Dreaming Big: Life, Why Not Go for Broke?

October 22, 2007

It has been said that most of the problems in this world are due to a lack of imagination. And you know what? I think that just might be true!

At the moment, I’m considering that statement in contrast to the advice to ‘dream big!’ With a major focus on how little big dreaming I do personally. And the sort of detrimental effect that must have on my [quality of] life.

Whenever I even start to propose the possibility dreaming big, my ‘rational’ mind immediately kicks into critic gear. It tells me I couldn’t possible have those things, be those things, or even want those things. In which case I fall back on my old ways of thinking. I mean, it’s gotten me this far, right?

But again, it’s important to realize all of the censorships on my life are purely my own making. They’re for the most part arbitrary rules I’ve concocted that will se the pace of my life now and forever [or until I change them]. In which case the lack of imagination can be thanked for all the displeasures I’m currently facing.

Which begs the question: how does one blow past these gate-keepers to the rational in order to, well, be free to imagine? I suppose one excellent exercise might be to just go out of my way every day to imagine the most absurd life situations: me being gay; me joining the circus; me becoming president; whatever. The scenario clearly doesn’t matter quite as much as the mental gymnastics necessary to get me from point A to point B.

Another exercise just involves learning more about the world. I won’t be as likely to continue following a line of reasoning once I’ve seen for myself that it’s faulty. Organic chemistry isn’t really hard. Driving stick isn’t really hard. And, wow, riding a bike isn’t really impossible. Live and learn. And take down the barriers.

I imagine this has something to do with how the New Age idea of ‘intention’ works [a la the blockbuster hoo-hoo book, The Secret]. Because it forces you to engage in imaginative thinking in some sort of implausible [and therefore literally un-thinkable] into the easily, and even vividly, imagined. And suddenly something you feared to even ponder [for fear of what? Increased anxiety? About something you won’t even allow yourself to think [something that isn’t even really happening]] becomes something you happily pursue with your train of thought.

And as David Allen says, you can’t reach a goal until you have a picture of the finished product in mind. Or as Scott Adams says, you won’t waste your time imagining something that can’t possibly come true.

The human imagination is there to be worked. Go to the Creative Gym and run it on a treadmill. Make it do some bench presses, some squats, a couple of deadlifts. And then see what new skills you develop without the fear caused by a lack of vision.

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