Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The Power of Imagination

Which do you think is more powerful - imagination or will power?

If you can find the equipment to do so, I would like you to try a little experiment for me.

Find a plank of wood that is about as wide as both your feet pressed together.  Lay this plank along the floor.  Now start walking along it, placing each foot carefully in the middle of the plank.  There is quite a bit of space either side of your foot, so you should not find this exercise too difficult.  Walk all the way along the plank from one end to the other.

How did that go?  Did you misplace a foot at any point and step on the floor rather than the plank?  As long as you are reasonably fit and healthy I believe you got to the end of the plank without doing anything that would have meant you would have fallen off if the plank had been raised in the air.

The second part of the experiment is a thought experiment.  I don't want you actually to try it, as it would be a very dangerous thing to do unless you are a trained acrobat.  I want you to imagine the plank is now 500 metres in the air (around a third of a mile if you are not used to the metric system), crossing between two skyscrapers.  It is a very strong plank, and it is very firmly fixed at both ends, so it does not "bow" or move in any other way when you step on it.  Today is a beautiful day, with not the slightest hint of wind.  Now I want you to imagine stepping onto that plank and walking along it.  Way below you can see people walking along the road and they look like insects.  The cars look like little Corgi toy cars.  There is no safety net.  One false step and you will fall 500 metres to a very messy death.

How did that thought experiment go?  Did you walk the plank or decide you didn't want to risk it?  Whether or not you actually tried it in your mind I want you to answer this honestly - would you do this for real, and would you find it at all difficult.

Unless you are very unusual, if you were honest I am sure you either said you would not do it or admitted your walk along the plank would be very slow and hesitant.

Why is this?  The experience should surely be the same!  Every time you walk along the plank on the floor you walk smoothly and quite quickly.  Why is that not the case when the plank is high in the air?

The answer is - the power of your imagination!

When you try walking that plank 500 metres in the air, your imagination presents you with some very unpleasant scenarios.  Scenarios in which you fall off the plank and come to a very untimely end.  The power of your imagination is probably so strong that it completely counters the power of your will to walk that plank, or at least it makes you very hesitant.

Imagination is extremely powerful.  Typically much more powerful than will power.

Why is this important?

When you are trying to achieve success in something, do you normally try to succeed by using your will power?

Let's say you have decided to slim by following a particular diet.  If you are like most people you will try to use your will power to avoid eating certain foods, or to avoid eating between meal snacks.  There is nothing wrong with using will power.  In fact, you need will power if you really want to reach your goal, whatever that goal may be.  But you should always combine it with imagination.

Remember from your thought experiment just how powerful your imagination is.  Just how easily it can stop you doing something you want to do.  Well, apply that power of imagination to your attempts to reach your goals and you will find it so much easier to reach them.

Imagine how it will feel when you have achieved your goal.  How much better life will be.  Really focus on this.  Use the power of your imagination effectively.  Spend some time sitting quietly imagining your success and all the consequences of that success.

The power of imagination to help you achieve whatever you wish to achieve is immense.  Harness that power, linked with your will power, and you will be surprised at just how quickly and effectively you can reach your goals.

1 comment:

  1. This is very moving 'the power of imagination'. Thanks a lot