I’m a “glass half full” kind of person. If there’s a way to look at something through a positive set of eyes, I’m there.

I read several books a week, many that teach different theories about operating in life with a positive mindset. But in almost every case, advice can be summed up in one sentence: The world is a great place … why can’t we all get everything we want? By reading many of the books that hit the market each year, you’d be hard pressed to think you couldn’t make all of your dreams come true simply by positive-thinking them into place.

In reality, positive mindset is in every industry, every field, every niche.

It’s one of the most lucrative ways of marketing anything and everything we use in our every day lives.

Tell yourself you can be skinny once again, pop a pill, and it will be so.

Repeat to yourself every morning “I will build a successful business and have a rich and rewarding lifestyle this year”, and you’ll immediately see improvement.

Sounds great, right?

Yet you and I both know that isn’t so.

I’ve “positive mindsetted” myself in a wide array of situations. And even as a “glass half full” kind of person, nothing can get me more frustrated then trying my hardest with little results.

I mean, after all, I positively want a million dollars in the bank. I want a million people to buy my products. I want to take every idea I have and turn it into reality.

But that won’t make it so.

For people like me – the “glass half full” kinds of people – this positivity may work on some occasions. But studies show that if you’re a “glass half empty” kind of person, positive thinking can actually have a reverse effect.

Positive thinking only works if you’re emotionally positive in the first place. Which is good for the small percentage of people who are that way by nature. But what about the rest of the world who isn’t? Things like:

How do I start a business if I’ve continually been told “no”, you can’t do that?

How do I find the right idea to move forward with if so many of my ideas have failed in the past?

Can be more than a little frustrating when you feel like you’ve given it your all, and no results to show for it.

It takes more than positive thinking. That may be clear. But what does it take?

It may take visualization instead.

Interview any of the top athletes or CEOs in the world and they will tell you they saw their success long before it ever became true.

Take Walt Disney…

When Walt Disney World opened in 1971, Walt Disney had died several years before. Yet when Roy Disney, Walt’s brother, was asked what Walt would have thought about the new venue, if he was sad Walt wasn’t alive to see the results, Roy didn’t skip a beat with his answer. “He saw it long before the rest of us.”

He visioned it. He knew exactly what it would look like before the first hole was dug, the first pipe was laid.

I’m sure he had good days and bad as his dream began to take life. But nothing could hold back the vision once it was put into action.

And that’s the key. Visioning it changes everything.

Visioning it doesn’t require you to be positive about the outcome. It simply requires you to take action to make it so. It requires you to see it first, then stop at nothing until it becomes a reality.

Relax and do

A truly successful person will always define themselves in the same way. A writer will always be a writer. An entrepreneur will always be an entrepreneur. Yes, the vehicle by which you move may change, the products or services you create may vary, the actions you take may adjust over time. Yet when you see yourself in it for the long run, magical things can happen. Relax about the outcome and enjoy the process instead. See yourself moving through the stages, not merely at the stopping point with the most successful results. It’s the journey that matter most, not the end result.

Picture it in vivid color

I want to be a writer. That may be your starting point. It’s been mine for many years.

A simple phrase sounds good in theory, but it does little to get you to the finish line. What does a writer’s world look like? What do they do? How do they take action? How do they get results?

Picture yourself writing in a journal every day. What color journal do you use? How many journals do you use in a year? Where do you store them? How do you use them? Now picture yourself sitting in a library filled with your books. Or viewing them on websites online. What color are your book covers? What do they look like on your library shelves? Who visits your blog? What do they say to you?

The more you can surround yourself with the picture of you doing what you do best, of you living in the life you have planned, the easier it is to build towards that goal.

Add the details

Many years ago, before I wrote my first book, I learned a trick from my master writing class. As we were planning our very first books, we were instructed to purchase a book the size and dimension we wanted our first books to take on. Then using simple online programs, we designed our cover as we saw them in our minds. We printed, cut, colored and pasted, giving them our ideal look and feel. Every day we placed our “mock copy” of our book along side of our computers, ready to view as we typed every word.

It worked. By seeing my “finished” book there in front of me every day, it motivated me to write a little every day.

I use that method today in everything I do. Everything gets a “mock up” long before it becomes a reality. Because the quicker I begin to “see it”, the faster I “do it”.

See it again … and again

If you want to be a writer, you have to write. If you want to invest, you have to invest. If you want to build a business, you have to start with your first task.

Each step makes it a reality. Each step helps you see the journey a little clearer. That’s when you can see the next step and begin to put it into place.

Visualizing isn’t something you do once a year on your planning day. It’s something you do every day of your life. It’s about projecting yourself into where you want to go. It’s about seeing yourself doing what you choose to do.

When you get good at seeing yourself in your ideal, your mind finds way to make it a reality. You lose the “ifs” and start doing “nows”. You don’t sit back and wonder if you can do something, you simply start doing it because it has to be done.

That’s when you know you’re on the right track. That’s when success finds you.