Throw Off The Shackles And Set Your Imagination Free
Would you believe me, and say “You’re right Stuart, I know I can achieve so much more than this”? Or would you think I was lying, and say “Rubbish, I know my strengths and weaknesses well enough, I don’t need you to tell me about myself!”
Regardless of whether you believe me or not, the truth is that we do place limits on ourselves – specifically, our capacity to dream, imagine, and visualise our future.
We do it frequently, either becoming engrossed in chores and daily tasks that don’t require any creativity, or push any dreaming to the back of our mind. We tell ourselves we have no time for ‘daydreaming’, and go find something ‘useful’ to do.
But this is not the case – our ability to dream and imagine is one of the most important functions available. Not just to you as an individual, but to the human species.
What The Imagination Is Capable Of
The imagination is perhaps the single reason why we are thriving as a civilisation and we aren’t still at the evolutionary level of animals.
How else could our ancient ancestors invent the wheel, or our forefathers take part in countless inventions, theories, and revolutions without the use of their imagination? Without it, we would follow the same pattern of life as animals – we would do nothing but eat, drink, sleep, mate, wander, and eventually die.
This is what happens when there is a lack of imagination – there is a distinct lack of determination and passion to live life in a better way than what we’ve been designed to.
If you still need proof of our imaginative capabilities, all you have to do is think of something that’s either in the past or in the future. By thinking of anything but the present reality which we find ourselves in, you are imagining. You are imagining anything that is outside of reality. This is what separates us from the animal kingdom – the ability to envision something that isn’t there.
And yet, I don’t think we imagine enough. I believe that we limit our capacity to imagine. We do so because we don’t dare to dream – we don’t believe that our lives could genuinely be better than what they currently are, and so we don’t bother. We don’t bother to try and change, and we tell ourselves that what we currently have is ‘good enough’.
Why Imagination Is Beneficial
Let’s take two people who are in similar situations, but have a key difference in their ability to imagine:
- Jane is someone who has a cordial relationship with her husband, though the two of them barely talk about anything meaningful. She gets on well with her kids, but only they listen to her when she raises her voice. Jane knows that life isn’t perfect and there are things that, when asked, she admits could be better. But she reasons to herself that she’s lucky to have what she has – there are many people out there who aren’t as fortunate as she is. So she doesn’t complain and gets on with her life.
- Simon is someone who is in a half-decent marriage, where he admits it’s not as ideal as he’d like. He also shouts at his two children whenever they do something that annoys him, and he wishes that he wouldn’t do so. He loves his wife and his children, and so he decides to go to work on his faults and try to be a better husband and father, so that he can have better relations with his family.
At the moment, these two individuals are in similar situations – they both have decent, but sometimes strained relationships in their private lives. And yet if you were to visit these two people later in their lives, perhaps three months from now, you would be able to see a difference.
Jane would still be living the same life, still telling herself that she should be grateful for what she’s got. Simon, on the other hand, would have worked on his faults and begun to cultivate deeper, more harmonious relationships with his family. His children would start to express their love for him more openly, and his wife would be able to love him on a deeper level.
All of this would have come about through Simon’s desire to use his imagination – to visualise and dream of a better existence for himself and his loved ones. Without this ability, he wouldn’t have perceived that things could be better, and so he would still be in the same situation like Jane.
Set It Free
Now that we’ve established that we need to use our imagination in order to achieve a better life, how can we do this? How can we set our imagination free? Here are three ways in which we can do just that:
- Dream the wildest dream
Here’s a question for you to reflect on – “what’s the wildest dream you can think of?” I want you to think as wildly and outrageously as you can, and if you catch yourself using limits when you imagine, stop yourself.
Don’t start to rationalise or think of things that could go wrong – just imagine the wildest dream, that which is the stuff of miracles. Really embrace that dream and all of the benefits that go with it.
- Ask yourself “How can I obtain this dream?”
Now that that’s in your mind, I want you to start thinking of ways that you can obtain your dream. For example, if your wildest dream was to become a billionaire, ask yourself how you could find a way to reach that goal. Maybe you could set up your own business, or learn more about investment? Maybe you could enter into a partnership, or offer much-needed services on a self-employed basis?
Take that wild dream and use your imagination to play with ideas that could make it work. Because if your imagination is capable of ‘dreaming big’, then it’s capable of inventing paths to that dream.
- Then ask yourself “What’s the first step I can take to reach this dream?”
Now that you have your wildest dream, and you have thought of at least one way that this wild dream ‘could’ be possible, I want you to come up with the first step that you could take to reach that wild dream.
If your dream was to become a billionaire, and you decided that setting up your own business was a possible route to obtain that dream, then what’s the very first step you could take? Maybe you could research into what is required to set up your own business, or get in touch with people who have already done what you want to do?
The key is to decide what the very first step is, before you do anything else. By breaking your dream down into bite-size steps, you make the situation more manageable.
Your Imagination Is Unique
As with everyone else who has helped further the world and advance society, you can do the same if you use your imagination. The imagination is there for your usage, and the best part is that it’s completely unique to you. No-one else has the thoughts that you do, and no-one ever will. Your unique way of thinking is your key to reaching that better life for you, and for the world.
Fail to use it, and your life will likely stall. Use it well, and your life can indeed reach your wildest dreams.