The general notion that thinking skills cannot be taught is incorrect. Had this been the case, it would imply that before students start attending school, they are already gifted and equipped with everything they need to be able to make decisions and provide solutions on their own. Had this been the case, there would be no need for teachers to guide students to improve their thinking abilities.
Thinking skills can be taught but the question is: which skills are being taught? Visualizing is one skill that should be part and parcel of an individual’s thinking skills. This involves conjuring up images in one’s mind; images that may have happened in the past or are yet to take place in the future. These could also pertain to images that are only made up. People, by nature, think visually. American psychiatrist William Glasser had said that about 80% of what we store in our memory bank is visual images.
Five Forms of Visualizing
Visualizing comes in many forms, specifically:
1. Daydreams and fantasies– These would comprise thoughts that are pleasant and fanciful such as vacationing in a luxurious hotel in the Caribbean.
2. Illusions-These would comprise false images; extreme illusions are labeled as hallucinations.
3. Imagining– This pertains to creating new and fresh visual ideas, with a touch of realism.
4. Memory– This pertains to the collection of mental and verbal images that have taken place in the past.
5. Vision– This utilizes high level of thinking skills, making use of imagination and the formation of visual images of people, things, events, and ideas in a positive way.
Importance of Visualizing- the Power of Positive Thinking
Visualizing allows you to take journeys in the mind; these could be journeys to the future or the past, into events that may have happened or will probably not happen at all. There is no limit to what kind of images you can put in your mind. This skill allows you to be a visionary, to be creative, to take control of your life.
The importance of visualizing lies mainly on the power of positive thinking. It allows you to conjure many things but ultimately, it can help any individual by boosting morale and allowing him to feel and be whatever he wants to be. For example, a person who is feeling down at the moment can use visualization to conjure happy memories. These memories will, as a result, make him feel better. Another example would be using visualization to better your performance at work. Supposing you have an upcoming meeting with your company’s management group, and you are feeling very uncomfortable of speaking in front of these important people. Visualized rehearsals can certainly help you avoid the jitters and cold feet because it gives you the opportunity to practice in your mind how you will deliver your report.
How to Enhance Visualization Skill
There is no magic formula for visualization, but improvement can be observed if one constantly practices. To engage oneself in visualization, there are four steps to be followed.
• The first step is to set a goal. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve. It is necessary to be specific; identify your goals one at a time. You can start with what you want to attain in your career- is it a promotion? Or you could start with something more personal such as being able to establish better relationships with the people you are about.
• The second step is creating a mental image of your goal. When doing so, create in the present tense, as if it already exists. A better idea would be to secure a real image and put it some place where you can see it often, such as on your desk because this will serve as your constant reminder of the goal that you have set.
• The third step is to focus. Many things will hinder you from achieving your goal but you must not get carried away. Meditate daily on your goal.
• Lastly, the fourth step is to drive positive energy into your goal. Affirmations which are positive statements that encourage and motivate people can greatly help in getting rid of doubts and negative thoughts.