Thinking about what you have to do to prepare for a challenge was more likely to lead to success than imagining the victory.
Outcome and process have been put head-to-head experimentally by Pham and Taylor (1999) who had students either visualise their ultimate goal of doing well in an exam or the steps they would take to reach that goal, i.e. studying.
The results were clear-cut. Participants who visualised themselves reading and gaining the required skills and knowledge, spent longer actually studying and got better grades in the exam.
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