10 Lessons We Can Learn From Our Children. Lesson 5: Imagination
If you have been following along through the first 4 lessons, then you are awesome. You’re also older and wiser than when you started lesson 1. Hopefully you have learned something from these lessons, otherwise I have wasted a few hours of my life that I will never get back. Might fault, not yours. Either way, I think Lesson 5 is the most world changing lesson. Maybe not the most important, but the most world changing. Read more about it below, and also check back on lessons 1, 2, 3, or 4 if you missed one.
- Play hard, sleep hard.
- Pursue the things you want with fierceness.
- Smile often.
- Observe the world around you… learn.
- Let your imagination run rampant
Children are the most creative inventors of imaginative people, lives, and worlds. Their imagination is truly amazing. While I have not had the pleasure of my daughter describing to me a world that exists only in her head yet, I cannot wait for the day she does. I’ll dive so deeply into her imagined world, that she may start to wonder if it really exists.
Children’s imaginations are so extreme, random, and fun. “How in the world did Susie come up with that?” Is a question many parents have asked, minus the Susie part. Susie’s are typically complete bores…
How do children dream up such detailed existences and scenarios? I truly do not know the answer to that question. I really wish I did. I would also like to know when it is that we lose our amazing creativity.
Here are my guesses:
- I think we lose creativity through abiding by societal norms. When you follow the leader, you are just a piece in the leader’s existence, and on the path the leader created. That leader can be many forms, and usually is a box that you put yourself in. A few boxes I put myself in are; Christian, conservative, business professional, aspiring writer, and the list goes on. When we think of ourselves in terms of generalities and stereotypes, then we tend to stay within that defined box, and limit our abilities, aspirations, and most importantly, our imagination.
- We lose creativity through fear of judgement. If there are expectations of what a person’s life should look like and be, a person feels uncomfortable when pushing the boundaries of those expectations. Worse yet, they feel like a failure if they cannot meet those expectations, or that something is wrong with them- “Why am I different?” This is just another example of self-imposed limitations, which by the very definition is a limitation. Why limit yourself? What happens when you take the governor off and put the pedal to the metal? Imagination can ONLY BE LIMITED BY YOU.
- We lose creativity when we focus on serious issues. Stress, worry, fear, and all of their ugly siblings are diseases that stall life. They keep you as stationary and stagnant as possible. They hate freedom, and imagination’s lifeblood is freedom. If you let those diseases of thought destroy your movement forward in life, you lose. Losing sucks. Don’t be a loser, even if it feels like you can never win. Keep moving forward, and stop limiting yourself.
Those are a few examples of how we lose our creativity and imagination, but what’s the point?
Is having a strong imagination something beneficial to our lives?
Well, I think anyone and everyone using the internet should appreciate an imagination. Anyone using an iPhone should appreciate Steve Jobs’ imagination. Imagination is the foundation to creativity. One cannot create without imagination, and without creation, progress is halted. I think one can argue that having imagination is more important than having a lot of knowledge given to you by others.
So, how do we gain a more robust imagination?
- We gain imagination when we allow our thoughts to run without restrictions. It’s easiest to let our thoughts run when we are not distracted by the world. Phones, TV shows, books, blogs, social media, hobbies, relationships, and many other of life’s enjoyments can be a distraction to your thoughts, and therefore restrict your imagination and ability to create.
- Put down the distractions, and clear your head, so your mind is free to explore the unexplored.
- We gain imagination when we reject social understandings, political correctness, and assumed life truths. Again, these are things that are assumed collective understandings, and you know what assuming makes out of you and me?? I’d feel pretty safe in saying that there is not one statement or viewpoint that all people on earth could agree upon. I’d bet my life on it. Why accept collective understandings instead of thinking for yourself? Reject that crap!
- Reject information others tell you is “TRUE”, until you decide if it’s true.
- My lack of Political Correctness in articles like; Diary of My Life with a Handicap Brother, & A Straight Man’s Confession about His Gay Friend, were read 30 times more than an average post of mine. People are attracted to TRUTH, and political correctness masks that truth with politeness, AKA.. lies… and lies are not polite. Stop being politically correct, and your imagination will be unhindered to explode into new arenas.
- We gain imagination when we trick our brains into forgetting gathered knowledge. If you did not know what the color green was supposed to look like, how would you describe the color of a tree leaf in the spring? Forget what you know, and think about the world around you.
Maybe imagination is not important to you, and that is your decision, but other people’s imaginations have given us everything.
What could your imagination bring us?