Character Chats

Using Our Mind to Help Vision

Using our mind to help our vision.

Here at True Balance Karate in Downers Grove, Illinois, we have a social-emotional learning program called True Character. I’m Master H, owner and chief instructor here at the studio. We have developed this curriculum to best meet the needs of our youngest students, all the way up through our oldest students.

This month we’re talking about vision. Like I said earlier, we started the year talking about optimism and having a positive attitude. Then, we talked about purpose and our reasons why we were working towards something, and when we hit a low point, we use our optimism to help with that purpose.

This month we’re talking about vision. We started off defining it. Last week, we were talking about how we use our eyes to be able to see everything around us.

Visualizing Goals

Today we’re talking about our goals, how we use our mind to picture what it is that we wish to accomplish. For a lot of people, that can be somewhat difficult. Younger kids, they have imaginations like you wouldn’t believe, or maybe you would, and they’re able to picture what it would be like to do different things and they come up with these awesome stories and all that kind of thing.

Then somewhere in the journey, we lose that for some of us. So I would challenge you to imagine what it would be like to achieve whatever goal it is.

In meditation, when we’re getting into a meditative state, sometimes we’ll talk about trying to find your peaceful space, your happy space.

We’ll go through the five senses and have everybody close their eyes and have to picture that in their head. Then they have to listen for all the sounds that they would hear in that space, and then they would have to smell. What would you smell?

So for me, my happy space is the beach. Obviously, I’m not at a beach right now. But if you were to close your eyes, I’m sure you could picture being in the beach. I’m sure you could picture hearing the waves crashing on the shore. I’m sure it could be a little bit of a sensory picture, feeling the sand beneath your toes or running through your hands, feeling the salt in the air on your face, smelling the salt water. I’m sure you could pull that up into your memory. If you happen to breathe through your mouth or something like that, you might taste the salt water. Or maybe you’re enjoying a nice cup of coffee while you’re walking on the beach and you’re tasting that.

All of those things are what we’re talking about, when we’re talking about imagining our goal being accomplished in our vision.

Types of Visualization

Here at the studio, we’ve gone through a couple different things. One thing is our vision boards. Earlier, one of the other type of vision boards are these worksheets right here, hanging on this wall. They had a bubble sheet, and one of the things that it asks them was like, “What would it look like if you were to achieve black belt?”

Vision boards, no different, only it’s a poster board size, and you’ve got pictures of what that would look like. Going through those types of visualization processes in your head helps you create a clearer picture of what it is that you wish to accomplish.

Above my head, we have our black belt goal board. These are all of our students who achieved black belt. When you earn your black belt, you make the wall. When you be a black belt, you stay on the wall. It’s a visual reminder to all of the students. If this was your goal, you want to keep working towards that.

Helping Others’ Vision

So as we’re going along and you hear kids talking about what they hope to accomplish or what they want to be, or what they’re really interested in, asking them questions of, “Well, what does that look like to you? What do you think that would be like?,” helps them solidify more of that within their own selves, and it helps them create a vision of how that’s going to go.

When they’re faced with problems, when they’re faced with low moments, when they’re faced with opportunities for growth, they can hold onto that vision to help see them through. They can apply that optimistic attitude that we talked about in January to help them continue on their journey.

So as we continue to talk about vision this month, it’s not just about what you can see with your eyes, but it’s also what you can see with your mind.

Thanks, and I’ll see you on the mat!


True Balance Karate was founded in 2012 by Master Sue and Paul Helsdon.

We offer kids karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up. These lessons are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need — specialized for their age group — for school excellence and later success in life.

Our adult martial arts training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay) in shape, or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week at 630-663-2000. You can also contact us here