“Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can. Of course, I could be wrong.” ― Terry Pratchett
If you caught my last article (What’s Your Super Power) then you’ll know by now that imagination is the super power you possess. In fact, we all do. But like all those bestowed with super powers only you can decide when and how to use your powers for good, to duck into the nearest phone box and become…SuperYou. The more often you do though the easier it is to get into that cape and wear the letters SY upon your chest.
A well-flexed imagination muscle, much like exercising in the gym, doesn’t just produce a larger muscle; it brings with it other benefits akin to the greater mental and physical well-being felt by those who take up some form of regular exercise.
It shows you parallel worlds and dimensions…
Imagining a world different to that which experience tells us is reality allows us room for creativity, problem-solving abilities, innovation and invention.
It shows you the future…
Whether you see the gaps and fill it by imagining a new future or can see the way entrepreneurial Visionary – the competitive advantage/edge – getting their first…early adopter.
It shows you an alternative you…
Envisioning a new and improved you can provide motivation, a thirst for growth and development, a catalyst for productivity, adaptability, determination, resourcefulness and resilience.
It shows you other’s perspectives…
Imagination can expand our minds to not only understand ourselves better but enable us to tap into the minds, thoughts and feelings of others through emotional intelligence and empathy. Thus bringing with it compassion, tolerance, humanity, morality, justice, mercy and social responsibility.
Imagination is our personal magic box of quantum physics; it can also be our very own black hole.
Yet in life and at work we constantly try to encase our imagination in the constraints of daily order such as rational thought, statistics, facts, figures, analysis, realism, pragmatism, processes, policies, rules….
True – same as an injured torn muscle – we can overuse our imagination; letting the power cause injury to ourselves and others through excessive optimism, denial, delusion, anxiety, fear, pessimism, fatalism, to name but a few. If the injury is severe or happens often enough it can require surgery, rest and recovery time rendering the person incapacitated. The saying ‘don’t let your imagination run away with you’ exists for a reason.
Yet, as with a muscle which goes completely unused withers and becomes progressively weaker until it can no longer perform the function it once did, so too with imagination. The saying ‘let your imagination run riot’ also exists for a reason.
By learning how to unleash our imagination at the right times in the right ways, we can use it to our super advantage and go further, faster, quicker; be more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
So when was the last time you let your imagination save the day by running riot, were able to grab the cape out of the wardrobe and heard people say ‘Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s SuperYou!’? I’d love to hear your story.