Visualising your success… with Jim Carrey

In order to achieve an ambitious goal, all the experts agree that you have to start by imagining your success in your thoughts. This technique, known as “positive visualisation”, not only makes it possible to set a course and stay on it, but also to put yourself in condition for enabling your dream to become reality. We could go into the details of the process, and of how the neurons work in our brains, but to understand the concept well, there is no better way than to watch the famous interview of Jim Carrey. In 1997, the actor was invited onto Oprah Winfrey’s show, and he confided to her about how he managed to cash his first cheque for 10 million dollars…

Jim Carrey told her how, three years before becoming a household name, he used to take a little detour when he was driving home and go via Mulholland Drive, where the biggest Hollywood stars live. To make himself feel better, he then used to imagine living there and “things coming to [him] that [he] wanted”… At about the same time, he decided to write himself a cheque for 10 million dollars, and promised himself he would actually cash it three years later. The cheque gradually deteriorated in his wallet, but three years later, he found out he was going to make that sum for his first Box Office hit, Dumb & Dumber by the Farrelly brothers.

So is it enough to write yourself a cheque for 10 million in order then to earn it? Definitely not, and this anecdote takes nothing away from the work and the talent of Jim Carrey. But it does give us a superb demonstration of the art of visualisation. To succeed somewhere, we need to start by convincing ourselves that it is possible, and then focus all our efforts so that others believe it too. By writing and then handling the cheque, Jim Carrey started to make his dream palpable. He could then expend all of his energy in a single direction, until the impossible became possible. As Oprah says, “visualisation works if you work hard!” Indeed we leave the last word to her: “If you can see it and believe it, it is a lot easier to achieve it.”

Virgil Benyayer