I am sure you discredited your imagination at some point in your life. In adulthood, we tend to learn popular skills and knowledge that are already proven to be useful. Doing so, we don’t spend time on others that stimulate our curiosity the most.
Also, chances are that you heard some people referring to kids as they have vivid imagination. That sounds very positive, and cute. Yet, when somebody says the same of an adult, that is often another way to say he/she is either an artist, or a fool. Most of times, we go for the more negative option.
Imagination is more important that knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.Albert Einstein
We tend to forget that many proven facts come from ideas that were initially thought to be crazy at their time. It does not take a genius to develop some incredible innovation in this world. Genius helps, of course, but the power of imagination is actually at hand of everyone.
We do not even realize, but structuring ideas in our mind and giving them a form is already part of that process. The word itself refers to the ability of picturing things in mind. Anyways, this creative process is not precluded to arts and child life.
To prove this point, I have listed 3 important uses of imagination for adults. Sure there are many others, but those are among the most important.
#1 – Improve your Memory
No surprise here, especially if you have followed my blog for a while. Learning and memorizing is a complex process, but also a natural one. And what is more natural than our senses, actually? It is proven that you can have a major grasp on information if you are able to picture them in your mind. Much is said about the use of visual memory: I can ensure you that it is extremely effective to remember things not just as the words that we read or hear, but also as picture. And here the fun fact: that’s just the starting point! Indeed, you can involve more senses than your visual perception alone when you try to remember something: there is a strategy to do that and it is called KAVE COGS. That is worth your time if you are studying from a textbook or remember a complex password.
#2 – Design a Product
Let’s suppose you want to break the business world doing something you are very good at, but the competition in your niche is kind of high. There are two ways to overcome this problem. One is to differentiate yourself from the others, and you can do that only by investing a capital in paid ads. The other is simply to start thinking out of the box. If you did not forget how to use imagination, then ideas will quickly and effortlessly come to your mind. And if you feel being a super-pragmatic type of person or you are experiencing an “artistic block”, don’t feel discouraged! There are many models of brainstorming out there that proven to be very effective, such as Design Thinking and the Disney Method.
#3 – Bring innovation out of nothing
Another way to use your imagination is by creating something new from the resources you have. If you have ever watched MacGyver, you know that the guy was able to create bazookas from paperclips. Similarly (and more realistic) you can use your specific skills or take advantage of the diversity of your colleagues to make your job easier. If you have a thing for Python and you also hate much of the monkey tasks your work requires, then use your enthusiasm to automate boring stuff. If you are an outstanding negotiator, you can help simplifying your job by approaching people in your organization and create consensus. I am sure you haven’t considered that the ability to envision the outcome is a product of creativity and not its side effect.
Help the child within you – start using your creativity now!
We can benefit a lot from using all our brain features. It is such a pity to disregard some of them because they are considered somewhat inadequate. In my case, without caring for that daydreaming part I probably wouldn’t have achieved much.
It’s also true that daydreaming alone can’t help if we don’t know how to put it to some purposeful use. The incredible energy generated by such process needs to be canalized in a constructive way. Just to say, the idea for this article came to me when I started The Coaching Studio series, a while ago: I had done my research ahead, so all the work left was to put together what I know.
- Do you want to be very engaged in what you do and savor all the possibilities you have in front of you?
- Do you want to learn something but for good, but you aren’t catching up with your goal?
- Do you want to be successful in your field, but you don’t know how?
- Are you trying to solve a problem, but you are stuck?
Take yourself less seriously and start to use your mind’s eye now: you will annihilate boredom, win frustrations and have fun!