If you were to stimulate your mind in ways that you have not done before, would your personal and professional life improve?

Many of us forget we can imagine or that we even have the ability to imagine, envision, picture and dream of a future world of possibilities.

To imagine is to let go of our current reality or construct to create a new form or mental picture or idea of something. It’s through using our imagination that we can create, invent, or theorise about the world, which leads to change and economic growth.

Imagination is the key to creativity and innovation, but why do we let this important skill go later in life?

Maybe we don’t let it go, but we restrict it, hold back from using our imagination. Some would say “it’s child’s play” or childish, but somewhere between childhood and adulthood we stop being playful and having fun. As we grow up, our imagination gives way to thinking logically to prove our intelligence. We become content to thinking and living the same as everyone else. It’s the pressures of career progression, mortgages, and personal relationships that imposes a huge control over our imagining abilities.

Children mostly live in an imaginary world of colour, fantasy and fairies. They are able to enjoy life because they view the world without the harsh realities we do as adults. Imagination has no bounds. It’s through this joy and wonder, that they are able to visit in their minds strange lands or characters all whilst accumulating more friendly and enjoyable experiences.

Why is using your imagination so important?

We tend to undervalue the importance of using our imagination. Every idea, decision or seed of opportunity begins with a thought in your mind, and only you have the choice of turning it into a business, invention, way of life, artistic creation etc. Without the faculty of imagination, we human beings are nothing more than work drones.

A rich imagination can enable a person to pursue and accomplish many great things. Here are some suggestions to assist you to think creatively:

  • Spend time with Creative People. It now seems obvious. Imagine sitting in a room full of writers, inventors, artists and discussing or collaborating with people who share these interests will expand and challenge your mind.
  • Explore with an Open Mind. Creativity is often tagged together with originality so get out of your comfort zone and explore the different and unusual.
  • Love to Learn. Learning new things sparks creativity and increases imagination, improving one’s adaptability to imaginative reasoning and creative thinking.
  • Practice Visualisation. Visualisation is often perceived as one’s ability to create a clear and vivid picture in the mind. Visualisation enables you to imagine the story being told or the object being described. The more imaginative and creative the mind becomes, the more elaborate one’s visualisations can be.
  • Be curious. Children tend to be more imaginative because of their curious nature. Feed curiosity by learning and experiencing new things or asking questions, and notice how your imagination improves.
  • Try something new. Fear of failure stops us from taking risks, trying something a different way or something completely new. Challenge yourself to experiment with new ways of thinking, being and relating.
  • Expand your hobbies/interests. Creativity is also powered by passion. Expand your range of hobbies, interests and activities.
  • Look at things differently. Try thinking outside of the box. Stop thinking in one direction. Take a holistic approach to the way you view the world. See beyond the norm.
  • Let your mind to relax through meditative techniques. Inspiration flows when the mind is quiet or calm. To stop the chatter try meditating, listening to relaxation music or mindfulness walking meditation in nature.

Think for a moment and reflect on how you could use your imagination more effectively and deliberately. As Albert Einstein once said “Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world”.

book stuck in a rutFiona Craig is an NLP practitioner & life coach, psychotherapist, business mentor, and published author of the award winning self-help book, “Stuck in a Rut – How to rescue yourself & live your truth” helping women remove the fear, worry and guilt to confidently take the steps towards creating the life they want to live.

Fiona has been interviewed by The Australian Women’s Weekly, Women’s Fitness Magazine and The New Daily and written articles for Collective Magazine, Herald Sun Melbourne, Sunday Life Magazine, Career One, I Am Woman Magazine, plus Mouths Of Mums and other online publications. You can learn more about working with Fiona at www.lifebalancecoach.com.au or call 0405 433 217.