|Your greatest power... Learn to master it.|
What is a human being's greatest power? What is the one thing that no one can take away from us no matter where we are or what we're doing? If you haven't guessed by the title, it is one's imagination. You remember imagination: your childhood friend? Imagination that could turn a towel into a superhero cape, pillows into bricks for a fort, and those little paper towel tubes into a trumpet (or a telescope). Imagination is a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, as we grow older, we ignore imagination because we feel that like toys, its just a child's play thing.
In nature, play is essential for the development of animals. It teaches animals how to connect instinct with physiological traits. In humans, it is the same way. Playing develops our instincts into cognitive thought and eventually we develop traits that help us survive in the real world. Even video games have been proven to increase quick thinking and hand-eye coordination. A key part in play for a human being is developing imagination.
Imagination, becomes our most important tool; and for most people, it is also our most unused. Why is this? Well most of us when we were growing up were taught that imagination is for kids (little kids at that) instead of being taught how to convert imagination for play, into imagination for survival.
One of my favorite shows as a little kid was the A-Team. Yes the A-Team, whose most notable star was Mr. T. At the time, I just liked the fact that they made things blow up. As an adult watching reruns, I can appreciate the amount of imagination that is put into their plans. The A-Team can take a plunger, a roll of toilet paper, some bleach, and a candle and create the deadliest explosive you have ever seen. (As a side note I do plan on watching the new A-Team movie with Rampage Jackson as B. A. My favorite show and my favorite UFC fighter? Ok back to the blog).
Of course the previous example was exaggerated, but you get the point. Many people get rich because they understand the power of imagination. Walt Disney looked at 42 square miles of swamp and saw one of the world's largest family playgrounds. Steve Jobs got the idea of computer based typesetting from a caligraphy class. Imagination has created everything you and I enjoy today. Everyone saw scrap metal, one person saw a car. One person sees trash, another sees treasure. One person sees a wall, another sees a background for a beautiful mural. There are millions of brilliant people out there, but only a few combined their intellect and their imagination to create the iPhone.
The trick to using imagination is a knowing that the right combination of what is right in front of you can become beneficial. Napoleon Hill has a great example of this. He mentions that one part Hydrogen and two parts Oxygen create a completely different yet very necessary substance when combined. In the same instance, you can begin creating something new and useful with some of the most unlikely objects. I once saw a fitness video where they took milk jugs filled with water, and placed them on either side of a broomstick, and voila: a barbell.
So start using your imagination and let your mind run wild. Here are a few suggestions on how to get going:
- Play with some little children (preferably some that you know)
- Go into a room by yourself, close the door, and pretend you're being interviewed by Oprah (or some other talk show host) about how you achieved your dream life. You'd be surprised at the ideas you come up with.
- Learn as much as you can about everything. Knowledge and imagination are best friends that haven't seen each other in years. It's time for a reunion.
- Take up an acting class or anything that requires you be creative (drawing, music, shop).
- I believe in "the Secret", there was a concept party called the "Come as You Will Be in 5 years Party". Throw one of those.
- Keep a journal and everytime you think you have a good idea, write it down (how many times have you come up with the perfect joke and forgotten it because you didn't write it down?).