This article was first published in the March 2018 International edition of Accounting and Business magazine.

Some years ago I went on a Turning Point life-coaching course and found myself looking at what was holding me back from leading a fulfilling life.

As part of a self-examination, the other attendees and I talked about the importance of the subconscious. This, it was explained, is a very primitive part of the brain, one that has not evolved for more than 100,000 years. The coaches talked about neurolinguistic programming (NLP) and how important visualisation is to the subconscious – in the process helping fix my parking problems forever. 

They told us that if, before setting off to drive to this coaching session, we visualised a free parking space, then we would find one. Picture no spare parking spaces, they said, and that is what your subconscious will deliver: you will miss the person crossing the road who has just unlocked their car door; you will miss the reversing lights of a driver preparing to leave their space; you will even drive past an empty space. If your subconscious asks for a parking problem, then that’s what you get.

The coaches even said to us that if we want a fulfilled life we should annually draw a treasure map of the visions we want to realise. The results of my personal treasure map were truly mind-blowing, as one vision after another came to pass. 

At the age of 12, Edmund Hillary visualised being the first person to climb Mount Everest. Years later he became known for his climbing exploits, was invited to join the 1953 expedition to Everest, and made that vision a reality.

While on holiday once, I found Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan’s The Three Laws of Performance in a small library of donated hotel guests’ books. In the book they explain why so many change initiatives fail. The first law is: how people perform correlates with how situations occur to them. The writers illustrate that an organisation’s ‘default future’ will be made to happen. The staff are marched by their subconscious towards that outcome. Furthermore, the authors explain that the key to change is to recreate, in employees’ minds, a new vision of the future, an ‘invented future’. 

Your subconscious never sleeps. If you place visions in there, it will work away at them and guide you in your waking hours towards those outcomes. Tony Robbins’ YouTube video The Magic of Visualization (Law of Attraction) and Rhonda Byrne’s book The Secret explain further. 

If you have a recurring negative vision, seek help from a recommended NLP specialist. They will help you create a barrier to these thoughts and replace them with an ‘I can do this’ attitude. 

David Parmenter is a writer and presenter on measuring, monitoring and managing performance