Our network marketing business is booming. Our thoughts turn to our new home with its circular driveway and grand entrance. We open the large mahogany door and walk past the formal living spaces, awestruck by the sheer beauty and majesty. We enter the gourmet kitchen and run our hand along the smooth marble counters. Out of the corner of our eye we catch the glistening water from our pool. We open the French doors and breathe in the clean early-evening air while scanning the panoramic view. Ahhh... everything is so vivid and real—

Suddenly screeching tires and honking horns rudely interrupt our euphoric escape from reality. We just ran a stop sign and almost hit a car broadside. Heart pounding, fear pulsing through our veins, we take a deep breath and focus on driving the last six blocks home.

The rawness of reality quickly reminds us that our "for-sure" business builder didn't show, turning tonight's opportunity meeting into a complete waste of time. We rattle home in our aging car to a small apartment, a non-supportive spouse, a fussy infant, a pile of screaming bills and, tomorrow morning, a job we hate.

How can our vivid visualizations ever manifest our dreams when there is such disparity?

We came to network marketing with visions of time and financial freedom. We have dared to taste the sweet possibilities of a life free of stress, pain, debt and frustration. However, our exhilarating dream-board destinations keep getting interrupted by painful pangs of reality that leave us emotionally paralyzed.

We have been taught to dream, to vividly visualize. Every leader we know has dreams and a powerful vision. But why are our dreams not manifesting? What are we doing wrong?

The answers to these heartfelt and often heartbreaking questions are simple but can be painful to hear:

1. Escape and fantasy often prevent us from taking the very action needed to create the dream. Out of pain and frustration with current life experiences, we are seeking an easier way, a shortcut. We may want the blessings without obeying the laws upon which the blessings are predicated, the reward without the work.

2. The power that governs abundance loves us too much to burden us with that which we are not prepared to handle. It knows that premature financial abundance could crush us, as evidenced by so many lottery winners. The responsibility that comes with abundant resources could put us, our families and our friends at risk. That power will not grant our wishes if we are not prepared and genuinely ready to receive and assume.

3. This place of ease, free from pain and frustration, that we visit in our fantasies exists only in our mind. The hard truth is, no such place exists on this physical planet. The existence of a place free from obstacles is one of the most deceptive and devastating myths to emerge from the last decade. The pursuit of absolute ease and comfort for their own sake is a dead-end street.

Here are five practices that will assist you in using the power of visualization constructively:

1. Mental Rehearsal: Use your gift of vivid visualization to preview future events and challenging assignments in an effort to prepare, seek guidance, gain clarity, improve skills or mitigate fear. Instead of coming from a desire to escape and avoid reality, use your imagination to learn how to more effectively create in reality. Keep asking, "What can I create, how can I create it, what bigger purpose will it serve?"

2. Inspiration: Seek insight and direction regarding ways in which to best serve others. Begin each day by stating, "If there is anyone I can serve, put them on my path and I will serve them." When you do so, inspired impressions will come to you. Acting on these impressions, you will feel a sense of connection with a power greater than yourself giving meaning and purpose to your visualizations.

3. Exploration: Use visualization to "try on" possibilities, new ideas or life scenarios in order to gain clarity and facilitate good decisions before making tangible commitments. Once clarity manifests, mistakes are minimized and creation moves forward faster.

4. Problem solving: Use visualization to review the elements of a problem in search of a creative and workable solution. This will help you avoid the pitfall of despair called catastrophizing, which can otherwise consume valuable time. Staying in creation mode, you will manifest inspired solutions which would have never manifested during fantasy or while engaged in catastrophizing.

5. Planning and goal-setting: Use visualization to peer into the future and identify attainable dreams. While in that mental space, review in detail what is required and when, where, and how you can create this dream in tangible reality. Vividly see things through from beginning to end. These vivid dreams sustain us in difficult and challenging moments and give purpose to our suffering. We always know why we are doing what we are doing, even if it's tough.

When we discipline our minds to engage in one of these five mental practices, not only do ideas, impressions, clarity, solutions to challenges and dreams manifest, we also start to participate in the tangible creation of our reality through passion-driven action.

Instead of wanting to escape, we fall in love with living in the now and work tirelessly with intention to create each incremental step between where we are now and where we want to be.

That's when we fall deeply in love with our business and become wide open to its possibilities.


DAVID BLANCHARD is CEO of the Og Mandino Group.
He is the author of
Intentional Creation: Creating Your Dreams in
Tangible Reality. To take the Intentional Creation
Assessment and measure your thought processes, go to