It all began with two incidents on the same day. First, I opened an envelope to find three hand-written pages of tightly-spaced words (some so tiny I had to use my magnifying glass) that read, in part:
After being out of work for several months, I enrolled in career-training. Our last assignment was to visualize a new product label and transfer it to paper. I dropped out. I’m not interested in classes filled with gobbledygook psychobabble.
Chuckling, I began writing a reply: “According to Andrew Newberg MD, Director of Research at the Myrna Brind Center for Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Medical College, without a capacity for visual imagination, people would barely be able to think. Even when asleep, visual representations of the universe remain active in the brain. . .”
My thoughts were interrupted by a knock on my office door. The caller, Larry, said his visit was to set me straight about visualization. “I never visualize and never will,” he said dramatically. "There's no such thing. It's just a bunch of hype."
I shook my head, thinking, It’s unfortunate when people speak from misinformation rather than fact. “Do you know your mother by sight?” I asked. Larry’s response could have prompted an observer to wonder if I’d said something really derogatory. When he had stopped sputtering, I asked, “Can you see your mother’s face in your mind’s eye now?” Of course Larry could: “Do you think I’m an idiot?”
Choosing not to answer that question, I explained that he had just visualized his mother’s face. Larry’s confusion was palpable. “If your goal is never to visualize, you’ll have a fight on your hands,” I told him, “because that’s what the brain does. It visualizes. It turns everything you think, see, and hear into internal mental pictures.”
“B-b-but,” Larry sputtered, “how can that be? Visualization is just another of those new age mumbo-jumbo pseudo-science theories. I’m sure of it.”
“Actually, visualization is old age,” I replied.
This natural brain phenomenon has been around since there was a human brain. You picture things in your mind’s eye all the time. That’s how the brain was designed to function, to create internal mental pictures of what you think, see, and hear. The only thing new age involves brain-imaging studies that have discovered the right cerebral hemisphere controls the abilities to visualize images and the realization of those images physically. Nearly all-successful people, regardless of their field of expertise, demonstrate the right brain ability of distinct image visualization.