Meditation

How to Use Visualization to Create the Life You Desire

Relaxed young man laying on ground and listening to music on autumn day.
Relaxed young man laying on ground and listening to music on autumn day.

At the beginning of a new year, many of us think about what we wish for our future. Sometimes we feel excited by the possibilities, and other times we feel overwhelmed or unclear about what we want. When we feel unclear, often it is because we think we cannot have what we hope for or we have been conditioned to think we should want something else that is more “sensible” or more aligned with what others expect.

No one but you can envision your path. In the classic text, the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna tells Arjuna, “It is better to strive in one's own dharma than to succeed in the dharma of another. Nothing is ever lost in following one's own dharma. But competition in another's dharma breeds fear and insecurity.”

Have you ever had that experience of comparison? Especially in the age of social media, it’s so easy to look at orchestrated clips of someone else’s life and think that you want what they have. This act of comparison has always been around, and now it’s accessible in the palm of our hands with technology.

When you feel yourself slipping into comparison, it’s the perfect time to step away from the news feed and direct yourself toward something that fulfills you. You can cook a delicious meal for yourself, get outside and enjoy the weather while you dream about what you wish for yourself, and meditate for more clarity about your unique path.

When you get quiet, you become clear about what you truly want for your future. It becomes clear who you are and what you have to offer the world. You begin to know yourself better and create the life that will fulfill you.

The Entire Ocean in a Drop

To increase your motivation for visualization, it helps to understand who you truly are. The question of who we are in relationship to the whole of existence has been explained in analogies about the ocean and a drop of water. If we think of all of existence as an ocean, we can imagine each of us is a drop of water in that ocean. This beautiful analogy is a way to understand our place at home in the cosmos when we feel singularly separate from others and the mystery of all that is.

That analogy has been taken a step further in these words by the 13th century Persian poet and Sufi mystic Rumi, “You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop.” How does that change our mindset? It depicts each of us as containing all of the magnificence of the entire ocean in what feels like our comparatively small and separate being. All of the majesty and mystery of the mighty ocean is contained within each of us.

The Sheer Exuberance of Creativity

Deepak Chopra illuminates a spin on that ocean-drop analogy. He suggests instead of identifying as the drop, we are meant to identify as the ocean having the drop-experience. We are the entire universe (or awareness itself), having the experience of being human, rather than a human who is part of the entire universe/awareness. As we think about creating our life, we can remember that we are the universe, we are awareness, having a human experience.

When we realize that we are the vastness of awareness, we understand that we are the very essence that creates in a way that we can’t comprehend. We might not be able to scientifically explain exactly how life and experiences form, however we are made of the very same energy that creates.

In his book Metahuman, Chopra explains that life began 3.8 billion years ago with RNA that could divide and replicate, then cells appeared with outer membranes, then single-celled organisms evolved into multicelled organisms. About the evolution from single-cell to multicell, he says:

The leap to multicelled organisms wasn’t due to physical necessity—it was a creative breakthrough, and an astounding one. For almost three billion years, single-celled organisms were thriving, mutating into news species on an endless conveyor belt (which is still running at mid-ocean, where millions, perhaps billions, of undiscovered single-celled creatures ride on its surface). […] With such a successful enterprise showing no signs of waning, there was no reason to risk multicelled life, except for one: the sheer exuberance of creativity. (p. 199)

Single cells didn’t have any reason to evolve into more complex life forms. Chopra suggests this happened as if for the curiosity of it, for the desire to experience more, to fulfill a wish to see what else is possible. Do you ever feel that way, too? Nature shows us that life at its core thrives when creating. By design, one of our basic needs is to create the evolution of our own life.

Take Time to Visualize

We do not have to know the science or mechanics of how creation works to know the steps for creating the life we desire. Many teachers and authors have shared the formula, and if you look back on your life you can see that naturally you have done this before.

  • Discover what you truly wish for in your life. This comes from your talents, gifts, and imagination.
  • Visualize the important details for a few moments each day.
  • Feel how it feels to be living in that reality when you visualize it.
  • Hold lightly to the vision, without forcing anything.
  • Do not worry about the “how.”
  • Be open to it happening in a way much better than you expect.
  • Move in the direction as though it is inevitable, be prepared.
  • Notice and be grateful along the way for baby steps.
  • Take time to celebrate when the visions come to be reality.

One of the most important features of creating the life you desire is belief. That’s why it’s so important to understand what Chopra explains above, that you are pure awareness having a human experience. You have the magnificence, the capability, and the drive to create what your innermost desires point toward for a fulfilled and joyful life. Hold onto that belief as you head into this new year, visualizing how you wish for it to unfold.


Discover the power of intention and manifestation in a special conversation with Deepak Chopra, available now in the Chopra App.