When was the last time that you let yourself imagine? When was the last time that you let your dreams just go, allowing your thoughts to run wild. For many of us adulthood has brought with it extreme reality, leaving little or no room for imagination. We may think imagination is just for the crazy artists or the movie makers in Hollywood. The truth is that imagination is for people of all ages and can play a key role in determining your success.
Albert Einstein said “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” When we find ourselves frustrated (where most new ideas come from) we have a tendency to react. If we’re frustrated with working for someone else we decide to launch our own business. I coach entrepreneurs and one of things I hear a lot is “this isn’t what I thought it would be like.” Imagination is the cure for this problem.
If you’re traveling somewhere new you can use Youtube videos and the internet to gain insight into your destination. Technology allows us to see it, hear it, even walk through it virtually. This helps us know what to expect and how we should prepare. There obviously is not a Youtube channel for the future, this is where our Imagination comes in. We can dream what the future of our life and business looks like. As we click through our imagination we get deeper and deeper into what this new possibility can look like and it helps us know what to expect and how to prepare.
Don’t be afraid. In this dream world anything is possible. Horses can be purple. The poor can be fed. You can be brave. You’re the screenwriter and you get to write the script and flesh out the characters. Remember, the average person is not writing his own story, he is an extra in someone else’s story.
Start broad. Our son decides he wants to play and then the story gets chosen. He decides Star Wars is the story of the day. He ponders for a moment and then narrows down to the battle scene from The Empire Strikes Back. This is how it works for us also. Maybe you decide to live out a story where you’re making a living off of your creativity. Or you decide to live out a story where your company is doing business unlike the others in your industry. The story is chosen, the adventure settled on.
Narrow down and get in character. Our son Landon says, today it’s Planet Hoth and I’m Hans Solo. The scene is set and the character is chosen. Now he sets off to gather the resources he needs for the story. For him it means a jacket, a Star Wars gun and some other cool props. The process in business is the same. You chose the broader story and then start defining your role in the story. Once you’ve defined “artist” or “revolutionary business leader” then you set off gathering the things you need to play the part but instead of plastic guns and backpacks it’s emotional support, education, resources, websites….these are the tools you need to get into character and make your imagination come alive.
Jonathan Swift said “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” So day-dream and imagine your story and the character you want to play. Your success needs your imagination.
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- How to Develop Blue Ocean Strategy - November 3, 2016
- Why Imagination requires Sacrifice - October 31, 2016