The Process of 'Vivid Thinking' Which Makes Success Certain! - Part 1
Some principles are so simple that we often overlook their significance. For instance, success is lack of failure; each failure is due to some mistake; each mistake in action originates in some mistake in thinking. To change from failure to success, it is necessary to develop those processes of thought which prevent mistakes, and which lead to success.
There is a process of success. It is a dual process. The first step is vivid imaging in thinking. It is the subject of this chapter. The second step is idealized doing. It is the subject of the next chapter. This dual process-vivid imaging and idealized doing -guarantees success.
Thinking in vivid images is the only process which always prevents mistakes.
Even great experts make mistakes when they fail to think in vivid images.
The great Quebec Bridge fell down in the process of construction. All the factors determining its construction had been given careful thought by great engineers. There had been months of exact figuring and calculation of stresses and strains. Certainly, the engineers and constructors did not intend it to collapse, delay their work, injure their reputation as bridge builders, and cause loss of life.
Yet, it did collapse, and hence someone- evidently many engineers - made some serious mistake in thinking, overlooking some important factor. Can such mistakes in examining a plan-no matter what it is -be prevented? Can they always be prevented?
As you study the failure of the noted engineers who planned the Quebec Bridge, and the colossal blunder of the great engineers who planned two of the subways of New York City, you will be convinced that the most expert and careful thinking about a plan, and the most exact examination of it, do not guarantee success nor prevent failure. You will also be convinced that nothing but vivid images can prevent such failures.
This study will not mean much to you unless you realize that an idea differs from a mental image, and unless you discriminate between the process of "thinking-in-ideas" and that of "thinking-in-vivid-images."
Your mind is a living consciousness, but you often permit the greater part of its content to die. The content is usually a colony of corpses of images which were once alive. That is the difference between ideas and vivid images. Ideas are the dead corpses of images which were once living and vivid.
In his mind, the successful inventive genius forms vivid images of every part of the machine which he is constructing. Before it is made, he mentally sees each part separately, and all parts assembled and working together. After examining a new machine he is able at any time to re-image a picture of the machine. He re-sees the image when the physical object is no longer present. That is thinking in vivid images.
You look at the same machine; but, after leaving it, you are able "only to think about it." That is thinking in ideas. Vividness is a quality of mind which makes geniuses, and it can be developed. When you read "the iron is hot," you think of the idea of heat. When you accidentally put your finger tip on the red hot iron, your mind thinks in vivid images of special heat, because an image is the immediate result of sense impressions. A vivid image is formed by sense impressions.
Success begins by testing every factor of your plan by vivid sense images. That means testing what you plan to do by mental pictures formed by use of all of the senses. If you are testing a thing, use the special senses themselves. If you are testing plans or propositions, use the sense images.
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