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The Art of Imagining: How to Dream Big and Achieve More

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When we were kids, we went into the realm of imagination and tried on possible futures. We thought of ourselves as firemen or as ballerinas or as astronauts or as race-car drivers or as whatever it was we wanted to put on and try out. We lived in the land of a free imagination. Our imaginations were vivid and bright and exciting places to go to inside our own mind. And then usually about first grade—and certainly thereafter as we stay in our training systems—our imagination gets muted and it almost gets trained out of us.

Even though we still have an imagining faculty and we still are using images, most often we’re imaging what we don’t want to have happen. Our child isn’t home, and it’s three hours past our
expectation of our child coming home. We start imagining ditches, and we start imagining fire trucks and ambulances, or all kinds of things. We don’t even know the power of the dimension of mind that we have access to. We begin to realize that every single thing we can see has been created twice: first it was a thought before it became a thing.

This domain—this realm of imagination—where you are an image-maker, every single one of us, we’re making images all the time, it’s what we imagine with our mind. Immediately the search engine of the mind—just like the search engine of your computer—as soon as you put it in your imagination, it’s as if you’ve written right into the search engine of your personal internal Internet. It goes searching for everything that is like the imagined picture you have just held. It doesn’t distinguish between something you really do want and something you really don’t want. It goes to work on the pictures that you are focusing on.

Napoleon Hill. He said the imagination is the workshop of the mind and he also pointed out it’s the fifth step towards riches. He explained the imagination is literally the workshop where, in our fashion, all plans created by man—the impulse, the desire—is given shape, form and action through the aid of the imaginative faculty of the mind.

It has been said that you and I can create anything that we can imagine. Where do you think the Internet came from? Where do you think air flight came from? Where do you think the plastic bottle that we put water in came from, or the electric light or the wristwatch? How about your shoelaces? Think of this, the toothbrush, your electric razor or the little brush you put on your eye makeup with. It all came from the imagination.

Hill points it out. Our only limitation within reason lies in our development and use of our imagination. You know, you want to realize that you have this marvelous mental tool. You will never see it. It’s tucked away in the storehouse of your mind. It’ll sit there doing nothing until you call it into action, and then it’ll do whatever you ask it to do. You can build a picture of yourself doing anything. There are no limits, absolutely none. And what one person thinks is impossible, another person is off doing it. One is using the imagination effectively and the other is not.

Everything you will ever be, do, or have – good and bad – is born in your imagination. The question isn’t what do you think you can create. The only right question is what would you love?

How to embrace your imagination:

Take some time to pause now, sit down with a blank piece of paper, and then go into that inner chamber inside you, where you can go as
big and wide and deep as you want. You can dream up any possible future.

Part of you is going to argue, “I don’t have the money,” “I don’t have the time,” “I’m too old,” “I’m too young,” “I don’t have the education.” For this exercise, it doesn’t matter. For now, just say to
those thoughts, I’ll deal with you later. Right now, just like when you were a kid, you can imagine yourself into any life you want.

The question isn’t what do you think you can create. The only right question in this experience is what would you love? What would you love to create? What does the life look like that you would love to create, and begin to write it down? Make sure that it’s about your own physical well being, that it’s about your relationships; that it’s about the work or the creations you’re doing in the world; what you would love to do with your time. Do you travel? What is this? What about your kids or your family or your friends, and what do you do as service in the world? Whatever it is that interests you? What is the life I would love to live? Imagine it, write it down, and then you’ll be ready for the next step.

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