We all have it. We may think we don’t, but we do. Without even realizing it, you use it. Everyday. The more it’s acknowledged and recognized, the more it’s used. The more it’s used, the more our lives can change. From what color socks to wear today to what color shirt. Does that shirt match the pants? Maybe your shirt needs a scarf or a tie. Maybe you need to change earrings because you feel the ones you chose are a little too dark and you want a little spice. Or your tie is dull, you may want a vibrant one that would make others wish they were on a tropical island. Your breakfast? Do you want an egg or an egg with cheese and chopped avocado on top? Just a glass of milk? Or do you want to add to that boring milk a couple drops of vanilla and a pinch of sugar?
You haven’t even left your house and you’ve already used your imagination. It’s not just choices. Our life is our playground and the more we use our imaginations the wider our eyes will get. We may not lay on the ground anymore to look at the clouds and decipher their shapes, but we still use, and need to encourage, our imaginations.
It helps us appreciate our everyday life. It’s not just the butter on the warm bread, but it is the last minute thought of sprinkling atop cinnamon. Not only does it change the taste, it made you appreciate it so much more. It’s the way you sit at the red light and look over at the bench that children use to wait for the school bus, and you ponder, “Wouldn’t it be nice to put a picture of a snow-capped mountain on its ceiling with a great quote for the children to see every morning?” You think about it all day, and then you call City Hall to ask for the appropriate person to handle such task. It’s taking your dog for a walk around the block, and you stop! “Come’on Lazlo, we’re walking this way today!” On that different walk you notice a new flowerbed your neighbor recently planted, and you start thinking of colorful ways you could spruce up your garden.
Using our imagination encourages action. Taking actions creates results.
Imagination is not just being creative. It’s not just about grabbing a paintbrush and fill the canvas with myriad of colors. It’s not just sitting at a piano and playing a beautiful piece of work. Using your imagination is about learning to appreciate everything in our lives, and in return for the appreciation you are blessed with even more of it. It’s about taking that appreciation and applying it to yourself, your family and your work. It’s about looking at your crammed schedule and figuring out how to squeeze in time so you can leave early to meet those friends after work – you move this meeting here, you delegate this over there, you put two department meetings into one, and what have you done? You used your imagination to make the choices to make it happen.
Using our imagination increases our innovation. When we’re innovated and productive, we’re happy. When we’re happy, our output increases. When we create, we’re increasing our knowledge and filling our being with this invisible substance called imagination. We see possibilities where we didn’t see them before. We take more risks. We accomplish more. We think more outside of the box that allows us to view problems differently. We find solutions and encourage the ones around us. We motivate ourselves, and others. They are skills that are essential for us creating a successful, happy life. This is why it is so important to encourage the imagination in children – it is the foundation for their future.
It helps us be better leaders and farmers, bankers and waiters, actors and bus drivers. It goes with the whisper within that says, “Go take guitar lessons...” or “Go learn a new language...” or “Go take a cooking class...” or “You love watching ballet, go take a class...” or “So what that you haven’t played softball in years, go try out for an adult team and have fun...” Then what happens? We’re happier, we move better, we laugh harder, we try new things, we retry old things, and why? Because we used our imagination.
So, with everything you do today, do it with imagination appreciation and a splash of innovation, because the world is our playground, and we all are worth playing in it!
…encouraging children to believe in the power of the imagination…