The other day a young man asked, “What’s the difference between Theatre of the Mind and visualizing?”
First of all, the word visualizing is a misnomer. It confuses many people, in part, because they have doubts about their ability to do it.
I use the word “visualization” here and there because people are familiar with it, but when I put people through a Theatre of the Mind exercise, I do my best to avoid using the word.
Why? Because it gives the wrong impression. Many people think they cannot visualize. They think they cannot “see” with their eyes closed.
The same people who’ve hypnotized themselves to believe they don’t “see” with their eyes closed, will acknowledge being able to dream in pictures – as well as imagine in pictures. If you ask the person who says he cannot visualize if he can “imagine” – you’ll usually hear an “of course.”
Second, the above still appears to be talking about one sense though. It’s not. Theatre of the Mind is much more than using “inner vision.” It’s using ALL the external senses internally: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell.
Every sense that we have on the outside is capable of being developed on the inside. Just as something we dream about in the evening can come about in the day, so it is with Theatre of the Mind.
You can picture, taste, imagine, feel, sense, smell, touch and hear with your eyes closed. Instead of “seeing with eyes closed” you “SENSE” with eyes closed.
Third, when you do Theatre of the Mind, you access past memories and use them to your advantage. When people practice other forms of visualization, the past is usually ignored. The practitioner is future oriented. This is a mistake because it creates an “I’ll be happy when I achieve this goal” mindset.
Truth is, you may be happy for a short time after achieving your goal – but it won’t last long. Why? Because you’ve never practiced being happy. You’ve never practiced living without resistance and stress. And you cannot hold onto an emotional state for long that you don’t practice.
I remember telling this to a friend a few years ago. He began to argue with me, “Dr. Maltz said you need to have a nostalgia for the future,” he said.
“Do you know what the word nostalgia means?” I asked.
“A good feeling about the past,” he said.
“Correct. And how can you have a nostalgia for the future if you don’t know what it feels like to have nostalgia for the past? Ever think of
“Hmm, you got me there,” he said.
Your past and future are connected. In fact, your past, present and future are all right here, right now, in the now. The good news is you can choose which part of your past you use in the now to positively influence the future.
If you drag the negative past into the now, it influences the future to be negative. If you bring forth the positive past and relive it in the now, you influence the future to be positive.
Fourth and perhaps most important of all, Theatre of the Mind gives you peace of mind NOW. Dr. Maltz called peace of mind the greatest port in the world. He did not call the achievement of wealth, fame, titles and rank as the greatest port.
Peace of mind is the component lacking in so many programs. Because your focus is upon the goal, the future, the thing you must have in order to be happy, there’s no peace of mind built into your practice.
With Theatre of the Mind, peace of mind is built into what you’re doing. You understand that you do not find happiness when you achieve
a goal. You bring happiness to the goal. You bring peace of mind along with you. You can assume that happiness is a byproduct of achieving a goal – but you’d be assuming wrong.
Fifth, when you do Theatre of the Mind, your increase your physical abilities and skills. You don’t just achieve goals. You get GOOD at
whatever you’re doing in life.
Don’t know about you, but I think getting GOOD at something is one of the best things you can do for yourself and others. In fact, being BETTER than good is a great way to go, too. And along the way, if you’re willing to put in the time, maybe one day someone will be able to say you’re the BEST.
And it all starts with YOU.
P.S. I’m holding a free teleseminar tomorrow night for those of you who’ve already purchased a copy of Theatre of the Mind. It’s going to cover some important keys to living “One Breath at a Time” and seeing yourself at your best.