“Most Americans honestly believe America is the most powerful nation on earth, but actually the most powerful nation is imagi-nation. (Zig Ziglar)
Without imagination, this would be a very mundane, boring world. Every advance of humankind started with someone creating an image in their mind, and then bringing it to fruition. The stronger the person’s imagination, the grander the vision, and the greater the advancement.
I was listening to a sports radio station yesterday and they stumbled upon a brief discussion of the movie Jaws. The commentator said it was one of his 5 all-time favorite movies. It happens to be among my most favorite also. That brief mention got me thinking about the movie, and how powerfully they used suspense and terror. By only showing the shark in short, tense scenes, Spielberg and company allowed the imagination of the audience to fill in the gaps, creating something far more scary than simple blood and guts would have been. Such is the power of the imagination.
When I have a difficult assignment to complete, I frequently will take some time alone, without even technology present, to think out how to complete the job. I imagine how things will look when the assignment is complete, how it will be presented and shared. From there I work my way back until I have a rough view of how to proceed. When I take the time to use my imagination in this way, I find that the road to completion is far easier, and less likely to take twists and turns.
For me, imagination also represents escape. From time to time I like to escape my everyday existence, whether by means of watching a movie or TV show, or more powerfully by reading a good novel. If I am reading non-fiction work I can run through the pages somewhat quickly. I am no speed reader, but I do alright. But, when I am reading a good novel, it takes a bit more time. I like to immerse myself into the characters’ lives and get to know them. I imagine myself as one or another of the characters, and wonder what I would do next. Sometimes I see myself as a bystander in the scene, observing but not acting, yet fully present. For me this is a very relaxing activity.
I think I am having a hard time writing about imagination this morning because mine hasn’t been working very much lately. I think I have been stuck in reality a bit too much, and I need to exercise my mind a bit and get back to using my imagination. Not wholly in a fanciful way, although that is important as well, but also just to imagine what I want myself to be in six months or a year from now. The other day I said that I wanted to revisit my vision for myself. There is no better tool I have to make that happen, than to dust off my imagination and get cracking.