Texting, Facebook, video games, and other devices that capture our attention, can slowly dull one of our most powerful tools that is needed to create the life we most desire – our imagination.
As a child, you may have had an imaginary friend. You may have dreamed grand adventures of flying like Superman, or sipping tea with the Queen of England. Wherever your imagination took you, it was an opportunity to step out of the present to create what might be and oh, wasn’t it fun?
While yes, an overactive imagination can drive the belief behind conspiracy theories, distrust in humans and a step into the world of insanity, this is even more reason to welcome balance into our lives, and choose to use our imaginations as a tool of hope to help lead us to a life where we can fulfill our highest potential and satiate our passions.
You may be wondering, when and how can our imaginations be sparked? The opportunities are endless: day-to-day experiences, traveling, books, music, word/mind games, films, conversations with others, lectures, classes, photographs, art, history, new experiences – the list goes on . . .
Now that you are an adult, your imagination is still capable of being uber-creative, and the most exciting news is you have even more potential to act on what pops into your mind. So keep a journal, record your thoughts, wildest dreams and most daring hopes, and then, dare to believe that you can make what you’ve imagined become your reality.
Want to become a fashion magazine editor? Start writing and attending fashion shows in your area. Want to serve as a senator for your state? Start serving on various local councils and give time back to your community in an effort to better your local neighborhood. Want to live in France? Begin to learn the language. In other words, what you dare to imagine may one day just be the beginning of your very own legend that inspires others one day to chase their dreams.
Have a look at five benefits to letting your imagination remain an active participant in your adult life:
Benefits of an Active Imagination:
1. Squashes Fears
When imaginations are fueled by hope and a desire to create something better, or to become someone better, even if we’ve never accomplished it ourselves or seen an example that resembles exactly what we imagine, we begin to weaken the hold our fears have over our direction in life and instead work toward what might be.
2. Boosts Intelligence
If you continue to conjure solutions to problems that currently exist, your drive to prove how that solution might work forces you to educate yourself, seek out information, thus boosting what you know about any given topic.
3. Forever Young
Curiosity may not have been a cat’s best friend, but it certainly prolongs the life of humans. By remaining curious about the world around you, no matter what your age, you keep exercising your brain which reduces the atrophy that can typically take effect as we age if we don’t exercise our most amazing muscle. So continue to dream and imagine a world even better than the one you grew up in, and not only will you create the possibility of an amazing life through fulfillment of your dreams, but you’ll be healthy and able to enjoy it when it materializes.
4. Develops Empathy
In J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard commencement address. she advises graduates to find the beauty in failure as well as strengthen their ability to tap into their imaginations as it allows us the ability to empathize with others even when we may not have actually experienced what they are sharing about their lives. When we can imagine ourselves in another person’s shoes, we exercise a more open mind which improves our social interactions. To understand how someone might have felt helps us come to know them on a more intimate level which has the capacity to form a stronger bond.
5. Helps Transform Dreams into Reality
When musician Glen Hansard shared his quote above, he was referring to his own vivid imagination . . . the dreams he had for himself when he was a boy of 13 years old playing his guitar at bus stops. He stated that the life he is living now (one of great musical achievements and honors, traveling the world doing what he loves) is precisely what he imagined for himself all those years ago as he strummed away on the street for strangers. In other words, you must imagine it in order to help create it.