Encourage Your Curiosity
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” -- Walt Disney
The truth is not yet totally known. We live in an ever-changing world where assumptions and theories are challenged on a daily basis. Science continues to find new evidence about our world, our origins and everything around us. We continue to grow in our understanding and discover things we never even knew existed before. And today we face paradigm-changing advances, like artificial intelligence and virtual reality.
Such advances often make us question our beliefs, and if they don’t, they should. It is very easy to be stuck in our thinking, our assumptions, our long-standing concepts of life and how we live it. We must embrace the continuing research and curiosity of our inventive professionals in every field of study. We do not know everything yet, and we need to give curiosity a chance and support the imaginative and innovative pursuits that bring about advancements in our understanding of our world and of our lives. “No one is dumb who is curious,” says Neil deGrasse Tyson. “The people who don’t ask questions remain clueless throughout their lives.”
What Is, Isn’t
What is good enough for today, is not necessarily true for tomorrow, or next month or next year. So why hold on to traditions and assumptions that have been gathering dust for decades? Curiosity stimulates the imagination, and inspires us to ask how and why. Our imagination brings us closer to invention and innovation. Curiosity is one of the most powerful forces influencing our thinking. It makes us see things in a different way and encourages creativity and new approaches to everyday situations in need of change, advancement and improvement. Curiosity, imagination, innovation, improvement, and change – these advance our society and can advance our personal lives. In the words of Albert Einstein: “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, in Big Magic, says, “You might spend your whole life following your curiosity and have absolutely nothing to show for it at the end—except one thing. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that you passed your entire existence in devotion to the noble human virtue of inquisitiveness. And that should be more than enough for anyone to say that they lived a rich and splendid life.”
Curiosity inspires growth—mental growth. That’s a good reason to continue asking questions, to continue trying to understand “why.” Curiosity nourishes our mind, stimulates our creativity and allows us to investigate new directions for our life.
Keep Asking Questions
Keep asking why. And seek to understand all of the basic truths that are part of your belief structure. What will come next? What new inventions will change your life and the way the world works? These are the exciting questions that we must continue to ask. Not everything is known yet. So, open your mind to the possibilities, to the unknown and imagine what could be. Imagine what is not here yet. Anything is possible, and through the unleashing of your imagination, anything can be created.
“My favorite words are possibilities, opportunities and curiosity. I think if you are curious, you create opportunities, and then if you open the doors, you create possibilities.” -- Mario Testino
Imagine the Possibilities
“Then we send kids to school, and that fantastic creative process is suddenly a bad thing. The child’s imagination is called ‘not paying attention.’ Drifting off into the glorious realm of the imagination for a few moments elicits a swift ‘What are you doing?!’ from the teacher.” -- Bob Procter
The more imaginative you are, the more creative you will be, and the more creative you are, the more possibilities unfold for an exciting, innovative, passionate, and dynamic life. This is why I titled this book Unleash Your Imagination. We are obsessed with making out lists, setting goals and prioritizing in order to achieve these goals. And yet, often these goals have not been formulated by reaching deep inside and stretching our imagination to achieve a list of truly spectacular goals, goals that ignite our passions, our dreams and all that allows our fantasies to surface and influence our desires. Does this sound impossible? Perhaps. But why limit yourself when you are trying to unleash the dreams that are hidden within you? According to Albert Einstein, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
While attending a lecture by Thomas Moore, the author of Care of the Soul, at the Unicorn Historical Writers Conference, I was impressed with many of his concepts about goal setting and using our imagination. Moore says:
1. We need to be less committed to goal setting. Reaching for goals will restrict your life to a very narrow pathway and will limit the potential for imagination. We become so obsessed with the path to achievement that we miss a wealth of opportunities and new insights along the way.
2. We need to un-focus. Focusing is a rational act. The more rational we become, the less imaginative are the results of our labor.
3. We need to become more irrational in order to open the subconscious mind and allow it to create and innovate.
Can you imagine the possibilities? What if you could realize the dreams of long ago that never came to fruition? What if you could live in that cottage by the ocean and hear the seagulls calling? What if you could spend a year living in the south of France and experience the charm of the Mediterranean coast and be influenced by the light and the atmosphere that inspired the impressionist painters? What if you could live with those who reinforce your life and inspire you to reach for new, far-reaching goals well beyond what you thought you could achieve? What if you could live with the expectation that a spectacular life is possible?
But when you do set goals, don’t set simple goals – goals that you know you can achieve. Those are not much more than a Saturday morning laundry list. Set goals that you have no idea how you can achieve. Stretch so far that you enter a world of spectacular possibilities. Set goals that create excitement in your life and allow you to anticipate their reality. In his book, The Art of Living, Bob Proctor says: “If you set a goal and you know how to achieve it, you’re not growing. You’re going sideways. When you set a goal, you should be setting a goal for something you have absolutely no idea how to do.” You may never reach such a goal, but you will have stretched your imagination so far that it will take you much further than you thought you could go. You will have achieved even higher levels of discovery along the way.
In The Law of Attraction, Esther and Jerry Hicks say, “Imagination is the mixing and massaging of thoughts into various combinations. It is similar to observing a situation. However, in imagination, you are creating the images rather than watching something in your current reality. Some use the word visualization, but we want to offer this subtle distinction: Visualization is often only a memory of something that you have once observed. By imagination, we mean deliberately bringing desired components together in your mind to create a desired scenario…When we use the term imagination, we are really talking about Deliberately Creating your own reality.”
Unleash your imagination. Re-imagine your future. Think of the spectacular possibilities. They are there waiting for you. You control your life. You are responsible for the decisions that guide your future, and you have free rein to make it happen. It begins with unleashing your imagination.
“There is hope in dreams, imagination and in the courage of those who wish to make those dreams a reality.” -- Jonas Salk
“Seeing differently is like putting on an imaginary pair of special glasses and filtering the information through them. Your life is what it is. What is different is what glasses you choose to decide how you want to see the same things differently.” -- Ayse Birsel
What does your dream look like? Where does it take place and who is sharing it with you? How does it feel to be in that place with that person? Visualize it. Pretend you are there. Place it in your mind, and soon it will become part of your subconscious. That’s where it should be. From there it can influence you until your vision is realized. We need to have a vision to guide the decisions we make. The vision is the final destination towards which our road map of life is plotted.
Your vision does not start with analytics. It does not begin by studying the numbers. It starts in your mind and follows the fantasies that motivate you to taking action. It incorporates your wishes and dreams with an inspired imagination. This is the fun part of planning – the unrestricted, open-ended possibilities to plan without anything in your way. Life will give you all kinds of roadblocks along the way. Life will say no. It will say, “You can’t do that.” It is up to you to talk back, and say, “Yes, I can.”
The stronger your vision is, the more committed you will be to it, and the stronger the possibilities are for realizing that vision. Starting with a blank canvas or an empty piece of paper can be intimidating, especially when it holds the possibilities of a future project or an important plan. But if you have unleashed your imagination, unlocked your dreams and desires and are beginning to form a glimpse of your preferred future, the visualization process will have a head start. When your desires and dreams excite you and become your motivation, a picture of your new life model becomes more in focus. As Bob Proctor says in The Art of Living, "What ideas wind you up and make you want to move into action? If you’re not sure, get quiet and visualize. Visualization is where everything starts. When you think about it, everything begins with a picture."
Developing a vision can take place in all kinds of planning – life planning, project planning, even vacation planning, directing a play, or coaching a sports team. Seeing your vision first allows you to see the strategies you will use, the tactics you need to achieve that vision. Seeing your vision at the onset will provide the enthusiasm to help you move forward through whatever adversity stands in your way. When your vision originates from your dreams and wishes, you have more of a commitment to achieving it. You have created the plan and all of its details, and the planning experience makes the vision more desirable, perhaps almost an obsession. This knowledge and intimate understanding of your vision will enhance your commitment to making it become a reality.
Everyone’s life is a blank canvas. It is up to each of us to choose the colors and the image for a perfect picture. Each of us is the artist of our life and can paint the picture that is our vision. There are many ways of making this comparison, but Brian Tracy says it simply: “The person you see is the person you will be.”
“There is a law in psychology that if you form a picture in your mind of what you would like to be, and you keep and hold that picture there long enough, you will soon become exactly as you have been thinking.” -- William James
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