George Bernard Shaw said, “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last you create what you will.”
Albert Einstein said that imagination is the greatest creative force in the universe. Why would these great achievers give so much importance to imagination?
The world’s greatest achievers built their empires based on the power of their imagination. It was this force that took them to places they had visited in their dreams. The same force is available to you and me, as well.
We live with this force for a large part of our lives. The only tragedy is that we tend to focus more on our nightmares, and as is true for anything that is imagined, this is what manifests itself in reality. Our minds’ images are literally the blueprints from which our world is built.
If only we could understand this creative power, move out of our scarcity- driven thinking, get off our automatic pilots and take charge of creating our lives as per our wishes.
Many things influence our imagination -- past fears, desires, poor mental training, lack of awareness, sub-personalities, lack of goals. But anything that influences our imagination is under ‘our’ control. We can stop a negative influence simply by becoming aware of it and letting it go.
The other word for creative, controlled imagination is visualisation. A visionary leader is the one who entertains visions of success.
In 1976, a retiring body builder was asked, “What are you going to do next?” He calmly replied, “I am going to be the number-one box-office star of Hollywood.” With his bulky body and thick accent, he hardly looked the part, but Arnold Schwarzenegger was clear about achieving his goal. He elaborated, ‘It is the same process I used in body building. What you do is create a vision of who you want to be, and then live that picture, as if it is already true.’
We all know about how that vision manifested itself into reality. Some people say that this idea of living ‘as if’ until we have achieved the success is a kind of ‘living in a fool’s paradise’. However, I tell them that it is better to live in a fool’s paradise then live in a cynic’s hell. I describe it as seeing beyond your present circumstances. We must stop listening to our voice of ‘limitation’ and step out to become who we really are, do what we can do and achieve what we are capable of achieving.
The process of imagination or visualisation is easy and natural. Think of some experience from your past, something that you are proud of or happy about. Let that memory play back in your mind with all its details -- sounds, smells, emotions, feelings etc. Live that experience again. Let yourself get into that scene. This is visualisation and you are good at it.
Practice imagining or visualising future events now. Think of the outcome that you desire. Go into the details -- sights, sounds, smells and emotions of your desired outcome. Get into the scene as much as you can. Contemplate upon it in your leisure time. Get into it whenever you can. Be grateful for the desired outcome, ‘as if’ it has already manifested in your life.
Now you have set the ball rolling for the creation of your dreams. Trust in your belief and move on. You will be guided to take the right action at the right time, for the fructification of your desire.
It will seem as if the whole universe is conspiring to make your dream come true.
Trust in the process. Do not doubt yourself.
The author is a life skills coach, time-line therapist, and new consciousness writer.