I was hanging out with my kids the other night and we were talking about all sorts of cool stuff. We were laughing and having a wonderful time, as we often do in our crazy household.
At some point during the conversation it occurred to me that one of the best parts about talking with the kids is in just listening to what they come up with next. Kids have such wonderful imaginations.
They are pure and they are free. They haven’t taken the cultural beat-down that we have as adults. They haven’t been introduced to limitation. They haven’t been told the 101 reasons why something they want to do “can’t be done”. They still believe that anything is possible. They still believe that If they can dream it – they can do it. (And you know what? I think they’re right!)
One of my favorite movie characters of all time is Willie Wonka, as played by Gene Wilder. In the movie Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory he sings a song which blows me away every time I think about it. The words are incredible if you get the meaning;
“If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it”
That is just so awesome.
Now back to the conversation with my kids…
I found myself starting to drift into their world. They were sucking me in. And I have to tell you, it was absolutely magical. They were talking about the things they had dreamed of and then they would fast-forward to the things they wanted to have happen in all of our lives. I was hooked!
It was wonderful…therapeutic…inspiring…energizing…full of love and laughter…I then started to imagine the way I wanted some things to work out, and started to feel myself as the recipient of dreams that had come true. The positive energy that they were emitting was contagious and addicting. I was so thankful that we started down this road – it really brought me into alignment with a place I need to be much more often. In fact, I was reminded that whenever I have come up with a good idea or have started the process of creating anything worth while in my life, it has always started when I was in this state of mind. A place where possibilities are limitless and where the most powerful force is childlike faith.
And here’s the best part – I don’t have to wait until I’m jabbering with my nine and six year old at the end of the day to do this…I have access to this stuff all the time. And so do you. And so does everybody else. It’s not just kid stuff, you know…
We all should be tapping into our imaginations, all the time. We should consistently be pressing ourselves for bigger and better ideas and plans. Think of it as your built-in creative warehouse, where you can begin to mentally manufacture all of the best parts of your existence. Sort of like Wonka’s magic factory.
Seriously, this is where all of the things that have been created throughout the course of human events have come from. They all started in someone’s imagination. Automobiles, airplanes, electricity, computers…all of these wonderful inventions and every other one started inside someone’s head. As a thought, and as imagination.
If some of this stuff is starting to make some sense to you and you want to dive in all the way, then ask yourself this powerful question: Why do we even have an imagination in the first place?
Think about it. What purpose does the imagination serve if it is not to allow us in some capacity to create our own reality? Is it there to simply entertain us when a meeting or conversation runs too long or becomes too boring? Or is it there to make us feel lousy for not being in the place that we wish we were – spiritually, emotionally, financially, or physically? Me thinks not. In fact, I think you have the potential to do, be, or have anything that you want and I believe that it all starts as a thought!
You see, you have to imagine or dream something before you can ever do it. And the bigger you dream, the more you can do! The more active your imagination becomes, the more potential exists for a meaningful and purposeful life. And the more you explore this, the greater becomes the capacity for joy.
I think this is why the “young at heart” or those people who are able to access their imaginations always seem to be the happiest people around. They have learned the value of tapping into this source and they’re having so much fun, they just refuse to grow up. I like that!
Albert Einstein put it this way, “imagination is more important than knowledge”. And he was a pretty smart dude. Honestly, there is more inside your mind that you could ever possibly realize, even by reading all the text books in the world. I challenge you to go inside yourself and find it!
So how did we end up the other night?
Well, eventually it was late and we all needed a little shut eye. So I tucked them in and started our evening ritual.
Every night I remind the kids before they go to sleep to say a prayer and be thankful for everything they have in their lives, and then I tell them to start thinking about something that really makes them happy. I tell them to start picturing it, to start feeling how it feels when they are in that place, or have that thing, or are with that person. I tell them to let their minds wander in that direction as they drift off to sleep. They think it’s pretty cool. And so do I.
To quote Wonka one last time, “There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination. Living there, you’ll be free if you truly wish to be”.