I have friends who constantly win raffles and contests. It doesn’t require any skill on their parts—just enough faith to participate. Years ago, before seeing them win, I wouldn’t even enter contests because losing was upsetting. I thought of myself as someone who didn’t win contests and each loss reinforced this view of myself.
Have you ever imagined all the things that could go wrong? That’s what I was doing. How about imagining all the things that could go right? There are ways to use our imagination to improve more than just our outlook.
“The imagination is as essential for human growth as are sunlight and water for a plant, if it is to flower of bear fruit (Ignatian Spirituality).”
What happens if we don’t use our imagination?
It’s important to hope for good things. “Hope keeps us from being discouraged and helps us in difficult times (Hope CCC 1818).” Surely, we want to rise above whatever it is that is troubling us now and expect a better life. How can we get there if we can’t even imagine what “better” would look like?
Going back to the contests example, I was limiting myself based on past experiences when the truth was the past had no bearing on the future. There was no reason I couldn’t win. Once I experienced people I knew actually winning, I saw that they all had one thing in common. They knew they were lucky, they saw themselves as someone who won contests. “When we think logically, we base things on our past experiences, but we can’t expect the past to be a blueprint for the future. Using our imagination empowers us, being negative, worrying and being anxious disempowers us (How Life Really Works).”
I was definitely disempowering myself by not having enough hope that I could win those contests.
Using your Imagination leads to success
Have you ever thought about what would make life more fulfilling? Bucket lists are a version of this—keeping an active list in mind of things we would like to achieve or experience in our lives.
Another way to make life more fulfilling is to imagine the type of person we want to be by setting aside time every day to think about this. In the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, the author suggests creating an Imagination Map-collecting images to create a vision of what we would like to be. Besides having something tangible to look at, it keeps us on the lookout for meaningful images. This can be done by clipping magazine images and articles and making a 2-page paper collage (don’t go crazy and make it massive) or collecting images from the internet and saving them in a document.
One of the premises of the book is that by taking the time to think about ourselves, ideas will come to us that will help us use our special skills to make money or achieve the things we desire. This book is full of examples illustrating successful people who first imagined a brand-new idea and made it happen.
Once I observed my friends winning with their winning attitudes, it gave me hope. I started entering contests and imagining I could win and it started happening!
Note: Researching the imagination was fascinating. I found so much information that there will be more to come on this topic.
Do you have stories about how using your imagination changed your life? You can leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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