Your imagination is a powerful tool. Are you using it to create your next chapter?
One of my nephews went through a period of starting virtually every sentence with the word ‘imagine’ when he was about 7 years old. ‘Imagine if the dinosaurs actually DID actually come back to actual life.’ ‘Imagine what it would actually be like to have a fly’s actual eyes.’ (He liked to cram as many ‘actuals’ and ‘actuallys’ into these sentences wherever possible, as you may have noticed!.)
These conversations were exhausting and endearing in equal measure but his flights of fancy would take us both to some pretty amazing places!
When was the last time you tapped into your imagination?
As adults we tend to slowly move out of the world of the imagination – and when we don’t we’re likely to be regarded as ‘dreamers’. But what’s wrong with dreaming anyway? As the very clever and perceptive Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” Nice eh? If that’s not a strong endorsement of the power of imagination, then I don’t know what is!
It ALL begins in the imagination
Change of any sort always begins in the imagination first off and THEN gradually filters through into decisions, choices and new practices.
So if you want to change your future the place to START is by imagining a better one!
And yet, this incredibly potent tool which we all have at our disposal, is often under-utilised or completely ignored and consequently we waste one of our most precious resources.
Every success and every achievement begins life in the imagination, so actively building ‘dreaming time’ into our schedule seems to me to be an entirely valid way of conceiving the type of future we want for our Third Age.
Imagination is a powerful creative force
I’m a great believer in the power of imagining and while you may say I’m a dreamer – oops sorry, I slipped into John Lennon territory for a moment – not that long ago I imagined a world where I could create a business out of my skills, talents and experience and this is now my reality. Not that long ago I imagined being able to connect with clients and colleagues from around the world from the comfort of my home office and this is now my reality.
So HOW do you harness your imagination?
A simple way to start...
I am forever daydreaming and imagining new ideas, possibilities and opportunities – usually when I’m thinking about something completely different! But sometimes I get stubborn mental blocks where my imagination retreats into the deepest recesses of my mind and stays there!
That’s when I use this simple little exercise (courtesy of the wonderful Marie Forleo) to reactivate my imagination and get my creative juices flowing again.
When I say ‘simple’ I mean super simple! I just ask myself this:
‘Wouldn’t it be great if…’
Yup, that’s it! A simple invitation to my imagination to run wild and roam in far off places…. an invitation to explore desirable possible futures… to loosen up and open the flow!
Wouldn’t it be great if… I spent a month travelling every year?
Wouldn’t it be great if… I worked just two days a week?
Wouldn’t it be great if… I published a book?
Wouldn’t it be great if… I created an in person meet-up group for women just like me?
Wouldn’t it be great if… I took a course in psychology?
Wouldn’t it be great if… I ran with that idea I had about creating my own business?
Start to create your future simply by imagining a better one
There’s something about the laid back casualness of the ‘wouldn’t it be great if…’ that somehow circumvents the judgmental gatekeeper of our desires and lets them flow out uninhibited and without judgement.
After letting that stream of wants out of your mind, you can then scan the list for the ones that fill you with a sense of ENERGY… because THEY are the ones that’ll guide you in the right direction and help you clarify your immediate next action step.
You’ve just broken through the paralysis and confusion of asking yourself the big ‘what’s next?’ question and not knowing the answer!
Life planning doesn’t come more powerful, simple or energising than this!
Give it a go, and let me know how you like it.
Ready to start getting intentional?
So, what’s calling you? What changes are you contemplating? Who do you need to be as you step into the next version of you? Identifying the changes you want to make is a huge first step but it’s important to ease yourself into the process of change so you don’t get overwhelmed and give up.
If you need a little help to get started, do consider signing up for a Retirement Springboard session… I think it’ll be the perfect next step for you right now.