Have you ever wished you could fall down the rabbit hole, step through the wardrobe or catch the train at platform 9 3/4? Have you ever doodled a cool new spaceship or built a tree house in your mind? Imagination makes our world an even more spectacular place.
Even if you aren't a fan of fantasy, have you ever wished to climb a mountain, complete a triathlon or step into your manager's job?
We all imagine during the day, and we can use this imagination not only to come up with our next innovation, but also to devise new strategies, to problem solve, to figure out ways to achieve our goals or to improve the quality of our relationships.
Even impossible dreams can someday be a reality
Leonardo da Vinci would probably have been a fascinating person to have a chat with. His inventions include the anemometer, the parachute, the giant crossbow, and his more famous helicopter and flying machine.
Da Vinci was excited about aviation in an era where the only things that flew were animals and rocks thrown from a catapult. He dreamed of people soaring in the skies, even higher than birds could go. The flying machine, or the 'ornithopter,' shows da Vinci's powerful imagination. He used nature for inspiration, looking at wing designs in bats and birds.
“For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.”
Leonardo da Vinci
While da Vinci's designs never flew, it provided inspiration hundreds of years later for modern aircraft. Imagine if humans were still limited to travel by land or sea. A dream that seemed utterly impossible at the time is now a reality, and it's a reality that most of us use regularly.
You do it - even if you think you don't
We imagine even when we don't think that we are imagining. The same neural pathways are activated whether we imagine something or experience the real thing. If you are convinced that you don't have a good imagination, simply close your eyes and notice any pictures or images that appear in your mind. That's imagination!
Let your mind wander, drift away and take a few notes. You can always go through these notes later and read what you have written.
How Imagination relates to Innovation
Imagination is one of the 4 pillars under the competency of Innovation in the . This is a much needed ability in order to generate creative thoughts. Creativity combined with good implementation is what originates the innovations we need in business today.
Science will continue to unlock the secrets of the brain to help us understand the mechanisms involved when we assemble information, store knowledge and imagine.
5 Tips for Imagination
- Learn to relax
- Use metaphors and analogies
- Give yourself permission to imagine
- Study the life of artists and inventors
- Explore your talents, write a novel or paint a picture
Everything that humans have achieved has started with the glimmer of imagination. The most beautiful feats of architecture, athletes winning an Olympic gold, to a child's finger-painting all started in someone's mind.