Orrin Woodward LIFE Leadership Team

Winner of the 2011 Independent Association of Business Top Leader Award; Orrin Woodward shares his leadership secrets.

Imagination – The Key to Creating the Future

Posted by Orrin Woodward on March 24, 2011

The following is an un-edited snippet from a chapter of a soon to be released book.  Enjoy. God Bless, Orrin Woodward

Dr. Maltz writes on the power of imagination in goal achievement, “The goals that Creative Mechanism seeks to achieve are MENTAL IMAGES or mental pictures, which we create by the use of IMAGINATION.”  Success, then is pictured first in the mind, then through the use of the mind’s Creative Mechanism, it’s formulated in the real world.  Every achiever has learned to run what amounts to a success advertisement in his mind.  The more the ad is visualized and achieved in the imagination, the more real it becomes, as the mind experiences it as real through the imagination.  What makes human beings different than the animals is the ability to set goals.  By contrast, animals do not create their own goals, but have only pre-set goals called instincts.  Dr. Maltz elaborates on this special quality inherent in man, “Man, on the other hand, has something animals haven’t – Creative Imagination. Thus man of all creatures is more than a creature, he is also a creator. With his imagination he can formulate a variety of goals. Man alone can direct his Success Mechanism by the use of imagination, or imaging ability.”  When the ant mind dreams, the elephant mind imagines the corresponding images, but if the ant mind worries, the elephant mind will subsequently create the images to match. Imagination is neutral on success or failure depending upon the programmer, but it is the food for the elephant.  In fact, Napoleon emphasized this by stating, “Imagination rules the world.”  The difference between success and failure is what is consistently being fed to the elephant.  Remember, one cannot set himself on fire with his dream when he is busy wetting on himself with his dread. The highest achievers are not innately better than anyone else, but they have learned the importance of feeding the elephant faith, not fears.  Dr. Maltz sums it up best, “We act, or fail to act, not because of the ‘will’, as is so commonly believed, but because of imagination. A human being always acts and feels and performs in accordance with what he imagines to be true about himself and his environment.”

For example, Peter Vidmar, the Olympian gymnast, ran the success ad daily in his head at the end of practice.  After a grueling workout, Peter would sit down and vividly imagine going through step by step of his routine on the ( Paralell ) bars.  From the announcer’s introduction, including the crowd’s response,  Peter visualized a perfect performance in his mind.  During the 1984 Olympics, with the Gold Medal on the line, Peter turned his dream into reality, by performing flawlessly on the very event visualized at the end of every practice. Running your success dream daily, adding details through the power of your elephant mind, is critical for success.  But what if one feeds the elephant mind fears on a consistent basis?  There is a new term for this malady, called the Wallenda factor, named after Karl Wallenda, a world renowned aerial acrobat, who plunged to his death, in a 1978 accident while attempting to traverse a 75-foot high wire in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Helen, Karl’s widow, recalled the tragic period, “All Karl thought about for three straight months prior to it was falling. It was the first time he’d ever thought about that, and it seemed to me that he put all his energies into not falling rather than walking the tightrope.”  Karl, was the best at his craft, but when fear was fed to his elephant, instead of faith, the elephant overcame the ant. Mrs. Wallenda shared that her husband, contrary to his norm, personally supervised the installation of the tightrope and guide wires. Wallenda, in other words, poured the wrong food into his elephant.  Instead of feeding it a vision of walking safely across the wire, he fed his elephant a fear of falling, initiating his Failure Mechanism, fulfilling his sad fear based destiny.

The elephant will feed on something, as it must eat. If you will not feed your elephant mind, then someone else gladly will.  Sadly, most people’s subconsciouses are deluged daily by the images fed to them from their television sets.  The latest research shares that the average American is watching over five hours of TV everyday.  Calonius writes on the impact of repeated exposures on the mind, “The researchers found that the subjects like the pictures they had already seen. Researchers call this the  ‘mere exposure effect.’ That’s why advertisers pound ads repeatedly down our throats. It’s why chain restaurants (you get the same meal coast to coast) thrive.”  It’s interesting to note that advertisers skip right past the ant mind, displaying their ads as food to the elephant brain.  Every single advertisement feeds your elephant with an image and vision for the product offered. One will not see an advertiser spend the 30 seconds or the minute sharing copious details on the functions, features and benefits.  Instead, they share an image intended to create a feeling inside of each TV viewer, creating a hunger to satisfy that feeling by buying the companies products.  Why is it that advertisements feed the elephant and not the ant mind?  Simply stated, because giving a list of functions, features and benefits to your ant doesn’t produce results, but the ads that feed the elephant an image of success produce the feelings, instead of the facts, that lead to purchases.  Advertising agents have learned to speak right past the ant mind; instead, feeding the starving elephant, creating perceived needs in the consumer’s elephant through repetition of the images.  People end up buying things on emotion that they don’t really need, not truly understanding rationally why they did it. Psychologist Timothy Wilson, author of Strangers to Ourselves, writes, “The adaptive unconscious plays a major executive role in our mental lives. It gathers information, interprets and evaluates it, and sets goals in motion, quickly and efficiently.” Remember, people make decisions emotionally (elephant) and then will explain it rationally (ant) to themselves and others.  Advertisers, in other words, replace the person’s imagination with images of their own making, literally programming the mind for people unwilling to program their own.

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