The Magic Of Mental Images

By Chris Crouch

As it turns out, it appears that your brain does not know the difference in real or imagined events. That’s why some golfers practice by imagining golf shots, some tennis players practice by imagining tennis shots and other athletes practice by imagining doing whatever their chosen sport requires them to do well. Pretty much the same brain cells fire whether you are doing something or thinking about doing it; and brain cells firing in unison is one way to describe learning.

Now let’s take this interesting aspect of the brain a little further. Why do you think children of actors often become actors, children of racecar drivers often become racecar drivers and children of politicians often become politicians? How do we end up with a Dale and Dale Jr., a Goldie and a Kate, a George and a George Jr. Think about it, what are the statistical odds that out of a population of over 300 million (of which approximately 90 percent are natural born citizens and therefore eligible to run for president), we somehow frequently end up with more than one president from the same family?

Perhaps this is because the racecar/actor/politician children don’t know any better. They grew up in an environment that often stimulated the firing of brain cells that triggered thoughts like: people in this family routinely become racecar drivers, or, people in this family become famous actors, or presidents. These children beat the incredibly long odds because their brains never fired cells that triggered thoughts about, “Don’t be ridiculous, you can’t do that!” Unfortunately, this sword sometimes cuts both ways and you end up with a Joe Screwup and a Joe Screwup Jr.

Let’s add one more element to this brainpower mix. Similar to the golf shot example, a strong and vivid mental image of what you want to happen can actually create a form of attracting tension similar to a magnet. This type tension can best be resolved by making real-world progress that moves you closer to your magnetic mental image. Unresolved tension is an incredibly powerful force. If I sang some of the beginning notes of a ditty but suddenly stopped before completing it, most of you would have an overwhelming urge to finish it. For example, if I sang “twinkle, twinkle, little star …” and paused, you would probably feel a strong urge to sing … (you fill in the blanks).

So, let’s get down to business. If you want something to happen in your career or your business, get your brain to work imagining exactly what you want to happen. Noted author James Allen said, “Thoughts are the ancestors of all actions.” Create everything about your business (or your division, department, or job) in your mind first. Keep working on your mental image until it becomes magnetized.

Oh, and one more tip. Considering the racecar driver, actor, politician phenomena I discussed earlier – if at all possible hang around and closely observe people who are already doing what you want to do.

Chris Crouch is CEO of DME Training and Consulting and author of several books on improving productivity. Contact him through