Earlier this week, I heard a New York disc jockey talking about Michael Strahan beginning his stint next to Kelly Ripa on “Live! with Kelly and Michael.” The DJ mentioned that back in 2008 when Strahan was a guest with Ripa and then-host Regis Philbin, he said after football a nice dream job would be to host the very show he was on at that moment.
Strahan says now it was a joke and he probably believes it was, but I beg to differ.
I’m calling it a vision. A spoken wish. One that the former NFL star then proceeded to manifest.
See, I could keep writing – preaching? – about how important vision is in thinking about our goals, but nothing I say drives the point home quite like real life examples. When I talk about manifesting, a lot of people glaze over and wait for me to blink my eyes twice to get the magic party going.
Nope. That’s not how it works. They’re choosing not to hear because they don’t want to believe this can be a major step towards that goal happening. It makes it too real. Sometimes they feel foolish imagining themselves in dream scenarios and, even tougher, expressing that vision to another human being. Or, in the case of Strahan, voicing it in front of a major viewing audience.
Bear in mind this is a man whose last year in the NFL ended in magical fashion when the Giants upset the then-undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. He knows how to set his sights on something.
To be clear, I’m not here to guarantee you that something you can clearly vision, something you see in your head every day, will come to fruition. There’s way too much else that plays in. However, I will state unequivocally that if you have a goal or desire and you can see it happening, feel it happening, and express that, it has a better chance of coming to fruition than if you can’t or don’t.
Let’s look at this more closely.
Can you see yourself speaking in front of a packed auditorium? Can you see a commuter reading your novel on a train? How about what it feels like to lead a tour or advocate for people or hang a sign in front of your new store? Can you picture a client sporting a new outfit that reflects her personal style because you’ve helped her bring it out? Or feel the rush you might get from assisting a customer in framing the treasure he brought back from his vacation?
What do you want to accomplish? Can you see yourself doing it? Enough to say it out loud? How about enough to write it down? More than once. Over and over. To put it in a prominent place in your wallet or next to your desk so it keeps imprinting on your consciousness?
How about writing it out in a detailed vision? Or describing it aloud to someone? I often give my life coaching clients the option of writing a letter to themselves or to a friend a year from now and describe their lives with their stated goals already accomplished or well in progress.
One of my favorite aspects of coaching is reading these visions -- the details, the passion, the energetic shift that comes with a client completing the exercise. This is integral to laying the foundation of the coaching relationship. When a client struggles with visioning, I am persistent in getting her there. I need to know she can envision what it is she tells me she wants.
And that brings me to another piece of this. Carving out the time to think, to imagine, to be Babe Ruth pointing to the wall where he’s about to send the ball rocketing off his bat. Yes, to get that brazen. Yes, to make a call on what we plan to do. It doesn’t have to have that much drama and flourish. I’ve had clients pull pages from magazines with ideas for their ideal office or personal meditation space or front porch who were astounded months later to find the completed goal was strikingly similar to images they’d ripped out and stored in a folder. It had seeped in and stuck.
That is time well spent.
In a recent reprint of an interview with Jack Kerouac in The Paris Review, Ted Berrigan asks the author of On the Road about the ideal atmosphere for spontaneous writing.
“Well … how can you be in a trance with your mouth yapping away . . . writing at least is a silent meditation even though you’re going a hundred miles an hour,” Kerouac said. “Remember that scene in La Dolce Vita where the old priest is mad because a mob of maniacs has shown up to see the tree where the kids saw the Virgin Mary? He says, ‘Visions are not available in all this frenetic foolishness and yelling and pushing; visions are only obtainable in silence and meditation.’”
Not everybody needs to say it out loud in front of a national audience like Strahan. But that expressed wish, his continued persistence to take steps to make it come true, that’s something to think about emulating.
Nancy Colasurdo is a practicing life coach and freelance writer. Her Web site is www.nancola.com and you can follow her on Twitter @nancola. Please direct all questions/comments to FOXGamePlan@gmail.com.