We live in a world where we are constantly being engaged, where our senses are being bombarded by information. To the extent that we can’t process all the information coming into our heads. While were busy sorting out all the information, the inner world of our imagination is left unattended. Because we are so used to being plugged in, were always seeking ways of plugging ourselves into some kind of engagement to keep our minds occupied. The mind becomes so accustomed to interacting with external stimuli that any internal activities of the mind are not being activated and remain dormant. This leads to our internal activities slowly deteriorating due to lack of use.
The biggest deterioration is with our imagination, if we are constantly engaged with external stimuli, then we never get to use our imagination. Like a muscle if it isn’t used it starts to shrink and whither. We start losing our ability to use our imagination, and imagination is the bedrock of creativity. By focusing on external visualization we are not utilizing the internal visualization mechanism of our imagination. Internal visual images are the way that our imagination works, the imagination uses visual images to make sense of the world and solves problems using images.
Without the imagination we would not have any creative problem solving skills, in fact every innovation in the world has come from somebody’s imagination e.g. planes. Computers, theory of relativity, medicines.
We are in danger of bringing up children with no imagination or creativity, because of the very devices that were created from the imagination of others. This seems ironical that the product of imagination directly inhibits imagination. What would the world be like without imagination and creativity? It would surely be a dull world without music, art, books to engage our imagination.
Einstein was quoted as saying:
“Imagination is more important than knowledge”
Creativity can be described as applied imagination. Where imagination superimposes itself onto reality until that internal image becomes external reality.
What is short circuiting your imagination?
So what are these devices that are killing our imagination? Here is a list of activities that kill your imagination and creativity:
The images that you see on TV prevent you from utilizing the internal visualization of your imagination. You are so engaged with the images on the TV that there is no need to engage in any internal visualization. You are in a trance like state when you watch TV, because the images on the TV have become a substitute for your imagination.
Playing computer games
Computer games deteriorate your imagination in the same way as TV does, except that you are interacting with the images on the screen, this further erodes your imagination, because instead of interacting with the visualization of your imagination you are interacting with the external visual images from the computer games.
How to kick start your imagination and creativity
We need to start doing activities that engages our imagination. To use our imagination, we need a period when external visual stimulus stops, so that we can start using the internal visualization of our imagination. Imagination is when we interact with own internal visualization.
Reading fiction allows your imagination to create visual pictures of the characters of the book you are reading. We are compelled to use our imagination by visualizing the story in the mind’s eye. This creates a rich visual representation of the story as we are reading it.
Drawing allows us to tap into our imaginative and creative side, by allowing us to create pictures from the images in our minds. We are solidifying the creativity, by creating its objective counterpart on paper and thus solidifying the creative process that is sourced by our imagination.
Doodling works in a similar way except doodling is probably the most purest form of creativity, in that they represent subconscious unformed images of our imagination. The formation of doodles is in direct correlation of the initial stages of our imagination, where images are formless.
Creative writing allows the transformation of images into a textual form of imagination, that when read by others, creates a visual reaction from their imagination. When you write, not only are you using your imagination, but you are also bringing that imagination into the real world for other people to visualise from reading what you have written.
Photography allows the photographer to visualize how the picture will look when finished. Good photographers have an image in their minds of how they want the picture to look, by doing this they look at all the factors and try and match the actual picture to be taken with the visual image in their mind.
The use of our imagination is not limited to the above activities but merely used as examples of the types of activities that engage our imagination and creativity. There are many other activities that require creative visualization; the rule of thumb is any activity that uses your imagination.
Cultivating your imagination and creativity is not just a choice but a necessity if you want to live a rich and creative life. Imagination can not only be used in activities, but can also be used to imagine the kind of life you want to live, by turning that image into a reality. Without imagination you cannot change, without visualizing who you want to become, you become no one. This is the reason why people rarely change because they lack the imagination to create a better future for themselves.
Imagination is the key agent to change, without imagination there is nothing. Only from imagination, comes our desired reality. Your imagination also plays an important part in your motivation, because the stronger and more vivid your image is, the more you are motivated to turn that image into reality.
Live your life to the fullest by imagining the best life possible that you can. Then use all your power to turn that image into reality. After all, dreams are made from our imagination. When you project your imagination into the real world you are creating reality.
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