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7 Steps to a More Focused and Intentional Life

Andrew Keogh with Joe Schmidt

Andrew Keogh with Joe Schmidt

7 Steps to a More Focused and Intentional Life

(Create Pictures in your Head)

What have …

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Richard Branson, Sheryl Sandberg, Padraig Harrington, Gabriel Byrne, Joe Schmidt

and little old me got in common?

We all have the ability to dream, visualize and create pictures in our heads.

Why is this ability important?

When we read about or meet successful people we realise it is their ability to dream dreams and create pictures in their head that is an important key to their success.

In my discussions with people in workshops and on a daily basis in one to one  coaching sessions, I realize that few people have the ability to create pictures in their head.

This was something done in childhood, but now forgotten or dismissed like Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.

By developing this skill again, you can enjoy more success in your life or simply enjoy life more.

Try the following 7 simple and enjoyable steps …

Step 1: Start by reminding yourself of how you used to dream

Start by reminding yourself of how you used to dream and create pictures in your head, as a child.

As an example here is the postscript to the introduction to Gabriel Byrnes book entitled ‘Pictures in my Head’.

“I’m sitting by the Rio Grande. The Desert stretches away endlessly. I am making a cowboy picture with two old friends from the Apollo cinema in Walkinstown, Robert Mitchum and Jack Palance. I am still playing cowboys! And the sky seems as blue and innocent as it  always did back then. And for just a few moments I can believe that nothing has changed. And that’s the magic”.

Step 2: Use your imagination again

When did you stop?

Why did you stop?

Was it suggested to you perhaps that daydreaming was for children only and not for tough people in the business world. Yet all the successful people you meet or read about will talk and get excited about their future visions and goals.

Take the advice of Jack Black, Rory McIlroy, Joe Schmidt and Gabriel Byrne, start dreaming and visualising yourself enjoying the benefits of living the newly created pictures in your head.

Step 3: Create New Pictures in your head

How?  Find a quiet place free from interruption and start.

We have just completed the Christmas festivities and a new year stretches out ahead of us like a blank canvas.  What do you want to paint on this canvas?

Learn to think in pictures, flesh out your thoughts and experience the adrenalin rush this will provide.

Have fun developing this skill again; involve a partner or mentor in the process.  This will emphasise your commitment to success and also provide you with support and encouragement ensuring that your picture becomes a reality.

Step 4: Commit your Pictures to paper

Write or draw your picture, have yourself in the picture, enjoying whatever it is you want to do.

This picture must excite you each time you read it.  How often should you read or look at your picture?  Every day. (First thing in the morning and last thing at night)

Start now, using clear powerful, present tense language. Have lots of detail in your picture, colours, smells, textures, movement, sounds, images, joy and excitement.

Think like a child, an artist, and a poet; be at your most creative.

Take a blank page now and fill it!


It is …………………………  (a future date)


I am…………………………


e.g.      Sitting in my new office……

            Enjoying working in my own business………..

            Driving my new car……………………………

            Decorating my new home………………………


Step 5: Enthusiastically act out your dreams

What do I mean?

Take steps that lead you towards your picture!

For example …

  • If you picture yourself skiing in the Alps.
  • Book a skiing lesson as a first step.
  • If you picture yourself in a new house in 12 months time.
  • Visit some show houses or buy a small accessory for the house that you can keep to hand.
  • If you picture yourself in a better job.
  • Dress to suit the new position and not your current position.

This has the added advantage of testing out the water to ensure the picture you have created for yourself is practical.

As an example, I have always driven Alfa Romeo cars and had the ambition some years ago to own an Alfa Spider soft top.  I am 6’4” tall and when I took a test drive in a Spider my head was above the windscreen.   I would have had to wear goggles to keep flies out of my eyes.

The test drive demonstrated that my picture was not practical, so I needed to re-focus.

Step 6: Succeed = Practice living your dreams

This is what successful sports people and business people do.

  • Start with the shorter putts
  • The smaller orders

Create successful outcomes, which will motivate you to move on to bigger successes.

  •  Sink the medium putts
  • The medium contracts

Having sunk the 12ft putts and closed the medium deals you have now created a cushion of success giving you the confidence to face the big challenges.

Work on sinking the 20ft putts, the bigger deals, all the time reminding yourself of your past successes.

Step 7:  See BIGGER Pictures

Once you are in the habit of implementing the six previous steps you will realize how simple and enjoyable it is to plan for your future.

One of our biggest failings in planning for our future is that we plan based on our past achievements not on our true potential.

Our pictures are often too small, we need to make them BIGGER

7 Steps to SUCCESS:

S – Start by reminding yourself of how you used to dream

U – Use your imagination again

C – Create new pictures in your head

C – Commit your pictures to paper

E – Enthusiastically act out your dreams

S – Succeed = Practice living your dreams

S – See bigger pictures

If you need help and encouragement to take the first step or would like support throughout the process click here to contact me