The Discipline of Surrender: Achieving More With Less Effort Through Visualization

Picture of brain and energy field representing The Discipline of Surrender through Visualization as a method of achievement

You’re climbing a steep hill, every muscle in your body protesting the relentless effort. With the summit nowhere in sight, you dig deep, calling upon reserves you didn’t know you had. Now, imagine a different scenario. You’re on top of the hill, but this time, you’re on a bike, coasting effortlessly down the other side, the wind on your face, your heart light.

Achieving your goals can feel like one of these two scenarios. The climb is a metaphor for the “hustle and grind” approach, where you exert maximum effort, straining against the weight of your objectives. The bike ride, on the other hand, represents the Discipline of Surrender—a journey where you align yourself with the forces at play, making your path towards your goals feel less like a struggle and more like an exhilarating ride. This is not about giving up, but rather, about embracing a more effective strategy.

Understanding Surrender

The word “surrender” often carries a negative connotation, synonymous with defeat or giving up. But in the context of personal growth and achievement, surrender takes on a completely different meaning. It’s about yielding to a process, embracing it, and riding the wave instead of swimming against the tide. It’s about allowing your natural talents to flourish, and letting go of the need to control every aspect of the journey.

This form of surrender leads to flow—a state where you’re fully engaged and your actions align seamlessly with your intentions. It’s like being in the zone, where everything just clicks. In this state, resistance melts away, and progress feels natural and enjoyable.

The Power of Visualization

At the heart of the Discipline of Surrender lies a powerful tool: visualization. This is not the wishful daydreaming of idle moments, but a focused mental exercise that primes your mind and body for success. And the beautiful part is, you can engage in visualization at any time, regardless of your current circumstances. It’s something that’s always in your control, even when you’re not sure of the next step to take or if you lack the resources you think you need.

Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” Visualization is not an escape from reality but a creative force that shapes your reality. It’s your imagination in action, a tool that allows you to harness your innate creative power.

Visualization is not just an exercise in imagination, though. It’s a mental rehearsal for success, backed by cognitive neuroscience. A study published in The Journal of Neurophysiology found that mental practice alone can cause changes in the brain regions involved in the control of movement. This suggests that our brains do not distinguish between a real and an imagined action.

So when we visualize, we are essentially training our brain for performance. According to Hebb’s law, a theory in neuroscience, “neurons that fire together wire together.” Thus, repeatedly visualizing a certain outcome can create and strengthen neural pathways that prime our bodies to act in ways consistent with our visualized aspirations.

Visualization as a Discipline

Visualization, like any discipline, may come more naturally to some than others. It may feel uncomfortable or even peculiar at first. It’s akin to learning a new sport. If you were playing basketball for the first time, you wouldn’t expect to swish every basket, right?

Shawn Learns Oil Painting with Steve Ross, son of Bob Ross, and Dana Jester

I remember my first time attending a painting workshop with Steve Ross, son of the famous Bob Ross (The Joy of Painting), and Dana Jester, one of Bob’s colleagues and guest instructors on his show. I was trying to paint those “happy little trees” that Bob was so famous for, but they weren’t looking as good as I wanted. They certainly didn’t look as effortless as Steve’s.

Feeling a bit frustrated, I mentioned my struggles to Dana. He asked, “How many of these trees have you made?” I replied, “Maybe 4 or 5.” He responded with a comforting reality check, “Well, Steve has made thousands. I think you’re doing great.”

That conversation stuck with me. It reminded me that mastery takes time. As with learning anything, we must be willing to stumble through the discomfort to get to the rewards we seek.

And trust me, the rewards of visualization are great. The more you engage in this exercise, the more natural it becomes, until it’s as effortless as breathing. In my coaching practice, I’ve seen the profound impact of this discipline. When clients embrace visualization, they shift from feeling stuck and overwhelmed to feeling empowered and inspired. They start to see possibilities where they previously saw roadblocks, and their goals begin to feel within reach.

Achieving More with Less Effort

Visualization empowers you to achieve more with less struggle. It shifts your focus from the external obstacles to the internal resources you possess, making the journey towards your goals feel less like a battle and more like a dance.

This approach is also more sustainable. Instead of grinding until you’re burned out, visualization fills your journey with inspiration and enjoyment, keeping you energized and engaged. It’s like turning on a light in a dark room—the path forward becomes clear, and you move towards your goals with grace and ease.

The Discipline of Surrender, with visualization as its cornerstone, offers a powerful and sustainable approach to achieving your goals. It’s about aligning yourself with your aspirations, cultivating a mindset of success, and navigating your journey with less effort and more enjoyment.

See Your Future Now

To support you in integrating this discipline into your life, I’ve created a guided visualization exercise that will allow you to integrate the power of visualization into your daily routine.

Before we begin, I invite you to ponder a few questions:

  • What do you truly want in life?
  • What would make your life–or work, or business–truly amazing?
  • If you woke up tomorrow morning to a miracle, and everything in your life is exactly as you would want it, what would you see?

Take a moment to consider these questions. Let your mind wander. There are no limits. In your mind, anything is possible. After all, this is your life.

In my coaching and training sessions, we spend an extended time on creating your vision, but for now, let’s at least get a glimpse of what you desire. Let’s bring into focus the person you want to become or the achievements you wish to realize.

Once you have your desire in mind, press play and follow along with the guided meditation below. In doing so, you will learn how to focus on the identity you wish to embody, not just the goal you want to achieve. As a result, when practiced over time–with discipline–this new identity will naturally lead to the achievement of your goal.

Ready to embrace the discipline of surrender? Watch the Guided Visualization Meditation, and start your journey towards effortlessness and achievement.

Remember, the journey towards your goals doesn’t have to be a steep, strenuous climb. With the Discipline of Surrender and the power of visualization, you can transform it into an effortless, enjoyable ride.

Let’s embrace the power of surrender, and embark on this exciting journey together. Up we go!

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