248 - When Something We Imagined Feels So Real - John Laurito

248 – When Something We Imagined Feels So Real

In this episode, host John Laurito talks about the power of visualization. Where one thing can seem so real, but all it is is just imagination or something based on someone else’s story. Visualization is a skill any leader can use to build confidence, reduce stress, and focus on the result you want for your organization.

Episode mentioned: #45 – Never Three Putt Again… A Simple Life Lesson From Jack Nicklaus

[0:00] Intro

[0:21] Storytime!

[3:48] The power of visualization

[8:47] Everybody has short circuits

[10:59] Outro

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John Over the last two decades, I’ve been in an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership, what makes the best leaders so good after running companies small and large over the last 20 years. Today, I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name is John Laurito I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leader so good. Welcome to tomorrow’s leader! 

John All right, welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dove deep on all things leader-related to leading yourself and leading others. I’m John and we do your host. So have you ever been in a situation where you convinced yourself that something that did not happen actually did? Or did you convince yourself of a lie that actually was? You can convince yourself that it was true. It’s amazing how your brain works, and I’ll give you an example. I shared a story at a keynote I did recently, where years ago I was in New York City and I jumped in a cab, I was there for business, I jumped in a cab and I gave the cab driver the address. And I said, I said, You know, this is the address. 

John And the cab driver said, OK, are you sure? And I thought that’s kind of a weird question for the cab driver. I said, Yeah, I mean, am I sure the address said, yeah. He said, You sure want me to take you there. I said, Yeah, I mean, why would I not be? Why would I have jumped in a cab? I’m thinking, why would I have jumped in a cab if I did not want the cab driver to take me? I said yes. He said, OK, you sure? I said yes. I was like on a time cruiser. I had businessman and he’s like, All right. And he proceeded to drive about 300 feet, drove just around the corner. We stopped and said, OK, here you go. 

John That’s five dollars. I’m like, What? And there’s the building. I had no idea here. I was thinking. I knew my way around trying to act like I knew my way around the city. I didn’t. And in any event, so it was kind of a funny story, but recently, not a lot. A little bit ago, I had a friend tell me a story about a time when he went to New York City and jumped in a cab and gave the address to cab to the cabbie. And the cabbie said, You sure. And he said, Yeah, sure. Yeah, yeah, drove him 300 feet. And listen to the story. I’m like, That didn’t happen. And he got them on the story. And I said. When did that happen? And he said I was a long, long, long time ago. Years and years ago, I said, Yeah, OK, well, no, it didn’t happen. 

John I said that was the story that happened to me. And you stole it. What’s the deal? I don’t get it. Where do you come off taking my story and turning it into yours? And we went back and forth for a little bit and he’s like, No, no, no, that definitely happened to me. I said, no. I told that two years ago when that had happened. And somehow that got translated into your own brain as that was you. And he finally realized, You know what? Yeah, I think you’re right, he said. I could picture like the cabbie’s phase I could picture where I was, I said. 

John He said You know what? I think what it was is, you told that story and I just materialized into my heads in such detail that as time passed, I couldn’t differentiate really whether it happened and I was just recounting the story. But I felt like it had happened to me, so it was unintentional. I believe that totally unintentional. But it just was one of these things that were so ingrained in his head, and he had had such a clear picture of it that he manufactured his mind. His mind accepted it is that was actually his lead going through that he imagined it, but it was truly felt like it was real. Then he had experienced it. So it just made me think about the power of this, right? I mean, this is visualization. 

John This and I love visualization the power of just how you can see something in your mind and get it so clear and so real that you can’t distinguish between reality and in. And just thinking it in your mind, it truly feels real and it takes practice. What I’ve learned is visualization is actually a skill that takes practice when you do it over and over again and ultimately it changes just how you think. You know, I told I think a long time ago the story about Jack Nicole Nicholas, the golfer. And I’ll tell it again, just because I love telling the story. And if you didn’t catch this episode a while back where Jack was at a golf tournament, I’m sorry. 

John He was at a press conference after a golf tournament, and he made the comment very casually said, You know, I’ve never three put it in a major tournament before. And I think the title of the podcast was something about Jack Nicklaus, what you learn from Jack’s three-putts. So, but for those of you, I’ll tell again. So he said, you know, I’ve never three-putt in a major tournament. There was a sportswriter that was in the back and he’s thinking, that’s not right. Jack’s three-putted before in a major tournament, and it definitely has. And he’s thinking, Okay, do I say something? 

John Do I not raise this? Andy said. Mr. Nicholas, with all due respect to your you, you have three-putted. You said you’ve never three, but you have Jack thought for a minute and he said, No, no, no, I’ve never three-putted before in a major tournament. And he went on and the sportswriter was like, Win or no, he definitely has. He did right here in this tournament, we just finished the races and again, Mr. Nichols again. With all due respect, you’re the greatest of all time, but you did three-putt. You actually three put it on this tournament. You just played right here on this course. Jack thought for a minute, and he said, No, I’ve never reported before, and the sportswriters like what the I don’t get it. 

John And he’s like, I can’t let this go. Mr. Nicklaus, again, with all due respect, you did just three, but I literally saw you. It was only about an hour and a half ago. Maybe, maybe even less. It was on the 16th hole. You remember your approach shot. You were like you had a 30-foot putt, your putt, you lagged like 10 feet. That was your first putt, your second putt. Remember, you slipped it out and then you tapped it in for a third party. It was right there. Literally, you can see the green from here is 16th green. It was only like an hour, maybe an hour and a half ago right there. You remember that in Jack thought for a minute and said, Now I’ve never three put in a major tournament. Well, what I wait for is guys like beside themselves. I don’t get it. Why is he lying? That’s nothing like me. Who cares? 

John Then he goes up to his trainer afterward. He’s like, What’s the deal with Jack? I mean, honestly, that’s not that big of a deal, everybody. Three buds and the trainer said, You know, I’m sure deep down inside Jack, if he really searched hard, he could remember that he’s three-putted before, but he can choose to adopt your way of thinking or his. Think about this the next time Jack is standing over his second putt on the 18th hole of the final round, and he has to make this putt to win. What are the chances he’s going to think that he’s going to miss? And suddenly, the sportswriter was like, OK, I get it, I get it. All right. This is how people at that level think. I mean, truly, they’re masters at this. 

John They changed their minds. They visualize something so clearly. In that case, Jack convinced himself he’d never three-putt. So much to the point he truly doesn’t. He believes he does not three-putt. He believes that’s the truth. And he chooses to really just think about that. And hey, OK, I’ve got all the confidence of the world may think about that. Honestly, if he knew he never three-putted stand over a second putt, he’d have all this confidence like, OK, I mean, he is. I’m confident, I’m relaxed. It’s an easy putt. I know I’m going to make it whatever this is like every day, this is just who I am. I make my second putt. I don’t three-putt. I make my second putts. Everybody else three-putts. I don’t. I make my second putts. You can use this for anything. I mean, I was talking to somebody recently and who was doing a big presentation and we got to the point where she said, You know what, I do better when I actually have things thrown at me that I’m not expecting, I said, That’s fantastic. 

John I said, now, you know, because you know that and believe that every time in the future, what most people really fret about and think about, especially public speakers is, OK, what if I’m throwing a curveball in the middle of my presentation? Or somebody asks the tough question? I know I used to stress about that. And for her, that became a strength. I hope they do because that’s my best. That’s when my best comes out is when I get a curveball because I handled stuff like that really, really well. It’s amazing, you know, and everybody has these short circuits. You’ve got this pattern in your mind that when something happens, you’re trained to believe a certain thing will be the outcome. 

John But you can rewire that. You can actually rewire that pattern in your mind. You can rewire that loop so that you can connect it with something different. It just takes practice. If you’re the type of person that says, Hey, I really struggle under pressure when it’s high pressure, I fail, I crumble under pressure. Well, you actually could retrain and reframe your mind to believe truly, that you perform at your best when you’re under pressure. Truly, nothing changes other than really what you really believe. And when you believe that your performance is incredible, it’s unbelievable how well that works. So interesting story. Interesting thought about the power of that, and I want you to just pay attention to that. 

John Now, just think about that as you do that, especially as time goes on. You know, we convince ourselves it’s something. Do you ever have a dream and you’re like, you can’t distinguish, was that a dream or was it real? Did that happen? Especially something that was a while ago? Did that happen or would I just dream about that? Did was I daydream about that or didn’t actually happen? That’s what I’m talking about. The flood. The line is fuzzy. And if you truly do, tell yourself what you want to believe over and over and over again, ultimately do you believe it? I mean, truly. And when you believe it and you know it, it’s going to happen. That’s bound to happen. 

John If you truly believe and you’ve, you know, those of you who play basketball, you get that feeling like you just know you’re going to get this shot. You just feel like everything. Just this is perfect. It happens. You get the shot. You make the shot. It happens in sports. It happens in business. It happens in life. It happens and everything. So unbelievably powerful stuff. So that’s my thoughts for the day. Hope that was helpful. As always, interested in your thoughts for the day. So reach out to me. Let me know what’s on your mind, what’s challenge challenges. You’re facing problems, questions, all that kind of stuff. Successes and what are your successes? 

John And as always, I appreciate when you like, share, subscribe and of course, go down below. Give a five-star review. Thanks. Have a good wine, buddy. Bye. Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader for suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching, reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on! 

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