Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Power of Visualization

As a curious ten-year-old farm boy, I remember asking my father about a shiny object way up in the sky on a sunny day at our farm in Corbélia, Paraná, Brazil. My father said it was a new type of plane called a jet. I could clearly see the plane and hear the noise it was making. I went on to ask dad what was it doing up there in the sky. He answered that the jet was carrying people from one country to another. At that moment, I pictured myself someday being inside one of those shiny jets.

Little did I know then that a mental picture, burned in my brain at that moment, would forever impact my life? At age 15 I left the farm to go to High School and latter to a University. In June 1978, a week before done at the University, the opportunity came to apply for a scholarship to come to America.

On June 8, 1979, my world would change forever as I boarded the first of four jets on my journey to the United States of America to obtain my graduate degrees at Michigan State University. As I anxiously waited to board my first jet, Varig Airlines called my name in the speaker to see a representative. I was informed that my flight from Rio to New York JFK had been cancelled. June 8, was the very day that a DC-10 jet dropped one of its engines near Chicago. The representative asked if I wanted to stay where I was and leave the next morning or go to Rio and stay overnight in Rio. In a split of a second I chose going to Rio.  I started the journey in a Boing 737 in Porto Alegre bounded to Rio de Janeiro. I will never forget the feeling as the plane gained altitude and I could see the houses below getting smaller and smaller. I had to stay in Rio that night because all DC-10s were grounded. Varig put me up in a hotel in Copacabana called Otho Palace Hotel. I cab driver asked me if I wanted the fast or the scenic tour to the hotel. I chose the scenic tour that night and the next morning.

I will never forget my first American breakfast with bacon, eggs and toast the morning of June 9. I was ready and I could hardly wait to get inside another plane. I flew out of Rio in a Boing 727 the following morning and arrived in New York JFK airport that night staying at a hotel there. I flew out of La Guardia airport the next morning in another Boing 727 bounded for Detroit with American Airlines and finally from Detroit to Lansing in a small jet from Republic Airlines.

I arrived in Lansing the evening of June 10, two and a half days after the journey had started. What an amazing trip that was! Fear of flying never came to my mind. To this day, I absolutely love flying and have flown millions of miles around the world. The shear excitement when a jet takes off is exhilarating to me. I can hear the engines revving up and smell the fumes of the jet fuel right at this moment. Upon reflecting on the above, here are some thoughts on what happened in my brain.

1) A vivid mental picture was created in my brain on that clear sunny day.

2)The picture was very real and exciting without any judgment attached to it.

3) My subconscious mind believed in making the picture a reality.

4) The picture was stored in my subconscious mind.

5) Every time I saw or heard the noise of an airplane the idea of flying in a jet came back.

6) The subconscious mind would remind me of flying during my dreams.

7) Visualization is powerful because it uses our subconscious mind. We only get what we picture.

Be blessed and be a blessing to others
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)

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