Well, it would be quite fair to start with a quote of the all time king of imagination – Albert Einstein. As he said: “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will get you everywhere.” Keep your imagination wide open and challenge the possibilities. Reach something that’s bigger than even yourself.
Although knowledge can be source of success for many, it can be an obstacle for many others. Thinking out of the box (without ignoring the knowledge) is an art that enables you to explore new possibilities. You can use knowledge, science, and other tools to reach what you imagine with your creativity. Suntae Kim defines it as “understanding of the present reality in relation to the desired future reality.”
What is the source of imagination?
Not to make it too scientific, I will only refer to definitions from some credible sources. “Imagination, also called the faculty of imagining, is the creative ability to form images, ideas, and sensations in the mind from input of the senses, such as seeing or hearing. Imagination helps make knowledge applicable in solving problems and is fundamental to integrating experience and the learning process.” (WikiPedia.org)
Based on many researchers and science enthusiasts imaginations are impacted by three dimensions: environment, world rules, sensory memory (or sometimes visual memory). We usually imagine based on our environment, within the constraints or limitations of the rules in our world, and our sensory memory. Reading books, watching movies, learning science, travelling, listening to other people’s ideas, using our senses with high awareness is very important to become an imaginative person.
How to imagine?
There are different types of imaginators, such as zombies who have low awareness and low intention, dreamers who do not take any actions, managers who ask themselves for some challenges, leaders who are aware their imaginations and take actions on them, based on different levels of awareness and intentions.
The very first thing you should do to start imagining is asking yourself a question about a specific topic or problem. This will start your brain to imagine.
Next thing you should do is use your own method to relax and imagine to the fullest. You might choose to lay down in a quiet place, walk in the woods, stare into stars for many hours, look into long ends of the sea or ocean, use a stress ball (or maybe spinner these days) or something else.
And finally, after you come up with some ideas and imagine things, do not ignore them! Get up and write them down! It does not matter how crazy or unrealistic they are, just write down whatever you have imagined. Why do you need to write? To take an action. As the final step in your “journey of imagination” you will need to come up with some creative solutions or innovations.
You do not have to stick to the methods mentioned here. You can find your own method. But the most important thing is to build a link between your imagination, creativity, and action.
How to use imagination to build?
Firstly, imagination is valuable. Something that you have imagined in certain time might not come up to your mind later. It worth writing down your ideas.
Imagination alone usually will not be enough to come up with bright ideas of innovation or invent something. It is usually more powerful when you bring together your imagination and creativity, take into account the knowledge, reality, science, and other tools.
You might get negative feedback, resistance to what you are trying to build. Do not give up! Keep up dreaming, imagining, creating, taking action, failing, improving, and doing it over and over again.
And I would like to end this blog with another quote from Albert Einstein: “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”