As I’ve been pondering my next monthly article, I’ve become transfixed thinking about both the power and whimsical nature of the imagination. The truth is – the imagination is often like a wild child. Left undisciplined and without direction, it will run amuck, creating havoc. Yet, when it is focused in the right direction, creativity explodes.
Think about it. You can imagine anything you want at this very moment. You can create startling thoughts by picturing an ambulance racing to save lives at the scene of an accident or someone breaking into your home and robbing you. You can imagine being in a calming and relaxing environment or you can imagine hugging someone you love dearly. With a shift of focus, your mouth can water as you picture your favorite foods or can feel the thrill of making a hole-in-one on the golf course. Or, if you are a daring soul, you can get your heart racing by imagining yourself skiing down a double black diamond.
Let’s look at what happens when fear directs the imagination. When we imagine a fearful future, we often ‘see’ what validates our belief and then we make the choices and take the actions that create that future. Let me give you an example. Consider what might happen if I vividly imagined being rejected. I might unknowingly act in a manner that causes me be rejected. I could isolate myself for fear of being rejected and – end up alone. Or, I might unknowingly push someone away with extreme jealously or neediness. How about the fear of failing? In all probably I would fail if fear kept me from dreaming big, stopped me from stepping out of my comfort zone and being unwilling to take the risks necessary to grow and learn.
What about stress? Again, the imagination is directed. If you vividly imagine something bad happening to yourself or someone you love – Zap! You create stress it in a heartbeat. But then, if you change your focus to healing loving thoughts – Zap! You body responds accordingly. I have seen unexplainable healing take place simply by the power of the imagination.
Now, let’s step away from the individual and look at today’s world. The imagination has subtly and not so subtly played a role in the present state of the economy. People imagine a future full of fear – a future of ‘not enough’ – and – what do they do? They pull the belt tighter, spend less and refuse to invest in their business. The actions taken based on an imagined fear-based future create outcomes that feed the fear which, in turn, keeps people stuck in their present behavior.
The imagination is the essence of our creative power. We can use it as a force for good or evil, love or fear, limitation or possibility. The bottom line is that we consciously or unconsciously have the choice to focus the imagination. In reality, either we use our imagination to achieve what we really want or, like a rebellious child, our imagination takes us in a direction we may not want to go. The great physicist, Albert Einstein made a powerful statement when he said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge…it is everything. It is a preview of life’s coming attractions”.
What would happen if everyone, for one hour a day, focused on imagining a future full of possibilities and hope? How would that affect the choices we make? Maybe it’s time to tame the wild child of your imagination.