An actor pauses before taking the stage. She visualizes the scene. She sees herself playing this character at her very best. She sees the audience respond in her mind. She sees their shining eyes.
That’s what every pro does. He visualizes the moment when his carefully cultivated ability is on display and working for the benefit of others. He knows these are the moments of truth, the moments he’s practicing for. He’s experienced *meh* performance and deeply desires to give his best.
Essential people do this, too. Though their stage may be smaller, they know there are moments when the lights are bright on them. That executive team meeting. The town hall zoom session. The difficult conversation with a colleague.
They visualize those moments and see themselves as the people who can naturally do what must be done, when it must be done, in the most helpful way. They know how different this is from who they are when they cave to a harmful habit.
Then they get to work. They practice with that vision fueling their effort.