During the Tour de France in 2006, the commentators mentioned how one of the lead riders was looking down at his bike’s gears during a difficult leg of the race. At that point, the rider’s performance began to wane and he finished far behind the lead pack. His biggest problem was that he began to focus his attention away from his goal of finishing the race in the lead spot.

Professional cyclists achieve peak performance by looking forward and staying focused on the goal of reaching the finish line. They also rely on their training to keep a steady pace during gear changes, elevation transitions, and road conditions. These actions become automatic as they focus their attention on the outcome instead of the mechanics of riding. Although they cannot actually see the finish line throughout the race, they keep a mental image of crossing the line throughout the ride.

This mental imaging doesn’t downplay the importance of adequate preparation and effort. However, it does a lot to maintain a high level of performance during any type of task.

Success itself as a focal point for the mental imaging is too broad and vague to be effective. You need a more solid image to pull your attention toward a desired outcome. Your ability to create a mental image is more effective if you incorporate some or all of the five senses (sight, touch, taste, smell, sound). For example, success to you might be when you can purchase something or take a trip that has always seemed unattainable. It could also be closing a lucrative business deal.

When you create your image of success, focus on a specific event. Incorporate all the environmental factors that will help you create a clear image. For example, if you are traveling, what sights, sounds, and smells are present? Is the sun shining? Do you smell a particular food? Are you walking or riding? If you are purchasing something, what color is it? What are your surroundings like where you made the purchase? Detail is important in creating a clear mental image of your goal. It also helps to establish a strong focal point and prompts you to refer to the image often.

To keep your focus, develop little tools or tricks to snap your attention back to where it needs to be. One way to do this is to give yourself some time away from your work area and other distractions to let your mind relax and process the information it has been receiving. During this time create a mental image of personally enjoying the success of reaching your goal. This process helps your mind channel all relevant information to your focal point while discarding or filing away information that doesn’t apply to your central thoughts. This is often where inspiration comes in which can present ideas and processes for reaching your goals.

Success in any endeavor requires effort and determination. It also relies heavily on you being able to lock into a clearly defined outcome. At times you might feel like your progress is slow or that you’re not accomplishing anything. But if you have a clear vision of your desired goal, you will always be moving forward.

Author's Bio: 

David Jensen has a Master’s degree in Professional Communication. He is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW) and a Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP). He has been preparing resumes and employment documentation for over four years and has helped many people apply for jobs, graduate school admission, and scholarships. He has completed extensive research in strategic career planning and career changing and has prepared over 150 résumés and essays for various professions (IT, sales and marketing, public relations, engineering, technical, etc.). He teaches a résumé preparation workshop to professional-level job seekers. His expertise is in coaching people through employment seeking, interviews, and salary negotiation. David is also a professional writer having worked as a technical writer in the IT industry for more than 10 years. Primary Web site: www.ascensionwriting.com.