Today I’d like to share a visualization / meditation technique I use from time to time to help me make decisions, and to provide fresh new perspectives on challenges I may be facing. It is a technique that is also especially effective when you’re feeling stuck.
I first began using this process almost by chance, and then refined it’s use when I discovered that Napoleon Hill wrote about this exact process in “Think and Grow Rich”. It’s a technique he originally kept secret and didn’t really talk about in fear of being ridiculed by his peers.
In fact, once I tell you what the technique involves you may think I’m crazy as well. Regardless what your first reaction is, the technique does work pretty effectively, so if you choose to ignore it without trying it out a few times you will be missing out on an important personal development process that could really help you in some really difficult situations.
The process first involves creating a list of 5-10 “counselors” that you would like to get advice from. For example, Napoleon Hill’s “Invisible Counselors” were Emerson, Paine, Edison, Darwin, Lincoln, Burbank, Napoleon, Ford and Carnegie. You can pretty much pick anyone you want, dead or alive, it doesn’t matter. You want to narrow down your list to 5-10 people in life that you have a lot of respect for and who you would definitely listen to in terms of advice. You might want to include people in your list from diverse backgrounds and different areas of expertise. For example, you may want to include someone with a spiritual perspective, someone with an intellectual perspective, someone with an emotional perspective, etc.
Once you have your list, the very basic process involves simply closing your eyes and imagining a boardroom. In the boardroom there is a large boardroom table with chairs all around. You are sitting at the head of the table and the individual counselors are sitting in the chairs.
Let me use an actual example to illustrate the process. I’ll just mention three of my counselors that I often use. The three are Bruce Lee, Bill Gates and Einstein. In my actual visualization there are others, but I’m just going to mention these three to illustrate my point.
Yesterday, I wanted to ask my counselors for any ideas they might have for helping me to grow my Blog traffic and audience quicker than it already is growing. So I closed my eyes, and I imagined being in a boardroom and I imagined all my counselors sitting around the table. Next I imagine myself saying something along the lines of “Gentlemen, I’ve got a challenge. I want to increase the speed at which I’m growing my Blog audience and traffic. I’ve got my own ideas on how I can accomplish that, but I’d also like to hear your input. What could you suggest?”
And then I just listen. I try to empty my mind and not think, and just listen to hear what they might say. If I hear nothing, I try to more specifically go around the room focusing on each character to get an answer. Yesterday when I did this, I got an answer almost immediately from Bruce Lee who said “Utilize Leverage.”
Next I asked if anyone else had any other suggestions and nobody else did. That was the end of the visualization.
So, after doing this exercise I left with the advice of “Utilize Leverage.” from my imaginary Bruce Lee. It’s funny because when I thought about it after words, it totally makes sense that Bruce Lee would offer that kind of advice. If you study Bruce Lee’s philosophies and his martial art, you’ll see that he taught the principles of leverage. It’s a common thing taught in marital arts. It is how someone really small can take on an opponent many times bigger.
Napoleon Hill utilized this process to meet with his counselors on a regular basis. After a while, each of the characters he imagined actually took on a life of their own. For example, he mentions that Abraham Lincoln was always late and never smiled.
Whether you look at this exercise from a complete spiritual perspective and believe that by going through this process you are actually connecting to a part of each of these people’s spirits, or if you just believe this to be an exercise in flexing your imagination muscles, it is a very useful tool I have found that offers some pretty neat perspectives once in a while that I haven’t been able to get just by regular meditation / visualization alone.
Once you assemble your team of invisible counselors, here are some questions you may want to ask them:
- What is my true passion in life?
- How can I better express my passion and purpose in life?
- How can I start making money doing what I love?
- Who else could we really benefit from having join our council?
- What action step can I take right now to help me achieve my goal?
- What beliefs are limiting me from achieving my goal?
- What is the most important thing you want to tell me right now?
I know this process sounds a bit goofy, but try it out. You might be surprised to see what you find when you actually take the time to go through this visualization.
Don’t know who to invite to your list of counselors? Here are some fun characters that you might consider inviting:
- Napoleon Hill
- Tony Robbins
- Stephen Covey
- Jim Carrey
- Stephen Hawkin
- The Oracle (from the Matrix)
- Deepak Chopra
- Bruce Lee
- Joe Vitale
- Wallace Wattles
- Henry Ford
- The Google Guys
- Don King
- Mohammad Ali
Hey, you might even want to invite me to the meeting. Just don’t be surprised if I arrive dressed as a Ninja.
Try it out. It’s a pretty cool little visualization. Have some fun with it.