by Bryan Golden
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Imagination looks to the future. Knowledge is a result of the past. You know what you experienced. You imagine what you want to happen next.
Young children have very few experiences, so their minds are filled primarily with imagination. Since they have little past, children fantasize about the future. They have not yet learned many limitations, so their imagination knows no boundaries.
In their minds, children can become anyone and do anything. As they grow they are taught what supposedly is and is not possible. They learn about reality and thinking realistically. This is a shame because it extinguishes the mental flame they are all born with.
So as you mature, you develop self-imposed restrictions based on your knowledge of the past. However, you would be much better served maintaining your boundless imagination. The reason is simple: all accomplishment is preceded by imagination.
Anyone who succeeded first imagined success. Regardless of how you define success, no one can achieve it without being able to imagine it. Imagination is not just something for kids, it’s just as important, if not more so, for adults.
Imagination takes you to a destination that does not yet exist outside your mind. But your mind has to visualize it, and you have to believe it’s possible, before you can accomplish it. Yet it is at the imagination stage that people receive the most criticism from others and are most prone to becoming discouraged.
The list of accomplishments that would never happen without imagination is virtually endless. Modern medicine, automobiles, airplanes, electricity, radio, TV, computers, the internet, space travel, and telephones would never have become reality if the inventors of the world did not first imagine them as possible.
How active is your imagination? Do you think about how much is possible? Or do you restrict yourself by what you believe is impossible? If your imagination is smothered, the good news is that you have the power to rekindle it.
A good first step is to stop listening to what other people feel is possible, practical, or realistic. Take a few minutes each day to imagine what you would like to be doing. Visualize your life being any way you want it.
Imagining what you want puts your brain to work trying to figure out a way to make it happen. Once an idea is put into your mind, it will spend 24 hours a day trying to bring the thoughts to reality.
Just look at people who constantly imagine negative situations. Invariably these people experience exactly what they are imagining. It’s easy to identify them. They advertise their imagination with statements such as “bad things always happen to me,” “I never have any good luck,” “I can’t seem to make things work,” “I can’t do it,” “It’s not possible,” or “I’m just not that successful.”
Make sure you are not imagining outcomes you really don’t want. If you are, immediately replace them with thoughts of what you actually do want. You have to be vigilant. It so easy to start imagining the wrong things.
Your imagination is the first step to creating the future you want. It’s the mental blueprint your brain uses in directing your thoughts and actions. Since it’s rare to accomplish more than you imagined, allow your imagination to soar to any destination you desire. The greater your imagination, the greater your results.
Turn your imagination loose. Go for whatever it is you want. Whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.
NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or write him c/o this paper. 2006 Bryan Golden