Imagination is a Powerful Force
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Imagination is creativity, hope, potential and freedom all rolled up into one.
The act of imagining may start off as fanciful and maybe even feel a bit indulgent, but our imagination is a powerful force and has helped to generate great ideas. The human ability to imagine can propel us into action and bring about change.
Our imagination offers freedom to be creative and can give us something to not only hope for but to also work toward. Through imagination we craft a vision of something new, something different, something better and when you combine creative ideas and a vision of something different change starts to happen.
Imagination and Our Future
“We do not need magic to transform our world.
We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already;
we have the power to imagine better.”
Imagination is important to our own individual future as well as the future of our communities, countries and world. In your imagination you can be your truest self, your best self. You can visualize what it is you wish to do or to be, building energy and inspiration to pursue your vision.
Imagination can be used to envision what the future for society my hold. You can imagine changes in your community, new ways of conducting business, educating children or commuting. These ideas may inspire you into action or, if shared with others, help to build momentum for change.
Imagination can also help us empathize with others; we can imagine what it is to walk in someone else’ shoes, making us more understanding of others experiences. The ability to imagine can make us more thoughtful and understanding of others.
How to Imagine
“I shut my eyes in order to see”
Art is one way to tap into our imagination. Making art or experiencing art can help us let go of our logical thinking and get in touch with our more creative side. Making art helps you tap into you’re the creative side of your brain . Experiencing art – looking at paintings, watching a play or reading a good book – also engages your right brain, helping to release your imagination.
Here a few more simple ways to increase your ability to imagine:
- Daydream – We all did it as kids but somewhere along the way daydreaming stopped. Give yourself permission to let your mind wander, jump from thought to thought and see where you land.
- Storytelling – If you have kids you might already do this, but if you are child-free or your children are grown you probably haven’t made up a story in ages. Try it with a few friends, its fun to make up ghost stories, fairy tales or create an alternate universe.
- Change Your Environment – Your surroundings help establish your state of mind. Take yourself out of your normal routine – eat lunch in the park instead of at your desk, change the side of the bed you sleep on, rearrange your furniture – and give your mind a new setting to explore.
Imagination and Action
“Before you can do something that you’ve never done before,
you have to imagine it’s possible.”
Jean Shinoda Bole
Imagination is powerful, but we must remember that to create change imagination must be coupled with action. Tapping into our imagination can help to uncover new perspectives and different points of view, but it is then important to bring those ideas forward, share with others, discuss new possibilities and then take steps to implement.
Without action our dreams will never be our lives.
Further Reading on Imagination
“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.”
Why Imagine the Future by Elise Boulding, Sociology Professor (Emerita) Dartmouth College
In What Ways Might Imagination Improve Society? – 206 Ideas
The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination, J.K. Rowling Commencement Address at Harvard Alumni Association.