What athletes think about has a profound effect on how they perform—both negatively and positively. American sportswriter George Plimpton’s Sports! (1978) identifies the “self-satisfying optimism” that permeated the mind of soccer star Pelé under the stress of contest:
In the New York Cosmos’ locker room, it was Pelé’s ritual to lie on the floor with his feet elevated on a bench, one towel neatly folded under his head, another shielding his eyes. Half in, half out of his cubicle, he would begin a sort of waking dream—pleasurable scenes of playing barefoot on Brazilian beaches, playbacks of triumphs of his astonishing career that he planned to emulate. The more important the game, the longer his dream. On the occasion of the first huge crowd the Cosmos drew in New Jersey’s Meadowlands—62,394 people—he spent 25 minutes under his towel and then scored three goals against the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Idea for Impact: Foreseeing yourself succeed helps you believe that it can happen.
Before you meet with a new sales prospect or when you’re procrastinating on any daunting task, take some time to imagine richly what you will see, taste, hear, smell, and feel once you’re successful.
Use the power of visualization to evoke the future self, who’s achieved your goals. See in your mind’s eye the finish line you’re aiming at.
Visualize what “done” looks like. Imagine the sense of achievement. Envision the relief of being finished. See the fame, rewards, accolades, awards, adulation, satisfaction you’ll receive in your mind’s eye.
Imagine taking action.
Visualize achieving your goal.
Now make it happen.