Man seated doing a visualization exercise
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How to Dream

Join globally renowned author and Columbia Business School professor Dr. Sheena Iyengar as she explains how to approach your dreams with a new perspective. Learn to reflect on what you long to accomplish and what stands in your way.

Leadership with Passion through Kokorozashi

The key ingredient to success? Passion.

Finding your kokorozashi will unify your passions and skills to create positive change in society. This GLOBIS Unlimited course will help you develop the values and lifelong goals you need to become a strong, passion-driven leader.

When you’re thinking about making a big career decision, it can be hard to get into a good headspace. You may have intrusive negative thoughts that make it hard to imagine a positive outcome. If you’re facing that struggle, it’s always a good idea to seek out help from someone who’s been through it before.

Ivan Rabb is an athlete with a storied career. From playing college basketball to being selected as a round-two NBA draft pick, he went on to become a professional basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies. 

He then made the decision to take the next step in his career and create his own company. Rabb spoke at a recent GLOBIS USA seminar about finding your kokorozashi (personal mission) in life. We sat down with him and talked about his decision to change careers, as well as the powerful visualization techniques that helped him find his way.

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Training Future Athletes for Mental Health

Insights: You recently made the bold decision to step back from professional basketball to start your own company. Could you tell us about the work you’re doing now?

Ivan Rabb: I’ve started my own company called Prosperity Rising. We currently have basketball camps for kids and teens, and I plan one day to start an academy where the athletes will learn about more than basketball. Mental health is big portion of that: How to identify their triggers, break those triggers down, and use them to their advantage in their lives and careers.

I also want to create workshops to raise the kid’s awareness and consciousness. When you’re young, there are so many things out there that you don’t realize you were passionate about. Then you get older, and it’s brought to your awareness.

Leadership with Passion through Kokorozashi

The key ingredient to success? Passion.

Finding your kokorozashi will unify your passions and skills to create positive change in society. This GLOBIS Unlimited course will help you develop the values and lifelong goals you need to become a strong, passion-driven leader.

So in addition to basketball camps, I do mental health and wellness consulting—or I as I like to call it, optimism training.

Ivan Rabb with students at Prosperity Rising
Ivan Rabb with students at Prosperity Rising

Becoming a Visualization Consultant

Insights: When did you become interested in learning more about mental health and meditation?

Rabb: It started through basketball. That’s where it was most prevalent for me because there were times where I struggled on the court. My coaches, parents, friends, and family taught me that the game of basketball is 90% mental. You can replace the game of basketball with any profession. It’s mostly mental.

Insights: Most people would find that surprising. How do you communicate the role of mentality to your consulting clients?

Rabb: A lot of people think that you have to become a monk and completely separate yourself from everyone to meditate. But if you listen to some of the greatest athletes in the world, or even businesspeople, they all speak about closing their eyes and visualizing themselves in a position to live their dreams. It’s a very common thing.

How to Dream

Join globally renowned author and Columbia Business School professor Dr. Sheena Iyengar as she explains how to approach your dreams with a new perspective. Learn to reflect on what you long to accomplish and what stands in your way.

In my experience, everyone I’ve been around has used visualization, whether they realize it or not. There are different types of meditation, and I feel like people need to understand that.

Some people are trying to reach enlightenment. Some people meditate strictly to visualize themselves succeeding. I tend to combine objectives to create my own system that works for me.

Insights: Do you have any advice for people who want to harness the power of mindfulness to achieve their goals?

Rabb: First, look at the list of goals that you’ve created on your bulletin board or your notebook, wherever that may be, and just choose one. Visualize yourself with the finished product.

What does it feel like? What does it taste like? Are you eating great food?  What does it smell like? What does this sound like? What are you hearing? What type of conversations are you having? And lastly, what do you see?

Using the senses is a trick more people need to understand. What I’ve learned through research is that your brain can’t tell the difference between a physical action and an imagined one, as long as it has feeling.

When you continuously repeat that visualization technique, it’s only a matter of time before you step into the role you’re aiming for. I like to think of it as putting a magnifying glass toward the reality that you want to live. If you repeat that over and over again, you’d be surprised at the speed at which you can get somewhere and how much better your visualization gets. Your interest in meditating increases.

Making a Career Change

Insights: What’s your advice for people who are considering making a similar jump to a new career?

Rabb: First, I would tell them to have a plan. This is not something I just kind of jumped out there and did. It may have seemed like that to a lot of people because I didn’t really speak about it. But I used that visualization tool I spoke about to my advantage. It always led back to teaching in some way.

So first of all, have a plan and write it down. Create a journal and just write down the pros and cons. Write down a step-by-step process, including which goals you want to strive for. Ask yourself how you feel about the transition.

Insights: What about people who feel pressured to stay where they are? How do you pursue that mental image of where you want to be if everyone’s telling you to stay put?

Rabb: There will be peer pressure. Everybody’s gonna tell you something different. Everyone is pulling you in a different direction. And that’s how I felt. It was chaos.

So in order to slow that down, I had to sit with myself and ask myself what I wanted. And those were uncomfortable conversations, but I definitely got to know myself much more in depth.

I think that was a very powerful point in my life. A very exciting point in my life. I was definitely a little fearful, and I dealt with every emotion, but I feel so much better now.

And I can talk about it. I think when I speak about it, people feel the honesty. I love that.

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