Stre-e-e-etch Your Imagination
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
Albert Einstein, Physicist, 1879-1955
This one quote alone is a pretty compelling reason to learn how to turn our imaginative genius loose.
All of us have a fairly vivid imagination, but unfortunately, we do not control it. It controls us. It runs willy-nilly on its own, painting pictures in our minds of things that we do NOT want to materialize.
What’s even more alarming is the fact that the same reel of pictures keeps playing over and over again. There are statistics that indicate that of the many thousands of thoughts that we have in the course of a single day, the vast majority of them are the same old, tired out, uninspired thoughts that we had earlier in the day, and the day before, and the day before that, ad nauseum.
Here are some simple visualization exercises that will help you train your imagination to flex its muscles. You can perform these anytime, anywhere, and in just a matter of seconds.
Exercise 1 – Color Me Beautiful
Focus on any object in your immediate vicinity. Mentally change its color. Some people try to be too literal-minded about this and claim that they cannot “see” the different color. Just get a flashing “sense” of it being this different color. That’s all that is needed.
Run through several colors in rapid succession. Change the finish from a high gloss to a matte finish. Make it fuzzy. Make it wet. You can graduate to seeing multi-colored patterns: plaids, stripes, polka dots, animal prints, etc.
Exercise 2 – Bend Me, Shape Me, Any Way You Want Me
Once again focus on any object. Increase its size, more, more, even more. Now shrink it back again. Make it so tiny that it all but disappears. Make it fat and puffy and then skinny and sunken. Pull it like taffy and make it stretch and twist and bend and fold. Now turn the object inside out.
Again, you do not need to “see” every single detail. The idea is simply to get your imagination to come out and play. You want it to break free of its well-worn, literal rut, and more importantly, you want to get comfortable seeing things that are not yet in your physical world. Let’s do one more…
Exercise 3 – Mental Aroma Therapy
Our sense of smell is by far the strongest sense that we have. A single aroma is enough to unleash a flood of vivid memories. Also, olfactory sensations are the first ones to reach the brain. So not only does smell provide a powerful link to our recall. It can also serve to stimulate and excite our imagination.
This exercise consists of simply “recalling” certain odors that are most pleasant to you. What aromas make you feel calm? Smell them now. What scents make you feel powerful? Train yourself to mentally whiff that scent when you’re feeling small.
Think of smells that make you feel confident, free, intelligent, rich, kind, playful, or anything else that occurs to you.
As you go through different odors that cause you to experience these pleasurable sensations, take note of what pictures each aroma conjures up for you. What aspect of these mental scenes pleases you most? (This is a great way to engage your mind during lost, odd moments.)
These pictures and odors should be remembered and incorporated into visualizing your goals. The point of these exercises is to get your logical mind to loosen up, to release its choke hold on your creative spirit.
Why is this so important? Because the fastest, most efficient way to achieve any goal is to SEE it in our mind’s eye. We are to act, feel and give heartfelt thanks as if it were already a done deal. Some authors call this “Thinking from the end.”
Giving our imaginations a workout will help us accomplish this.
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” Albert Einstein