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Change Your World with Imagination

On the 2nd of May 2008, the very first installment of the Avengers series - The Iron Man - made its way to the cinemas. The movie and all its sequels captured the hearts of people everywhere and became instant hits.

Now, its latest sequel, The Avengers End Game, earned a record breaking amount of $2 billion US Dollars in its first week in the box office and garnered many positive reviews. Now I bet most of you, if not all, have put aside some money and blocked out a few hours of your time just to watch the highly esteemed movie.

All these accolades because of Stan Lee’s IMAGINATION.

Amazing right?

It’s amazing how one man’s imagination can make a huge difference in the hearts and in the minds of so many people.

So right now, in this very moment, before you continue reading this article I want you to take a pause … I want you to imagine the impact you can make in this world if you develop that imagination of yours…

The Importance of Imagination

Webster’s dictionary defines imagination as “the faculty or action of forming new ideas, images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses”. To the renowned scientist Albert Einstein, it is more important than knowledge. To Muhammad Ali it is the element to that gives a person wings. To Ralph Waldo Emerson, it is not a talent, but the very health of a person.

Psychotherapist and Social Ecologist Tao de Haas, explains how strong imagination can help us:

"The ability to imagine things pervades our entire existence. It influences everything we do, think about and create. It leads to elaborate theories, dreams, and inventions in any profession from the realms of academia to engineering and the arts. Ultimately, imagination influences everything we do regardless of our profession. Imagination is the key to innovation.”

Dr. Haas went on to say:

"Yesterday’s knowledge alone will not suffice. Imagination is essential for anyone, especially for leaders, who not only have to lead people into the future but have to foresee the challenges not yet known that await mankind.”

Imagination helps us, no matter what profession we are in, to become better versions of ourselves. Imagination gives us vision - the ability to foresee what what lies ahead - and wisdom on what path to take and the know-how on how to overcome the challenges embroiled in the chosen path.

With this in mind, how do we develop our imagination?

Here are some tips on how you can develop this hidden gem of yours by the king of imagination himself:

1. Start with the end in mind:

“The only advice anybody can give is, if you wanna be a writer, keep writing. And read all you can, read everything.” – Stan Lee

Stan Lee always knew what he wanted. He wanted to be a famous comic book writer and pursued that dream no matter what challenges lie ahead of him.

To be successful in any area of your life, you first need to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and what your goals are.

2. Never be embarrassed or scared to pursue your dreams.

“I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you’re able to entertain people, you’re doing a good thing.” – Stan Lee

As you pursue your dream, you will encounter many challenges that can somehow dampen your spirits and stagnate your imagination. People or circumstances may try to discourage you from pursuing your dream but remember, your dream is worth pursuing. Commit to your dream and pursue it, then you will achieve it.

3. Take a day off every now and then, and have fun.

“I don’t know where the hell I’ll be in 5 years. Maybe I’ll be producing movies maybe I’ll be on a corner selling apples. I don’t know, but I’m having a hell of a lot of fun.” Stan Lee

When you are stressed and are bogged down by real time issues, you will not be able to focus in day dreaming or constructive imagination. Taking a break from your daily work routines and from all your stress can help relax your mind and make creative ideas flow freely.

4. Read and read a lot.

“Reading is very good. And you can quote me!” Stan Lee

The more we read, the more enlightened we become. Reading empowers our minds and broadens its range. According to research, reading broadens our imagination by stimulating the right side of our brain. It literally opens our minds to new possibilities and new ideas helping us experience and analyse the world through others' lives (Literacy Works, 2015).

Many great people such as Stan Lee, Albert Einstein, and even Tony Stark himself, have made a mark in this world through their imagination. If they can do it, you can do it too.

In the work I do to develop 21st Century Neuroleaders, imagination is developed as one of the 16 Key Pillars. Becoming a leader with a rich imagination can make your organisation become a leader in their industry and make a bigger impact in this world.

If this short article has spoken to you in any way, contact me today so we can discuss what support you need in this area of your life and leadership journey.

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