What is more, in social spheres of development, such as love, friendship, team relationships, — not only doesn’t visualization give the desired result, but may even be counterproductive. The goals are viewed separately from the means necessary for their achievement. One rejoices before a goal is attained, and it distracts him/her from the process of its attainment. One stops working hard, working on oneself, making efforts. One hasn’t even embarked on the path to success but thinks he/she has already achieved it. More often than not, one ends up living in his/her own illusory world, as he/she completely gives up any further efforts to solve his/her problems.
A worthwhile visualization experiment was set up by American scientists. They experimented with groups of students. Group 1: students were asked to spend a few moments each day visualizing with a clear image how great it would feel to make a high grade on an important mid-term exam that would take place in a few days time. Group 2: students were asked to spend a few minutes each day thinking when, where, and how they intended to study. Group 3: control group of students not asked to visualize doing especially well on the exams. Students visualizing being A students (Group 1), studied less and made lower grades on the exam. They felt better about themselves but achieved less. Students giving thought to studying, prepared better, studied more, scored higher grades, and were less stressed.
This is exactly what yoga says: one should focus on the process, not the result. Focusing on results is always a little faulty. Why? It’s because things never work out the way we intend them to. One thinks if he/she buys a bicycle, he/she will have a lot of fun, but has to spend time pumping up the tires or fixing the chain that keeps falling off. One breaks legs and arms. One thinks marrying a certain person will make him/her happy but spends his/her whole life fighting with a partner over whose turn it is to wash the dishes.