The very public secret to success.

"He who says he can and he who says he can’t are both usually right."

Oprah, Jim Carrey, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kerry Walsh, Lindsey Vonn, Will Smith and many others credit visualization, the meditative practice of positive thinking and focused visions, with helping them thrive in their career and life.

Maybe you've heard of "The Law of Attraction" and "Manifestations", or maybe you haven't. This article will help you start using them effectively, with the powerful tools visualization and affirmations. These can be used to bring your dreams and goals to fruition.

Another way to look at visualization is using your imagination to feel and live your goals, dreams and affirmations in your mind instead of writing them.

How to understand the difference between affirmations and visualizations.

Example: Yvonne's goal is to win the Quidditch Cup tournament. (Harry Potter reference)

Option 1 using Affirmations:

Yvonne decides to write on a piece of parchment using affirmations in the present tense "I am the champion of the Quidditch Cup tournament!"

Option 2 using Visualizations:

Yvonne decides to meditate and visualize the wind rushing past her, the crowd cheering her name, the sweat rolling down her cheek from that close encounter with sliterins toughest team member, and finally that winning goal imagining exactly what hoop the ball would go through. Last but not least Dumbledore hands Yvonne the winning house cup. The metal is cold and soothing in her hands. She did it!

Which technique do you feel would benefit more?

Looking and hearing it or living it and experiencing every part of it?

Many athletes have used the technique of "mental imagery," or visualization, to up their game and perform at their peak. "Mental imagery impacts many cognitive processes in the brain: motor control, attention, perception, planning, and memory," researcher Angie LeVan wrote in Psychology Today. "So the brain is getting trained for actual performance during visualization. It’s been found that mental practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence and self-efficacy, improve motor performance, prime your brain for success, and increase states of flow."

From the Winter Olympics to the NBA, more and more professional athletes -- including Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Olympic gold medal-winning volleyball players Misty May-Trainor and Kerry Walsh -- have turned to the benefits of meditation to help their performances. The practice can help improve an athlete's mental game by reducing stress, increasing focus and attention span, and boosting emotional well-being.

Consider these three examples:

  • Boxing legend Muhammad Ali was always stressing the importance of seeing himself victorious long before the actual fight.

  • As a struggling young actor, Jim Carrey used to picture himself being the greatest actor in the world.

  • Michael Jordan always took the last shot in his mind before he ever took one in real life.

These top performers, among many others, have mastered the technique of positive visualization and openly credit it as a success tactic.

You can harness the power of visualization outside of athletics. Before you take the stage and speak to a large audience, picture yourself giving the “perfect” speech. Begin weeks in advance by picturing the audience, your choice of words and the reaction from the crowd once your finished. Visualization can be applied to any area of your life.

When you think of a big goal or dream that you want to achieve, it’s natural to think of all of the obstacles that will come your way. The problem is far too often we allow these obstacles to become so big in our minds that it inhibits us from moving forward. This is when many become satisfied with mediocrity.

Don’t let this be you. Rather than creating larger-than-life barriers in your mind and dwelling on everything that will hold you back, envision yourself victorious like Ali. Picture yourself as the greatest at your craft like Carrey. Visualize your next shot as your winning shot like MJ.

Start now!

The truth is, if you can’t picture yourself achieving a goal, chances are you won’t. The more vivid you can get, the better it will work for you. Start thinking of your personal goals in life. Spend about 10 to 15 minutes picturing yourself achieving each one.

Get as detailed as possible. Picture what you will do once your goal is reached. How amazing does it feel? How will this change the course of your life? Remember, the little details increase the likelihood of the big picture.

“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe. ”-Oprah

If you don't know who Carrie Green is... you're welcome. Watch the video below.