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In Your Dreams

By Philip Humbert

Everything starts with the imagination. We inevitably become the persons we imagine ourselves to be. Every invention begins with imagination, often powered by frustration, curiosity or clever ambition.

Over the years, we become rich or poor, confident or doubtful, happy or frustrated, largely based on how we imagine our lives to be. At an early age, some imagine that their lives will inevitably be blessed with education andthey expect to go to school, they read daily, they ask questions, and thirst for knowledge. Inevitably, after a while, they (and the people around them) begin to notice that these people actually know some things!

At the same time, others imagine themselves as "slow" or "limited" or unable to "afford" education—and as a result they read less, take fewer classes, watch fewer educational YouTube videos, and gradually fall further and further behind. As the saying goes, "Some people make things happen; some watch things happen, while others can only ask, 'What happened?'"

Some imagine themselves as having a gift or talent, a knack or power to make money. They think about increasing their income. They read about how to make "something out of nothing." They hang out with, read about, or study folks who have made large sums of money, and they pick up tips and tricks, skills and ideas about how they can duplicate what their mentors have already done. They become rich.

Others read the news or listen to people who bemoan that the world is going downhill and that opportunities are limited. They fear that illness or terrorism or some other insidious force will prevent their success. These people worry a lot! They imagine the "game is fixed" and that the "rules are stacked" against them. They believe only the "lucky" can succeed, and tragically, the world they imagine slowly becomes the reality within which they live their lives.

Imagination is universal. We all have it. We all dream, weall fantasize and create images of what tomorrow will bring.

Further, imagination is free and cannot be taken from us. Inthe Nazi concentration camps, Viktor Frankl noted that imagination was the one thing the guards could never take from the inmates. Imagination is not limited by time or space, or by anything else in the world.

You can imagine anything you wish, at any time. For a moment, imagine you are on a magnificent yacht, with staff attending to your every wish. Or, in contrast, imagine you are in Liberia, surrounded by loved ones dying of Ebola. Whoa! That's awful! So, let's imagine, instead, that you own a prosperous business, that serves millions of customers and generates lucrative profits every month. Imagine you live in a large and sumptuous home, and if you are a guy, that you drive a Lamborghini. (If you are female, imagine you are chauffeured in a Bentley.)

We imagine our own lives, and our future, every day. I've read that at age 15, Steven Spielberg imagined himself making the world's best movies. And I suspect that George Lucas dreamed of spaceships and Star Wars. From biographies, I know that as a sickly, asthmatic boy in New York, Teddy Roosevelt read about cowboys exploring the Wild West. And we know how his story turned out.

According Walter Isaacson's biography, Albert Einstein was not a particularly gifted mathematician. But, as a young man he imagined himself riding on a beam of light. His imagination changed the world, won a Nobel Prize, and he's considered one of the great geniuses of all time. That man could day dream!

It is vital to take full responsibility for your imagination. It is the foretaste of life's coming attractions. It predicts and previews your future. You become the person you consistently and intentionally imagine yourself to be.

Use books and movies, interviews and friendships to create the world you imagine for yourself. When you write or think about your goals, don't merely focus on the facts and achievements, but imagine the world and the life your achievements will create for you. Imagine being the kind of person who routinely achieves your goals, and infinitely more!

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." ~ Albert Einstein
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