Imagination is one of the most precious faculties of man. In addition to “providing meaning to experience, understanding to knowledge, and playing a key role in the learning process” (Wikipedia), imagination gives man the faculty to see things (himself, in particular) beyond the present moment. Combined with freedom of choice it makes him the master of his fate.
Imagination has been the seedling of all human progress but it’s also the motive power of our individual lives. The more one uses it, combined with a burning desire for its actualization and a definite purpose, the greater one’s achievements will be.
With experience and intelligence, imagination becomes creativity—the ability to create new things with some kind of value—and can then be transformed into riches. The transformation is not an easy step but we are all capable of achieving it, unless we surrender to the manual.
Man’s obsession with creating maps and manuals for how to live his life goes against the human nature, for there is no limits to what he can achieve and become. Maps, in this sense, are counter-productive because they set boundaries where none existed before. They help avoid the mental effort of finding a path, but offer no surprise to what the destination will be.
In the face of an infinite sea of choices, it’s natural to put blinders on, to ask for a map, to beg for instructions, or failing that, to do exactly what you did last time, even if it didn’t work.
— Seth Godin
Life offers an infinite sea of choices because man is always able to choose what his existence will be in the next moment. In this frightening journey, imagination is our own personal navigation tool. It’s always available to us, but we must deliberately and repeatedly make the choice to use it.
Today’s world of factories has created countless manuals and mapped a vast number of paths which are followed by many. Our education system reinforces this by making us believe that the only way for us to succeed is to follow those paths. They offer a quick and easy fix to a broader problem that is the meaning of one’s life, but do not come free of charge.
While following a map can offer a temporary remedy to some of our fears, it will only take us where someone else wishes us to go, usually for his personal benefit. Moreover, if you’re not prepared to work without a map and be wrong, you cannot let free of your creativity and achieve your full potential.
On the contrary, following your imagination won’t give you the comfort of knowing what to do and where to go at any given moment, but its rewards are invaluable compared to the wages that you can expect by working at the office. Beyond success, it’ll bring you happiness and fulfillment, for you will be the man in charge.
Man’s only limitation, within reason, lies in his development and use of his imagination.
— Napoleon Hill
Within the laws of physics, the power of our imagination is simply limitless.