Posts Tagged ‘imagination’

We’ve had kind of a sad evening tonight saying goodbye to good friends who are leaving Dubai for ever to go and start a new life in Thailand. But while it will be really sad to not have them living ten minutes from us, there are so many ways that technology today makes it so easy to maintain long distance friendships. We’ve got Facebook and Skype and sms and email so the great thing is we are not really losing friends – we are gaining a destination!

I’ve noticed that many people like to criticise technology and say it gets in the way of people having proper relationships. But I have to say in my experience the reverse is true. I get to have face to face conversations when ever I like with friends and family all over the world. We can make quick connections on Facebook or long conversations on Skype, or just drop them an instant message to say we’re thinking about them. Its up to us. We can share experiences at the click of a mouse and sometimes create wonderful friendships with people we have never physically met. We can create relationship which are based entirely on common interest and geography is irrelevant.

People who say technology gets in the way of human relationships are clearly just not doing it right!

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Someone asked me last week if I could be anyone in the world, past or present who would I be. Interesting question. And now WordPress’ Postaday challenge for today is “if you could be any fictional character who would you be?” There’s no such thing as coincidence!

I think the novelty value of borrowing someone else’s life for a while would be really fun – and borrowing bits of their lives on a longer term basis definitely has an appeal – I’d borrow Leonardo Da Vinci’s wisdom, Jessica Rabbit’s figure and Bill Gates’ bank account any day – oh and Oprah Winfrey‘s shoe collection would get a very good home with me!

But to be honest, if I could choose anyone’s life to live it would have to be my own! Even with the challenging bits! It’s really easy to look at someone else’s life and think “It’s alright for them” but the truth is if you had to live their life you would find it every bit as challenging as your own. Even people who look on the outside to be supremely confident and successful have challenges – in fact some would say the more successful you are the bigger your challenges.

When you see a successful person you are only seeing the part of their life that they choose to project, and to a large extent you are only seeing the part that you choose to see. What you rarely see is the hard work, failures, disappointments, betrayals, frustrations that inevitably come along with a successful life. I’m not trying to depress you here, what I’m saying is that success is only part of the picture. Every meaningful life has its challenges and the bigger your life the bigger your challenges. But of course the rewards are bigger too.

So I would suggest that the best life you can live is your own. Lets face it – that’s where you’ve had the most practice!

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Here’s a couple of interesting exercises around values that can be very enlightening.

Firstly, look at the big list that you started with – Steve Pavalina‘s one is great and very comprehensive! Now pull out from that list all the ones that you are repelled by and narrow that list down to about ten. This list is useful for a number of reasons. Sometimes the things you are repelled by are actually things you need to learn – I know that sounds pretty challenging and its meant to be! Your Inner Reptile will steer you well away from anything it thinks might encourage you to change too much! So look at those ten values again and ask yourself honestly what could you actually use more of in your life. Also these values may be the source of challenges you have with other people in your life, if someone holds a value that repels you it may well be hard for you to connect with this person, but again, they may well have something great to teach you, and you them! Now imagine what your life would be like if you gave these values a higher priority. How would your results change, for the better, or maybe worse?

Secondly, take the same big list and pull out all the values you wish you had. That may sound wierd, surely if you wish you had it, it must be a value for you – but if you were honest in the very first list you made you will be aware that there were some things that you wanted to put on your list, but knew in your heart were not you – for me tidyness is a good example – I would love to be tidy, I have fantasies of waking up one morning as Martha Stewart but I know its not going to happen! Look at this list and again imagine how your life would change if you decided to make these values a priority, some of the answers might surprise you!

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Arthur C Clarke once said “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

I’m pondering miracles today having just flown over 6000 kilometres from Dubai to Glasgow in a little under eight hours. Yes, I know its an everyday occurrence now but think back to less than 100 years ago and that same trip would have taken weeks, if not months. If I was able to go back in time and talk to my great-great-great grandfather about such a trip he would have laughed and said I was full of nonsense, what I was suggesting was impossible. And yet here I am!

So my question for you today is, what do you believe is impossible? Because its likely only a belief! In less than a hundred years it will be so commonplace people won’t even think about it.

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Have you ever been told off for daydreaming? Well next time it happens just tell them that you’re not daydreaming, you’re “Imagineering”! And you are in great company!

Albert Einstein once said “Imagination is more important than knowledge”

Another Nobel Prize winner, George Bernard Shaw said “You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’”

Napoleon Bonaparte said “Imagination rules the world.”

And Eleanor Roosevelt said “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of
their dreams.”

You can’t really argue with people like that, can you?

You see, everything that has ever been created by a human being has been created twice, first in the imagination and then, and only then, in physical reality. Everything you see around you, from your car to your house to your laptop and even that bottle of water on your desk is here because someone imagined it. So daydreaming is a pretty important activity!

The great thing about imagineering is that there are no limits to what you can imagine. The world inside your head doesn’t have to obey the known laws of time and physics – we can think what we like and then figure out how to do it after we’ve decided to do it. Think of many of the amazing things we have in our lives today, from TVs to mobile phones, from airplanes to laptops – a lot of these things would have been regarded as science fiction even 20 years ago! So it makes sense that things we think of today as impossible will be commonplace in another 20 years time so don’t let today’s reality limit your imagination!

This causes a lot of confusion for people who are inspired by the many Law of Attraction books around these days, because they often say “don’t ask how”. But they are talking about BEFORE you set the intention. Once you set the intention its all about how!

So the real beauty of imagineering is you don’t have to think about how things are now – you can never move forward if you are focused on your present situation – you have to move your focus onto what you want and in your imagination you can already be where you want to be! In your imagination you already have that amazing job, that gorgeous family, that fantastic car. Imagination has no sense of time and when you imagine, a part of your mind is already there. To test this, think of a nice ripe juicy lemon. Really think about it, how it looks, think of how it smells, imagine the sharp tang of the zest, imagine holding it in your hand and think how it tastes as you squeeze that delicious refreshing juice into your mouth… So tell me, is your mouth watering now? That’s the power of imagination!

There’s a big difference between daydreaming and imagineering and the difference is, as always, in the purpose. Daydreaming is the start of Imagineering but the real power comes when you start to turn the daydreams into action. Just daydreaming without purpose will never achieve anything, only you can decide what you want to achieve with all these ideas!

Here’s a great exercise to help you see Imagineering in action:

Think of something you’d like to achieve or a challenge you’d like to resolve. Now make a list of all the possible solutions you can think of, let your imaginations run riot and try to think of all the most ridiculous ideas. Have fun with it – the crazier and more exotic the solutions you can think up the better, try to get to at least 50, and if that was easy then try for another 50. And when you run out of ideas close your eyes and do some creative daydreaming and think up another 50! And don’t stop there either, when you think your imagination has completely run dry, put the paper down and go and do something fun, then come back and write another 50! What you’re doing here is stretching your imagination from its current comfortable state to a new boundless one! The ideas you had at the beginning were based on your current perception of how the world works, the ones you have at then end of the exercise are based on pure imagination and that is where the magic is. Once you have a great stack of ideas you can start playing with them and look at which ones actually might help you resolve your challenge. You will be amazed that the ones that suddenly look like the solution – they nearly always come at the end of the list!

People like Albert Einstein, Napoleon and Leonardo Da Vinci were able to change the world because they operated out of imagination, not out of their current reality – so they achieved things that no one ever thought possible. Wouldn’t it be fun to think like them?

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