Feb 062013

learning to play catch

For better or worse, everything we do begins in our mind.  Or, more specifically, in our mind’s eye.

Adults spend thousands of dollars every year on books and seminars and coaching to learn to do something that most kids do pretty naturally.  Visualize.  Picture.  Imagine.  “Fire up your goals with a vivid picture, complete with the emotions you’ll feel when you reach your goal.”  Sound familiar?

I wonder what would happen if we took steps to reinforce that ability in childhood  while it’s still easy and natural?  And why would you want to?

1) The first thing that springs to mind is that favorite old W. Clement Stone quote, “What the mind can conceive it and believe it can achieve.”  Being able to preview the end result is an important step in motivation and action.  It’s the skill that some of us use to get on the treadmill or to help our kids do their math homework.  (The picture of fitting into my favorite jeans or her picture of going to school to become a veterinarian motivate us to actually show up and complete the less desirable task at hand.)

2) It enhances emotional intelligence by building empathy.  This one is fairly easy to practice together and can lead to some great conversations.  In the course of your day, what are you noticing together?  Sports scores?  News? People bumping into one another?  Helping someone out? Protesting? Volunteering?  It’s hard for me to imagine any situation that you observe with your kids that doesn’t provide you a natural opening to ask “I wonder how that person feels right now?”  Practice prepares your child for situations they haven’t encountered, perhaps even how to respond should they feel an urge to bully someone.

3) It could save you money.  What????  The best way to learn something is to teach it.  Practicing visualization skills with your kids could help improve the mental rehearsal skills needed to reach important goals in your own life.  And what better teacher for your chid than a parent who is walking the talk?


Having trouble keeping that inner voice positive?  You might be interested in Inner Critic to Inner Ally: A Beginner’s Guide

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