’s a visible behavior you’d like to improve upon. I’ll use speaking up at meetings with calm confidence as an example.

Fill in the picture with details of the way way you want to be. How you want to be viewed. Focus on your breathing, posture, facial expression, tone of voice, eye contact, position of your hands and feet, your overall mental state.

See yourself at ease with your content, acknowledging what you know and don’t know in a way that strengthens trust in you from those in attendance. You finish the meeting feeling good about how it went.

Now take a mental picture of it (or video) and allow it to set in your brain. Hold it there for 15, 30 seconds.

This vision is yours to bring to mind any time you want to now. I suggest being intentional about it. Bring it to mind a few times a day. How about morning, noon and night? You could set a timer or put it on your calendar as a recurring appointment. Or both.

The best leaders in every industry, at every level, visualize regularly to pull themselves forward. You can, too.

If you already have the habit of visualizing, I’d love to hear what it’s done for you.

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