Our imagination is ten times more potent than our willpower

Our imagination is ten times more potent than our willpower

References are not limited to your actual experience. Your imagination itself is a source of references. Remember Roger Bannister and the four-minute mile? No one believed it was physically possible for human beings to run the mile in less than four minutes, yet he created his own sense of certainty through imagined references.

He visualized over and over again breaking the four-minute mile, hearing and feeling himself break the barrier until pretty soon he had so many reference legs that he felt certain he would succeed as certain as other people were that accomplishing this task was impossible.

We need to remember that our imagination is ten times more potent than our willpower. Because Bannister was able to use his imagination as the legs supporting the tabletop of certainty, he was able to produce a result that was unheard of throughout human history. Imagination unleashed provides us a sense of certainty and vision that goes far beyond the limitations of the past.

Recently Mr. Akio Morita sent me his book, Made in Japan. Mr. Morita is the co-founder of Sony Corporation and an unbelievably brilliant man. The destiny of Sony, just like any individual’s, is the result of a series of decisions. In his book, Morita discloses that one of the toughest and most important decisions he ever made was to turn down an offer from Bulova Corporation to purchase 100,000 of his breakthrough transistor radios at a time when his company was not even moving 10,000 units a month. The amount of money they offered him was ten times what his company was worth at the time, yet after deep consideration he rejected the deal.

Why? Simply because Bulova wanted to put their own name on the radio. He realized that while in the short term saying yes would give his company a huge jump, he would be building Bulova’s name instead of Sony’s. The Bulova executives could not believe he would turn down their offer. He told them, “Fifty years from now, my company’s name will be as big as yours, and I know that the radio I’ve created is going to help us develop that name.”

Of course, all of Morita’s partners thought he was crazy. How was he able to create this sense of certainty that enabled him to turn down such an enticing and profitable offer? He vividly imagined the future of his company, and created references where none existed. He directed his focus and envisioned his goals with clarity, and then backed it up with absolute and active faith.

Today, Sony Corporation is not only a leader in the electronics industry, generating $27 billion a year, but has also diversified to industries as far-reaching as film making (acquiring Columbia and Tri-Star Pictures) and music (acquiring CBS Records and Columbia House), and is renowned for its quality around the world.

With faith, you can cling to your vision in the face of seeming failure. What if Thomas Edison had given up after his first failed attempt to make the electric light bulb? Or even after his hundredth attempt? Luckily for all of us, he persisted beyond thousands of attempts.

He could have taken each instance as a reference to back up a belief that his invention was not feasible. Instead, he chose to use each failed attempt as a reference for the belief that he was getting closer to the solution. Remember, don’t drive into the past using your rear-view mirror as a guide.

You want to learn from your past, not live in it focus on the things that empower you.

Anthony Robbins




I love to travel and have taken time to experience life in many countries.



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