A Brief History of Visualization Techniques

Visualization techniques are rooted in positive thoughts and outlooks.  They are linked to both prayer and meditation.

The benefits of a positive outlook on life have been written about since ancient times, and each civilization has made a contribution through its literature and its religions.

Socrates, the classical Athenian philosopher, foreshadowed our interest in visualization techniques when he wrote…

The unexamined life is not worth living.

Our more recent interest in personal development and self-improvement began to gain popularity early in the twentieth century.

In 1910, Wallace Wattles published “The Science of Getting Rich.”  The book explored themes Wattles referred to as “a certain way of thinking” and a “mental healing movement.”  Wattles asked his readers to use their creativity to get ahead instead of simply competing.

Here is the visualization technique Wattles described…

The scientific use of thought consists in forming a clear and distinct mental image of what you want; in holding fast to the purpose to get what you want; and in realizing with grateful faith that you do get what you want.

Two years after “The Science of Getting Rich” was published, “The Master Key System” by Charles F. Haanel expanded these concepts.

“The Master Key System” offered  24 chapters with information covering concentration and what Haanel called “harmonious thinking.’

One of points Haanel makes…

Mental Power is creative power, it gives you the ability to create for yourself; it does not mean the ability to take something away from someone else.

One of Haanel’s fans was Napoleon Hill, author of the classic  “Think and Grow Rich” published in 1937.

18 years before “Think and Grow Rich” was released, Hill wrote Haanel a letter and told him…

My present success and the success which has followed my work as President of the Napoleon Hill Institute is due largely to the principles laid down in The Master-Key System.

In “Think and Grow Rich,” Hill takes the concepts of mental visualization techniques mentioned by Wallace Wattles and Charles Haanel and turns them into a core element of his instruction.

All the breaks you need in life wait within your imagination.  Imagination is the workshop of your mind, capable of turning mind energy into accomplishment and wealth.

This phrase “workshop of your mind” is a wonderful way of describing the complexities of the unconscious, first explored by psychiatrists such as Freud, Bleuler, and Jung.

Visualization techniques may be the most effective way to help us make productive things happen in this byzantine workshop.

Ready to learn more?

Find out the best way to begin your visualization exercises.

Discover how to create a powerful visualization plan.

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