Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Imagination is a neutral construct

I was reading a book about the creative process of a world famous performance artist. Philippe explained that those who want to achieve something find a way, but those who do not, find an excuse.

I remember thinking to myself, wow, that’s the real energy crisis on this planet. Our complete misappropriation of imagination. Our addiction to complaining and justifying and catastrophizing and blaming, all of which are gross misuses of brainpower. Mental calories burned on treadmills that lead to nowhere.

It breaks my heart. If people would put half as much creativity into their dreams as they put into their excuses, our global happiness index would triple. Productivity would skyrocket. 

Imagination, after all, is a neutral construct. It’s like tofu. It takes on the shape of whatever container it’s cooked in. 

And so, we can use our imaginations to craft elaborate personal narratives about how the cruel world is orchestrating the ideal conditions to prevent us from reaching our goal, or we can use our imaginations to map out action strategies that are so comprehensive and ambitious, that our dreams have no choice but to come true. 

It’s all in the appropriation. 

When entrepreneurs rent my brain to strategize about business growth, I literally require them to write list of all the toxic mental activities that aren’t worth their imagination. 

It’s a liberating exercise. And, it helps you build a filter for daily decision making. Because you start asking yourself, wait, why should I spent significant bandwidth on this when I could be spending time and mental energy creating new ideas about what I think the world can be? Better to direct your efforts into the work of creating a better reality than to waste your resources raging against an unjust fate. 

That’s smart energy management. And it’s the difference maker between success and failure.

What lies are your excuses guarding?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

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