One of my favorite things to do as a child was play pretend games. I had a very active imagination and I used it to sing concerts, fight wars, explore far-off jungles, and of course fly an X-wing fighter and destroy the Death Star! Many times boredom was the prime motivator for me to use my imagination. I would get bored so I would just make up a game or a scenario and act it out as a kid.
Imagination comes easy for us when we are kids, but often we lose that gift as we get older. All the media options we have assault us with images and sounds and we don't have to use our imagination. I’m not bashing all the stuff out there, I’m just recognizing the reality of what it does to our imagination. As men, we must bring the power of our imagination back to our life if we want to really live our adventure! One of the keys to our own growth and development lies within our imagination and learning how to use it. To be a better man we must Awaken Our Imagination and Focus Our Imagination.
Awaken Our Imagination
In order to awaken our imagination, we must learn how to access it. Using our imagination can seem foreign as an adult and we must take intentional steps to start using it again. One of the best ways to do this is through intentional thinking. Taking the time to quiet the world and allow our mind to imagine. I often do my best thinking and creating while listening to soundtrack music. Words distract me when I am trying to concentrate, but soundtrack music from movies or games can really help to energize my creativity.
We must also learn to protect our imagination. If we never use it and always look for outside stimuli, our imagination won’t grow and we will find ourselves living a lethargic and passive life. Some of the most powerful men in history had very active imaginations. They could “see” the future because they had used their imagination to connect with the future. We must make sure the access to unlimited images and videos doesn’t keep our imagination from developing. Taking the time to protect our imagination will pay off in how we live our daily lives.
Focus Our Imagination
Focused imagination happens when you use your imagination for a specific purpose. Many athletes do this before games. They will mentally imagine the game and what they will do in the game. They call it visualization, but what they are actually doing is using their imagination. For example, you can use this same technique as a dad with your kids. Use your imagination to visualize what type of relationship you want with your kids. Then write down what would need to happen to make what you imagine a reality.
This power of imagination applies to all the areas of our life. We can use our imagination to improve and empower many different areas of our life: relationships, health, purpose, etc…. When we develop a strong imagination, we can literally dream our goals and then dream up the plans to make them happen. Focusing our imagination can be one of the most powerful tools we have to live a strong adventure as a man.
Pick one area that you want to grow in this week. Spend 15 minutes (of quiet or with soundtrack music) imagining what life would be like if you grew in that area. When you are done imagining, take the time to write out what you saw and then make a plan to see it happen.
Your imagination is a power source for your life. Don’t waste it or forget to use it.