“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
That quote comes from Albert Einstein, arguably the most intelligent man who ever lived. So, if the smartest man who ever lived said that, wouldn’t we be wise to not only read it, but remember it, internalize it and BELIEVE IT?
My area of interest in coaching (and in life!) is the mind; this extraordinary power we all possess, yet few utilize fully. Part of using the mind fully involves developing and exercising our imagination. This is a mental muscle which gets a lot of use and becomes very strong when we are children, but tends to atrophy as we grow older and “wiser.”
One of the simplest ways to strengthen our imagination is to fantasize. Spending just a few minutes a day fantasizing about what we want, evokes a creative energy that cannot be duplicated by any other means. Some people call this visualizing or visioning and all three terms are synonymous.
The key to effective visualizing is creating an emotion to go with the picture. In other words, you don’t just want to be able to “see yourself” driving the new car or living in the new home or loving the new partner, you want to imagine it so clearly that you stimulate FEELINGS to go with it. The pictures are great, but the feelings are the secret sauce.
But what if, like me, you have a difficult time actually seeing the picture? Maybe you’ve given it your best shot, but you’re coming up with a blank screen or a vague, fuzzy image. The only FEELING you’re going to produce while looking at a blank screen is frustration, so try this instead.
Use your IMAGINATION to fantasize about telling your friend…
- you just bought that new car!
- you finally bought your dream house on (not “at”, ON) the beach!
- you have fallen madly, deeply, crazy in love with the perfect guy/gal!
- you just booked a trip to Hawaii for your entire family!
- your business is thriving to the point of needing to hire another assistant!
- how amazing your life is, now that you’ve strengthened your IMAGINATION!
What would those conversations sound like? More importantly, what would those conversations FEEL like? (The exclamation points are a clue!)
Doing this type of “fantasizing” is every bit as effective as the type where you can actually see the picture. Both create FEELINGS; both elicit that emotional component required for swift creation. And both are simple ways to strengthen and develop what Albert Einstein referred to as EVERYTHING.