You need to visualise that which you want to achieve and you will be able to achieve it.
You’ve likely heard this before from various self-help guru’s or “self-made” digital nomads that have been featured in Forbes or something similar. Visualisation is, of course, a strong and proven tool within psychology and it can aid you to achieve a certain goal or outcome.
Though a misconception that I’ve always come across with those ‘empowering’ articles is that they fail to mention that visualisation techniques are based on both process and outcome. And that they need to be based on a reality that can be rehearsed to be achieved. Visualising or rather imagining that you have €500,000 will be a lot less helpful than visualising the active process to complete the project for the job that will allow you to get closer to the €500,000 target.
In this piece, therefore, I would like to explore and illustrate how the techniques of visualisation rehearsals can be used within an active and live interactive, but a fictional, experience. And how these tools and techniques help improve skills and augment learning and information retention in individuals who go through such experiences.
Generally, there are two types of rehearsal techniques: outcome-focused and process-focused. ‘Outcome’ focused is the most familiar method used within visualisation practices. It is the one where you focus on the desired outcome you want, imagining yourself in the job you want, or in the house you want. This is a purely mental and private exercise; it aids in concentrating your mind on the objective you desire but doesn’t really aid you in getting there.
‘Process’ is the technique we will be dealing with, as this can be both a physical and mental exercise, as it deals with simulating the steps that are required to achieve an outcome. Naturally, it uses the prior method as well to focus the mind on the objective/outcome but is far more grounded in a reality that can be experienced, replicated and rehearsed.
Repetition, realism and structure are therefore the key to enabling the active, process-oriented technique to work well, and for a longer period. As we move through the basis and the benefits, remember that these techniques are explained from the point of view of using them within team-oriented and game-based learning experiences that aid individuals in practising essentials skills so that they can be more effective in the workplace and in their lives in general. The aim is that the experience is engaging, challenging and enjoyable enough that it becomes a repeatable (memory) activity that cements learning and improves long-term retention of that learning.