Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world and all there ever will be to know and understand.
– Albert Einstein
Firstly, what a statement to make – and I believe it’s very accurate. Imagination is the fuel of both dreams and nightmares; the difference is how we employ it. Your ability to think outside of the box can be your strongest asset or keep you trapped in fear. In most lives, I would wager it’s a balance of the two. With practice, however, we can learn to tip the scales in our favor. So, what is imagination, and where does it come from? If it’s as valuable as Einstein has said, how do we tap into it?
Daring to Dream
In my estimation, imagination is the ability to conceive of something which doesn’t exist. Incidentally, it also allows for the potential to envision things which cannot exist. In application, it fuels creativity, curiosity, and learning. We’d likely still be throwing sticks and stones to catch our food without it.
I’ve mentioned that imagination has two poles: good and ill, if you like. I believe the connotation is likely positive for most people—which is excellent—but many others are trapped in fear. I’ve written about fear before, so I won’t go too deep here – I would direct you to that earlier entry, if you’re so inclined. Still, fear is simply this same ability run amok. Fear is what happens when we imagine terrible things which may or may not be feasible. Unfortunately, it can become a powerful habit which is difficult to break.
Let your creativity lead you to reasonable cautions when appropriate, and leave the rest of your needless worries alone.
The Inspiring Power of Imagination
Eyesight is what allows us to see the world before us, but vision is the capacity to see what might yet be. Great thinkers and dreamers—like Mr. Einstein—have always possessed incredible imaginations. A person built from pure logic is rarely more use in solving a new problem than a small child. It’s wonderfully true that, sometimes, the small child might actually be more useful! At least children carry an unmatched potential to dream beyond the present.
There’s a worthwhile commentary on maturity here, as well. While it’s imperative that we learn to control our impulses and operate as functional adults, it’s equally important that we never lose our wonder of the world around us.
The nature of this medium is that I cannot know your life situation. Maybe you’re a student just heading towards graduation and the workforce? Or, maybe you’re a successful entrepreneur looking for anything to give you an edge? Unless you’re literally a human calculator, the great news is that this applies to you and your career. If you feel out of touch with your imagination, practice! No, really, practice. It may sound unreasonable, but we’re talking about a skill set here that is like any other. Creativity and imagination can be developed through repetition – like every ability. You may know people born with some advantage, but don’t let that discourage you.
If you want to propel your business forward, look for what hasn’t been done yet. Similarly, if you want to stand out in your present job, find ways you can specialize your knowledge. In either case, your imagination will serve as a powerful spark to light a lasting flame.
Thank you for your time.