The necessity of imagination, from the mind of a child, to the world’s greatest writer, is equally important. The ability to creatively project ideas is vital to both age groups. We know the value of this as a child, but we must not lose it as an adult.
Contrary to popular opinion, we all have imagination, just as we all have biceps. The problem is, we exercise one about as much as we do the other. I would like to share three ways to reenergize your imagination.
The first is innovation. It’s a big, at times intimidating word, but it doesn’t have to be. Innovations start small, like the manufacturing plastic coffee stirrers. At one time, this, today common product, was an innovation.
Looking at your world differently means viewing Earth through another lens, not exploring Mars. How can you change one simple task at your work to save five minutes? Over time, a handful of those small things has cut your workload by thirty minutes. This saves your company money, and makes you more valuable, you’re now an innovator.
For example, a wheel can be any color, any material, as long as it’s round. Too often, we begin to think of only those wheels we see. Black tires, are fine, but white wall tires are more expensive. Innovation isn’t about crafting something totally different, merely better. As with anything else, imagination must be balanced.
Second, write it down. Whether it’s a paper and pen version, or a digital one, you need a sketch book of ideas. Putting ideas, no matter how small, on paper does two things. It ensures you won’t forget them in the busyness of life, and gives you something to build on later.
You may find that a lackluster concept from two years ago, with slight modifications, is exactly what’s needed today. Give yourself, and your thoughts, the benefit of the doubt. Right it down, then regularly review the pages.
Third, read something new. Whether it’s a book on an area of your life, such as leadership, or a biography, read. Even if your time is limited, read articles, or something that will stimulate your brain. Children’s imagination build off of what they’ve seen and heard, we are the same way.
Your imagination can thrive, regardless of age, position, or circumstances. It just needs a little attention, exercise, and time to grow. Smile, get ready, and imagine what awaits you today.