Last week I was interviewed by Shelley Irwin of WGVU radio – a promo for the program I am doing for Women’s Inforum of Western Michigan in Grand Rapids on September 30th at Amway World eadquarters. The presentation is based on my latest book, You CAN Teach a Pig to Sing. This was just one of a number of interviews I’ve given over the past several months on the topic. Inevitably, the interviewer will ask me, “What is one thing people can do if they want to transform difficult relationships? My response is always the same: Visualize the relationship you want, and then act as if you already have it.
The power to visualize and then act to bring about the outcomes you desire is not restricted to transforming relationships. It’s true for anything you want to achieve.
Human beings have a tremendous power to visualize. In fact, your eyes are taking in approximately 4 million bytes of information per second, processing, and forming pictures in your mind’s eye. For example, if I were to write the words, “charging rhino,” you wouldn’t simply see the words. Your mind
would instantly draw up a picture of a charging rhino based on a memory bank of experiences, whether from an actual safari you’ve taken, a trip to the zoo, or perhaps from having seen a rhino in a National Geographic Special on TV. You have the ability to picture almost anything in your mind’s eye, and that same aptitude plays a key role in what you are able to achieve. First conception, then birth. The mental pictures that you carry around with you have an uncanny way of materializing.
The pastors of our church had a vision twenty years ago of growing a large church. Before there were enough people to fill the seats, you could drive by the church and see a team of people directing traffic in the parking lot. They were acting as if they already had what they envisioned. Today our church boasts a membership of well over 4,000 and the numbers continue to grow steadily. First conception, then birth.
Leaders of all kinds understand that conception comes before birth. AJ Jones, ND, is a perfect example.
AJ, CEO of Family Health Center [FHC] of Battle Creek, MI, had a vision of a health center where people would be proud to work and where patients would feel welcomed and respected regardless of their ability to pay. He once said to me, “Mary Jane, I see a place where human life matters, where no one judges you for your past, present or future sins. I see a place where everyone’s voice is heard, where life is respected, and you’re given the help you need to get and stay healthy. And that goes beyond just immediate medical help. It means connecting people with the resources in the community that they need for themselves and their families.”
It’s no wonder that besides providing for a patient’s medical and dental needs, the FHC of Battle Creek also includes a food pantry and a service for clothing those in need, or that it serves as a leading health education center and a model for other health providers through its innovative pilot health care programs and health center operations.
AJ Jones has commented that he sees the potential in the people who work for him, and he sees the future in the hearts and souls of people who come to the Center for help. He says that he can see so much just by looking into someone’s eyes.
Well, I can tell you from personal experience that when you look into the eyes of A.J. Jones, you see someone who lives his mission to:
1. Be faithful and committed to a mission/calling to make a difference in the lives of the underserved.
2. Hire the right people to fulfill the goals of the organization. 3. Live by the Spiritual law that says, “Do unto others as you would have done on to you.”
This past summer, the FHC of Battle Creek celebrated their twenty-fifth year anniversary. They are hailed as visionary in their approach to meeting the changing needs of their patients and their community, and a leader in addressing community health issues. Today the FHC operates at two sites –
Battle Creek and Albion, employs approximately 250 people, and serves as the home for more than 31,000 community residents.
If you’d like to see what a leader with a powerful vision can accomplish, I would encourage you to click on the following link for the full story: http://fhcbc.org/aboutus/IntrotoFHC.htm
Congratulations to AJ Jones and his team of professionals for making your vision your reality!
As a leader, coach yourself by asking these questions:
- Do I have a clear vision for my business? Relationships? Life?
- Have I written my vision down on paper? Do I review it daily?
- Am I committed enough to my vision to act as if I already have it?