The Importance of Visual Thinking

Right from the time we are born, we learn and experience the world using our five senses:

  1. Sight
  2. Smell
  3. Sound
  4. Taste
  5. Touch
    • Each sense provides us with unique opportunities to understand this world. For most of us, we can’t imagine a life without even one of these senses.
    • Despite centuries of evolution, we still keep learning about how we can use our senses better.
    • There have been always a few who have used these senses for achieving a higher level of human potential.
    • Today we talk about, how the sense of ‘Sight’ has been successfully used by a few individuals in their lives to obtain higher outcomes.
    • Before we get deeper, let’s define ‘Sight’. Sight is what you see with your eyes open. Sight is also what you see when you imagine with your eyes open or closed, i.e. when you make mental images or mental models.

  • What you see with your eyes open is the real world, or rather your perception of the real world. What you see when you imagine, is those aspects of the world that are most important to you.
  • You have seen your wife, parents, brothers, sisters with your eyes open. Just imagine about them. What you see when you imagine about them will be different for different people. Very few people see the complete person when you imagine. Some people see their face and some imagine about certain activities. When I think about my mathematics teacher in school, the first thing that comes to my mind is the steel scale and his hand, with which he used to beat a lot of children for not living up to his standards. When I think about my mother, I visualize those lovely hands that are so eager to keep feeding her child, not matter how much he has already eaten
  • You imagine or see those things that have had a strong impact on you, or those things that are important to you, when you imagine about people and things.
  • Yes, you can also imagine things, things that don’t exist, things that you want to achieve, things that you dream of.
  • Like there are things that have made a strong impact on you, these are things that you deeply desire. When you imagine and think about things that you strongly desire, you can see them clearly; very clearly I must say!
  • Albert Einstein famously wrote in a letter to Jacques Hadamard “The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be ‘voluntarily’ reproduced and combined. …. This combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought before there is any connection with logical construction in words or other kinds of signs which can be communicated to others”.
  • Simply put, he said that Visual thinking helps him achieve better scientific outcomes, than written or spoken mechanisms.
  • In addition to Albert Einstein, geniuses like Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, Michael Faraday and Nikola Tesla were all Visual Thinkers.

So, what is Visual Thinking?

Visual Thinking is the process of trying to make sense of any situation using mental images, mental videos, and mental symbols i.e. being able to visually analyze the situations.

Let’s take some examples:

  • Scenario 1: You are getting into a fight with an opponent.
  • Visual Thinking Application 1: The fighter who is able to visually imagine and understand the next move of the opponent, and then visually plan his/her next move, will ultimately win the fight
  • Scenario 2: You are playing a game of chess with a friend.
  • Visual Thinking Application 2: The player who is able who is able to visualize the next 5+ or 6+ moves and retain it in the mind, and then play accordingly, is the person who is going to win the game
  • Scenario 3: You are negotiating with a customer on the price of a product / service you are selling.
  • Visual Thinking Application 3: If you are able to visualize how your communication is going to result in a response, for which you will need to give a counter-response and so on, you will be better prepared for the negotiation
  • Scenario 4: You are thinking about what is your aim of life, what are your life’s goals, and what do you want out of life.
  • Visual Thinking Application 4: If you are able to visualize in a simple set of images, what you want to achieve in life, and keep reminding yourself of these simple set of images, there is a higher probability of you achieving them, than otherwise
  • The Scenario 4 bring us to the topic of, what we call as Vision Mapping. Vision Mapping, is a process of Visual Thinking where you define using simple images, what you want to achieve in life, with the guidance of an Ojas coach.
  • As you see in the four scenarios, Visual Thinking can have a dramatic impact on the outcomes in every aspect of life.
  • So get started in this beautiful journey of Visual Thinking, and welcome to the club of Visual Thinkers.

God bless.

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