Natan Sharansky, a computer specialist, was arrested by Soviet authorities in 1977 and accused of high treason. He stayed in jail until 1986. In those nine years in prison, Natan has a lot of experience with mental practices. While in solitary confinement, he played himself in mental chess, saying: “I might as well use the opportunity to become the world champion!” Remarkably, in 1996, Sharansky beat world champion chess player Garry Kasparov!
Another prisoner, Demetrius Cunningham had never had any piano training and only had access to the prison’s church keyboard for an hour every Sunday. He then constructed his “piano” out of cardboard and paper. Feeling determined, Cunningham spent hours in his cell each day learning the fingering for scales, chords, and humming tunes, all inside his head. Eventually, he was able to play the keyboard so well that when he was transferred to another institution, Cunningham took up the position of musical director for his prison choir.
Keep your eyes on the prize, not the plight.
Mental practice or harnassing the power of visualization can get you closer to where you want to be in life, and it can prepare you for success! Many successful athletes, including Tiger Woods, employ such practices of visualizing and rehearsing the positive outcome in their minds before going into their actual games.
Rosabeth Moss Kanter, chair and director of the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University, illustrates the power of this technique, “A vision is not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more.” She explains that visualization is a means of control in an uncontrollable situation.
In other words, the ability to create a compelling future can help you maintain focus, manage setbacks, and move more quickly toward your goals.
So, during this time of quarantine, set your eyes on the prize, not on your plight. Who knows, you might be the next chess champion or a great pianist just like Nathan Sharansky, and Demetrius Cunningham.
Why focus on your plight when you can visualize the prize? By the way, in the word plight, there is LIGHT in it.
Don’t just dream. Visualize to Actualize!
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” Proverbs 19:18
Fred Tokè aka Dr. Tokèmon
People photo created by drobotdean – www.freepik.com