Combining These Two Techniques Will Accelerate Mastery of Skills
The brain cannot tell whether the stimulus it receives is happening in the mind or via the body’s senses. This is why repeatedly dreaming about being chased and harmed will cause you to wake up weakened or fatigued, even walking with a limp because of hurting yourself in a dream in extreme cases.
It is not only dreams that can affect our body though, our mind’s ability to imagine itself in different places and experiences through creative visualization practice can also affect our body and our skill performance. Olympians use visualization to improve their own performance, and you can benefit from it too. You begin by implementing a dedicated practice of them, this will radically accelerate mastery of the skills you want to improve.
Visualization is the best starting point, because it will train your skills of willpower and intent which will help you with the second skill called lucid dreaming, or consciously dreaming on purpose. In addition to the improvement in willpower and intent, practicing visualizing in greater detail will improve the detail and clarity you have in dreams.
There are many great sources of information on how to master Visualization, so this will only cover a short overview to illustrate stages of skill level. A good start for visualization is to find a small object you can carry in your pocket and pull out and study for a minute. Then close your eyes and imagine seeing the object on a screen behind your eyes for a minute. Alternate back and forth three times each as a practice session. Do as many practice sessions as you can a day until it becomes easy to call on the image with clarity.
From there you can likely find yourself able to visualize other things besides the small object as well. Keep practicing in small controlled bursts of one to five minutes as a practice session as many times a day as you can to improve your skills with creative visualization. Once other objects are easy, imagine seeing yourself performing tasks related to the skill you want to master as perfectly as possible. Keep practicing this visualization as many short bursts a day as you can.
The next skill to work on is Lucid dreaming. There are many great sources of information on how to master this skill, so, much like for visualization this will only cover a short overview of the stages. When dreaming, sometimes you notice you are dreaming. When this happens, you are said to be having a lucid dream. The skill of lucid dreaming is in having that experience on purpose. This allows you to take control of the dream and direct the experience to any you would like to have, which includes the benefit of experiencing a dilation of time allowing you much more time experienced in the dream than passes for your body.
Step one is setting the intention to wake up in your dreams while your body sleeps restfully and then going to sleep and letting it happen. Step two is remembering when you wake up within the dream that you want to use that time to practice the skill you want to master as much as possible before it’s time for your body to wake up. The time spent practicing visualizing practicing the skill will help you remember what you are wanting to train. Step three is practice as much as possible while in the dream.
The Combination and Results
Once you have begun actively practicing both Visualization and Lucid Dreaming you can dedicate time while awake and asleep training that skill to add to the time you can possibly train that skill physically allowing you to master that skill far faster than would be possible without using these two techniques.
Those two skills, in combination will with the benefits from proper sleep guarantee a minimum of 20-30% improvement in retention and performance of skills over the required amount of time to master the skill. Those results are the minimum average range, they could be better. If the skill takes 1000 hours to master, that’s a time savings of 200 – 300 hours.
Let us know what skills you are working on mastering in the comments and please ask any questions you have so we can help search for the answers together!
Motor Learning Without Doing: Trial-by-Trial Improvement in Motor Performance During Mental Training
How to practice effectively… for just about anything – Annie Bosler and Don Greene
The Power of Creative Visualization – Vishen Lakhiani
The Benefits of Visualization – Joe Rogan
The Scientific Power of Thought
Lucid Dreaming – What it is and how to do it