How good is your imagination? Can you visualise easily? Can you feel a feeling without something external happening in your world? Can you smell a smell without an actual odour present?
I believe our imagination is one of the best tools that we have as people. I’m not sure animals have an imagination – I’d like to think that my kitten imagines playing with a ball of yarn, yet I don’t think it does. However, we imagine all the time. In fact, your imagination is the best way to tap into your unconscious mind!
The term Imagineering comes from Walt Disney’s blend of the words imagination and engineering; representing the ability to blend creativity and expertise to produce an outcome. In NLP speak – when you can be an imagineer in your own life you can have an intention and get to your desired state.
When you can become an Imagineer in your own life – wonderful things can happen! In fact, everything in the world happens at least twice:
- First, in your imagination.
- Then, in reality.
I have heard from clients and students who tell me they don’t have a good imagination. Well, imagination isn’t only about creativity; before you get dressed in the morning, you have to imagine what you are going to wear that day (even briefly). Before you choose something to eat, you imagine eating it.
When I hear that someone doesn’t think they have a good imagination, what I hear is “I don’t trust my imagination”. Sometimes as people grow up they are taught that only what is REAL is good and somehow they squash their belief in imagination. Yet – its around all the time. The more you can trust it the better.
By the way, another way of saying I don’t trust my imagination is “I don’t trust my unconscious mind” – which can squelch creativity, motivation, desire, intention, possibilities, health and even dreams!
Let’s try a few imagination tricks to get your imagination imagineering…
To do this, read the question and then just give an answer… by the way, there is no wrong answer… if you second guess – this again shows a lack of trust.
- In the story of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears, what colour were the bears?
- In the story of Little Red Riding Hood, what is in her basket?
- In the story of Hansel & Gretel, what colour shirt does Hansel wear?
- In the story of the Ugly Duckling, how many ‘ducklings’ were there?
I used stories that most people will know – and parts of the stories that we have to imagine or create things for. We each may have different answers for these questions – based on our own imagination. And, based on your imagination – your answers are right!
Why did we do this little exercise? To remind you that you have an active imagination and that you can use it. If that task was challenging – spend the rest of today remembering old childhood stories and making up new endings! Start to build a strong rapport with your unconscious mind and imagination. After all, resistance is a sign of a lack of rapport. Yes, you can have rapport with your unconscious mind!
Let me tell you about a study conducted by Drs. Guang Yue and Kelly Cole in 1992. They wanted to conduct a study to test the power of the imagination to create a physical change – the idea being that simply imagining performing an act (in this case, muscular movement), will create an change in your neural pathways.
The experiment was extremely simple in its nature, but the results have amazing implications. Two groups were use; One of the groups did a physical exercise and the other imagined doing that exercise. Both groups exercised a finger muscle, Monday through Friday, for four weeks. The physical group did trials of fifteen maximal contractions, with a twenty-second rest between each. The mental group merely imagined doing fifteen maximal contractions, with a twenty-second rest between each, while also imagining a voice shouting at them, Harder! Harder! Harder!
The results: at the end of the study the physical group increased their muscular strength by 30%. The imagining group increased their muscle strength by 22%.
Sometimes, when people say “It’s all in your mind” – they are right! When you are Imagineering – remember, if it’s possible for someone, it’s possible for me.