Ask just about anyone in the personal development field and they’ll likely suggest you make some form of visualization and affirmation a consistent part of each day. Imagining yourself as you wish to be is a powerful technique. Neuroscience has shown that your subconscious brain really doesn’t know the difference between what’s envisioned and what’s real, and the more actual feeling and emotion you can put behind your visions and affirmations, the more likely it is that you’ll be programming yourself to achieve and experience what you’re dreaming of today. That said, some people find the art of visualization more challenging than others. And even if you can imagine yourself as you’d some day like to be, how do you add feeling to it?
My suggestion: add music.
For the last many months, I’ve put some of the following well-known movie themes to great use. They evoke emotion in the films they represent, and they create images and pictures in my mind and amplify good feelings in my dreams and visions. Once I started cluing into how I was actually feeling when I would hear these pieces of music, I got the idea that if I were to speak affirmations along with them, I’d feel the words and ideas with more strength.
It works. It really does supercharge your visualization process. I invite you to try it.
There all kinds of wonderful movie themes and other glorious pieces of music that you can use. This is by no means a “best of” list. These are simply five movie themes that have been in heavy rotation in my playlist. They’ve been a help to me, so I thought I’d share. But by all means, please put your suggestions in the comments, below, and let’s get a empowering playlist going!
“Man of Steel” by Hans Zimmer
The first time I really listened to this particular theme without the visual context of the movie, I had just returned from a week away from work and responsibilities. I felt both a profound sense of gratitude and appreciation for having had the experience but also deep sadness that it had already gone by. I was caught in the space between having been fully present and engaged in that very special time and not yet having reentered the flow of everyday activity I had worked so hard to create prior to my project.
The quiet, reflective and even solemn beginning of this theme made me emotional. I thought of myself as a child, looking up at my current self and asking, “What the heck happened? How did we get so far off course?” I then imagined my child-like self assuring me that it was okay, we still had lots of time to pursue our dreams, as long as we got started right away.
I just happened to be looking in my bathroom mirror when it was playing though my little portable Bluetooth speaker that I use to enjoy music and podcasts as I start my day. As the anthem builds, I can literally feel my physiology starting to change. By the time the melody reaches its crescendo, you will feel, I mean literally feel, the strength and resilience welling up inside of you.
Zimmer’s work is a spot-on representation everything the Superman character represents, from intense personal vulnerability and reflection to the ultimate example of resilience, character, and strength.
If you are interested in building new positive ideas, associations and neural pathways, my strong recommendation is to play this thing in the morning. Look yourself in the eye with a mirror as you do it. As the music builds, say aloud any affirmations that you wish to embed into your being on the cellular level. It could be as simple as saying, “I am strong. I am healthy. I am happy. I am capable of doing whatever I set my mind to do.” Say things like this to yourself with conviction while music like this plays, and see how you feel.
I’m absolutely serious about this. I have recorded my own affirmations in my own voice and found that to be incredibly empowering. Then after a while, I added my voice over the top of music and engage with that through headphones at least once a day. Let me tell you … if you’re interested in really visualizing and feeling yourself becoming the person that you wish to be, try mixing empowering thoughts and words, with empowering music. You will feel it.
2. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” by John Williams
The main melody line of this classic theme is instantly recognizable. It’s more playful and fun with even a hint of innocence to it. It gives me the impression that, like the main character of the film, Indiana Jones, I’ll somehow end up alright no matter what predicaments come my way. It reminds me that life is meant to be an adventure, that adventures are fun, and that I’ll sometimes run into trouble even though I’m not meaning to, but if I keep moving and keep trying, I’ll come through it.
I often listen to this song while I’m at the gym, and it usually makes me smile and press on at the same time.
3. “Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti
This classic anthem from “Rocky” is also impossible not to recognize. It’s been burned into our collective psychology and immediately brings to mind visual and audible cues of the film’s protagonist running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, glugging back several raw eggs or shouting, “Yo Adrian” at the conclusion of the film.
Whether you like the “Rocky” films (I do) or boxing in general (I don’t like the violence of it), it’s almost impossible not to feel your spirit stirred up when you hear the iconic opening notes of this empowering theme. The blast of brass that begins the piece is a triumphant call-to-action. It’s a terrific motivator to put on your speaker or in your headphones whenever you need to give your positive visions and actions and extra boost.
4. “The Medallion Calls” by Klaus Badelt
I absolutely love the soundtrack to all the of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, but I will always associate this anthem as the one that accompanies Captain Jack Sparrow’s on-screen arrival in the first movie. Standing straight and proud atop the mast of his boat as it slips beneath the waves on its way to a perfect Port Royal harbor landing, Captain Jack looks as if everything is just as it’s supposed to be. As with the Raiders of the Lost Ark theme, this one has a unique blend of power and playfulness.
I like to listen to this song when I’m getting ready to start exercising at the gym, or walking up to the floor where the exercise equipment is. I almost imagine it as my introduction music, even though I’m the only one hearing it. It stirs up my energy and raises my heartbeat a few ticks, but also puts me in a positive frame of mind. Not dissimilar to the “Raiders” song, this one gives me the sense that, like Captain Jack, I’ll sometimes run into trouble but there isn’t anything I haven’t been able to get through so far, and I’ll likely get through the next challenge as well. May as well have fun with it.
5. “Superman” by John Williams
In 2015, I moved into a new place which my two sons dubbed “Super House.” That time coincided with my decision to stop drinking alcohol for good. It felt like a time in my life that I was really challenging myself to take another step forward, to be strong get flexible. We started gathering symbols with the Superman logo on it, keychains, a magnet for the fridge, and even a little Superman character to watch over the house.
As that process played out, I began to look at the Superman symbol and the “S” as something that could also stand for “sober.” I thought more about the original character and how he was so strong and capable yet he was often isolated and had to grapple with the idea of having to help people that were not necessarily kind to him or that you could argue did not necessarily deserve the help. His compassion is a key part of his strength.
This proved to be a very powerful vision for me to hold in my mind. I had long-since purchased a CD with a collection of John Williams’ most well-known film pieces, and this theme, from the original movies with Christopher Reeves as the title character, has always stirred my spirit, especially at the 3:18 mark. As noted above, I love the orchestral theme from the more recent “Man of Steel” movie as well, but for my tastes, this John Williams theme is a masterpiece that never fails to make my soul feel energized.
Put this music on and dream your dreams, and you will be sure to supercharge your visualization.
Bonus – “Intention” by Kevin Bulmer and Kevin Gorman
Many years ago, I took a crack at writing my own anthem. I came up with the melody and tasked my friend Kevin Gorman, who worked with me on my “No Schedule Man” CD, with putting it to music. I’ve always been proud of the result, even though I’d forgotten about it until very recently. Luckily, I was able to find it and have enjoyed using it to put behind my own personal affirmations. I’m happy to share it with you here and invite you to come back and use it if you think it might help!
Click this player to hear “Intention:”
What Are Your Favourites?
What movie them or other piece of music do you recommend to supercharge your affirmations, visualization, dreams and visions? Please leave your suggestion in the comment section below. Thank you!