People who succeed physically as well as mentally, such as major league athletes, famous dancers and award winning entertainers, are imbued with feelings and states of inspiration that are deeply personal to them. Some successful celebrities are not aware of what inspires them to excel, while others utilize the sources of their inspiration to motivate and propel themselves to enormous feats of achievement. This latter group typically cites dramatic examples of deep personal inspiration.
Eamonn Coghlan, the long-time Irish world champion, topped off his career in 1994 by becoming the first person over forty to run the mile in under four minutes. Earlier, in 1983, Coghlan became the first person to run the indoor mile in under 3:50. He broke that record shortly after the death of his father and both his boyhood and college coaches. While visiting their gravesites before the race, he came upon a newly inscribed epitaph on his coach’s headstone. It read: “Don’t quit until you’re beaten; fight back to an even greater victory, not only in competition but in life.” This filled Coghlan with passion and a sense of mission. He plucked some grass from the grave, which he carried into the race as a reminder of his coach’s advice, and went on to achieve one of the great records of track and field.
In our journeys through life, many of us aspire to mastery and personal fulfillment, either in our personal or professional lives. Deep inside, we all desire to achieve such fulfillment by manifesting our unique gifts and abilities. While life’s greatest achievers undoubtedly possess talent, what really fuels their greatest successes is their ability to tap into their tremendous passion and desire in the pursuit of personal excellence.
Fortunately, the methods to tap into the energies that fuel our spirit are available to everyone by adapting the tools from sports via eidetic imagery, the mental image science which incorporates the study of mind/body psychology. Eidetic imagery is a great tool to link one’s mind with their physical and emotional responses into congruent expressions of power and inspiration, enabling each person to uncover their innate, natural ability and bridge the gap between their potential and their performance.
Example: Fred, a corporate executive who wanted to be at the top of his field, just received a big promotion with added money, perks and greater responsibilities. Fred was thrilled, but the public speaking required in his new position made him extremely nervous. He took public speaking lessons from a well-known agency and received helpful advice including how to dress, how to stand, make eye contact with the audience and speak as if he was talking to a friend. Notwithstanding his lessons, Fred remained very afraid. He realized memorizing rules was not enough; he really needed to develop the inner confidence that would naturally overcome his fear of speaking. Fred worked with me to find an eidetic mind-body image where all of his energies could be holistically mobilized for optimal confidence and speech delivery.
First, Fred was asked to visualize himself delivering a speech. In the image Fred saw that he froze before the audience, that his heart was held in and seemed to almost stop beating. He was tense.
Next, I asked Fred to remember a time in his childhood when his heart was beating strongly with natural excitement and exuberance, an instruction to bring out his natural “high.” An image suddenly popped into his mind. Fred saw himself playing baseball. He was up at bat and hit the ball into center field. He heard the cheering of his teammates and shouts of “run, run, run.” Fred was thrilled, filled with elation; his heart was beating strongly as he ran. Excitement, exuberance, elation coursed through Fred while visualizing the image. He realized this was his natural high. He’d experienced this high many times before — when he asked his wife to marry him, when he learned to fly an airplane, when he was promoted at work. It was familiar to him when breakthrough — exciting things happened.
As Fred saw the image he felt power, excitement and energy filling him. With this sense of power he was instructed, “Now, see yourself giving a speech. Giving a speech is like making a really good hit. See yourself swing the bat, your heartbeat comes forward, let the good swinging feeling of the bat come forward and flow into giving your speech.”
Fred responded, “I see the bat in my hand and my heart beating. I swing the bat powerfully. I feel good, confident, and powerful. I see myself give a speech. I feel good, strong. I swing the bat — I give the speech — I feel the ‘high.’ The excitement of swinging the bat is transferring to giving a speech. I can see that they are the same thing: the same potent expression of me.”
Fred practiced this image before his first big speech and later reported, “I gave the speech having practiced the image many times before speaking. When I got up there I surprised myself. I experienced a tremendous physical feeling that came over me in the middle of the speech. I was exhilarated in a way I had not known before. I was relaxed, my heart was beating strongly and I spoke right from my heart and gut. All the energies I needed were right there and I did great. I mastered my fear and am at the next level of my own personal achievement!”
By bringing back the image of hitting the baseball, Fred reconnected to a high state of his natural exuberance. Adding the heartbeat helped him to focus his power and added physical potency to his ability.
Evoking our deepest most potent inspirations that impact our minds, bodies and psyches is available to us through imaging. Through eidetic imagery science has gained access to our great brain with its complex, ongoing mind-body flow, so that it’s now possible to bring forward our best mental, emotional and physical states. Like Fred giving the speech, through these images we can transform weakness into strength, fear into courage, self-doubt into self-confidence — all from the core of the inner self where our genetic powers lie.
Positive states of well-being and relaxation, and high states of inspiration are our genetic birthright, and provide us with an energetic approach to life. High states are imbued with a spirit of exuberance and imagination, such as are frequently found in our childhood experiences. To attain success, these high states, positive attitudes or “expectation highs,” which are often lost due to the demands of adult life, must be retrieved to gear us up before the big event and sweep us to victory.
Eidetic imagery is not simply mechanistic training, but a deeply personal and holistic experience. Instead of spending time rote learning unfamiliar training techniques which tell you what to do or how to do it, eidetic imagery lets you access from your own innate knowledge your deep and natural desire to perform to the best of your ability. It links your body and mind so that instead of struggling to overcome a fear, you joyfully work to achieve your goal.
Eidetic image techniques are useful not only for finding the motivation to excel and overcome obstacles but, also to achieve your personal best in any physical activity — running, walking, aerobics, basketball, baseball, bowling, soccer, golf, tennis, dancing and a host of other physical activities.
Imagery research over the past quarter century has demonstrated that eidetic images send neural signals from the brain to the body’s nerves and muscles, affecting not only our emotional and mental states but our physical body as well. Inside our mind exists a hologram of vast information about life. Our brains are incredibly sensitive, powerful and complex machines that regulate and affect the functioning of our bodies and the equilibrium of our physical, mental, and emotional states. It is now widely accepted in scientific communities that the body and mind are so indelibly interconnected that there is no distinct separation between the two. In fact, body and mind, with their mysterious and subtle links are indeed one back-and-forth uninterrupted flow of chemical and neurological signals.
Modern sports stars describe the sensation of opening onefs self up to that stream of effortless energy and power as being in the zone.h The zone is available in one degree or another to all of us. People who are exceptionally successful are able to put themselves into a high state of sustained concentration, sometimes with trance-like qualities, a mind-body connection. And, it's not limited to sports and other physical activities; sales people do it, trial lawyers arguing before a jury experience it, and teachers experience it in the classroom.
Do we all have varying genetic abilities? Of course we do. But, while we may not all be genetically engineered to win Olympic Gold, every person can improve the quality of their everyday life by going deep within and finding the basic gifts that will stir them to bring out the most potent abilities possible.
In a way, our genetic imprinting is analogous to the seed of an oak tree. The tree's seed is innately programmed to be a magnificent, large and vibrant tree. It is planted into the ground and as it grows, acid rain (father's criticisms, accidents, emotional trauma) falls on it. It ends up being a shabby replica of the original intention nature had for it. As humans, we suffer the same fate as that oak tree. Our natural gifts are often disturbed by the historical events of our lives. However, when cared for properly and given pure, clear water, the tree restores itself and regains its original capacities, new leaves and branches spring forth. We are part of nature and the same as the tree. With the right "nourishment" we too can regain our natural genetic capacities.
Here are some eidetic imagery exercises that will help bring out your most potent abilities:
MENTAL PREPARATION IMAGE This image gets you prepared to do physical activities by putting you in a calm and relaxed state of mind with intentionality directed toward the upcoming event.
- 1. See that you come into an empty place.
- 2. This empty place is where your energies come together.
- 3. See that you are preparing to launch out.
- 4. Concentrate on this feeling of coming together in this empty place and getting ready for the activity.
- 5. See that your energies are coming together.
- 6. See that you are getting ready.
- 7. See that you are going to launch out.
- 8. See that you will do the impossible.
HEART-DRUMMING IMAGE This heartbeat image can be used when engaging in any sport or physical activity (running, dance, soccer, etc).
- 1. Remember, your heartbeat becomes stronger during physical performance.
- 2. Now, feel your heartbeat and see that it pumps stronger.
- 3. See that you can hear the drumming of your heart. There is imagination in this heartbeat. As your heart beats, it goes in rhythm with your imagination.
- 4. See yourself performing and let the heart beat.
- 5. You become stronger, your performance is more pleasurable and easier to release.
- 6. How does your performance change when you add the image of your heart?
HIGH PERFORMANCE IMAGE:
- 1. See an image of performing in an executive or any type of work activity that you enjoy.
- 2. See what you love about it, what makes you high as you do it.
- 3. Let this high feeling envelop you. Feel it in your body.
- 4. Let it get you high.
- 5. This is the passion in your performance.
- 6. See that you perform your executive duties with this high feeling.
- 7. This is the power in you.
Reference: All image instructions developed by Dr. Akhter Ahsen.