Imagination training isn’t just for artists. The imagination is one of the most powerful and wonderful tools we have. Every smart person knows they should train their imaginations. But how do you do it?
The human imagination is the most powerful force on Earth. It is only due to the imagination that Gaudi was able to construct the most divine architecture in Sagara Familia, that Shakespeare was able to distill the essence of man and use it to pen such timeless classics as Hamlet and Macbeth, that Monet was able to take the port of Le Havre France and convert it into his masterpieces.
The human imagination is a divine and magical power.
But the imagination is also one of the most misunderstood aspects of human psychology.
Many people consider the imagination to be about childhood games of Cops and Robbers and Cowboys and Indians. They consider imagination to be pure fantasy. But as that most beautiful mind, Pablo Neruda, so famously said, “Everything you can imagine is real.”
He’s not alone in his belief in the power of the imagination.
Einstein said “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.
What Einstein, Pablo Neruda, and other geniuses know is that your imagination is the most powerful force you’ll ever own.
Consider for one moment.
Your imagination is the most powerful force you will ever own. That was true when you were a kid. It is true right now. And it will be true when your eyes flutter shut for the final time and the last breath of life escapes your body. Always, your imagination is the king, queen, and emperor of your existence.
But how, then, do you take hold of this divine force?
How do you train your imagination?
It’s ironic, but if there’s one group of people who are absolute masters when it comes to imagination, it’s the kids.
Kids are geniuses of imagination. Pablo Picasso said that everyone starts off as an artist and the trick is staying that way. Kids seem to love and respect the power of their imagination. But as we grow up and we’re forced to become machines of logic and reason we lose our imaginations, and that’s a tragedy. Well, it’s a tragedy for people who do not know how to protect their imagination. And in a sec that will not include you because I’m about to share the most powerful imagination training techniques in the world with you.
It’s a sad fact, but as we get older and are forced to “grow up”, a lot of us lose our imagination.
If there were a single force that was the biggest threat to society, and to the establishment, what would it be?
I believe the answer is imagination. Because it is only with the imagination that we can perceive the possibility of change, and the establishment fears change.
You probably already know that. After all you came here looking for ways to train your imagination. You obviously recognise the power of your imagination, otherwise you wouldn’t even be reading this right now. And you know that imagination is the facilitator of change in your life.
Training your imagination is one of the most important things you can do.
So let’s do it.
How To Train Your Imagination
Good news. There are lots of ways to train your imagination. In a moment I’ll share my favorite ways with you, but first let me say this.
If you really want to train your imagination, have fun.
Fun implies a sense of playfulness. Playfulness implies a sense of toying, of messing, of changing things, of being creative. So what is the absolute best way to train your imagination? It is very simply to have fun.
The reason we lose our imaginations as we grow up is that we stop having fun. Life squeezes the fun out of you because… bills, taxes… you know the deal. Your squeezed like an orange until your mind is all shriveled up.
Well screw that.
You were born a beautiful person with a powerful imagination. And we are going to give it back to you.
Start training your imagination with this visual memory exercise
Your visual imagination is your ability to perceive mental images. For instance, I’m currently writing a fantasy novel. It’s full of lots of elaborate fantasies worlds. And when I write I literally step into those worlds. I’ve always had an insanely powerful imagination, so when I write I literally see my fictional world around me. That’s visual imagination. When you get that, you’ll love it, as I do.
So how does this imagination exercise work.
In the exercise you will be training your imagination by faithfully recreating a scene you’re already familiar with.
You’re going to use your imagination and your visual memory to build a mental picture of one of the rooms of your house (it doesn’t matter which one). This will develop your imagination by making you more able to actually see what is in your imagination.
1) Start by closing your eyes and taking a few calming breaths just to silence the thoughts of the day. (Use this guide to Nine Round Breathing. It’ll relax you very quickly and very deeply).
2) Imagine that you are stepping into your chosen room of your house. You open the door and turn to the left. What do you see? Take your time to really visualise the wall, any furniture, windows etc. This should take a minute or two. Allow yourself to see the colours of this side of the room, the shapes, the general outline of the room and so on.
3) Now proceed to the next wall and repeat the process. Repeat this process for each wall of the room, so you are taking a minute or two to paint a mental picture in your mind’s eye of each side of the room.
4) Once you have viewed each side of the room, allow yourself to fill in the details. Are there any items left out? Is anything out of place? Are the lights on or off? Allow yourself to see these details.
5) Open your eyes and try to recall the same mental picture. You will find it to be harder because information from your environment is interfering without the mental picture, but the more you practice this exercise the more you will be able to use your imagination whilst your eyes are open, and this will greatly help you to think clearly in your day to day life.
I personally do this exercise once a week. It’s a powerful way to train your ability to visualise. But you might be wondering: Why do you want to imagine the rooms of your house?
The exercise is a means to an end. When you can visualise your house easily, you’ll be able to visualise other things. It will help you to see what’s in your imagination more clearly. It’s only by imagining the details of my own home that I’ve trained my imagination to be able to see the feathers of a griffin in flight when writing my novel, or the facial contours of the snow wolf that is one of my main characters.
You can also use this to help you with visualisations. One of the best psychological exercises you can do is visualise your path to success. This will help with that (if you’d like to know more about this, take a look at my guide to training your subconscious mind).
More ways to train your imagination
1) Reading and writing fiction:
Pick up a really imaginative book, like Alice in Wonderland, Lord of the Rings and ilk.
It has been scientifically proven that when you read highly imaginative fiction you open your mind and naturally developer your imagination. Probably the best genre for this is the fantasy genre, of which there are many amazing books (What’s your favorite? Leave a comment). If you actually write fiction yourself you will force yourself to come up with imaginative ideas and thereby train your imagination.
2) Watch movies: I’m not talking about the regular movies. Aim for alternative movies, perhaps something foreign. What’s important is that you watch movies that are different to what you usually watch. Novelty is one of the most important things for neuroplasticity. Whenever you do something new you active a different part of your brain. When you watch movies that you don’t usually watch you force your brain to activate regions that you don’t usually activate. This is good for your overall intelligence and mental health, and it will boost your imagination too.
3) Play video games: Video games have bee scientifically proven to make you more creative and to improve your imagination. There are a couple of game genres that are very good at this. Creative games like Scribblenauts, for instance, teach you to be more creative and imaginative. Fantasy games like Dragon Age and Final Fantasy show you amazing fantastical lands and characters, inspiring your imagination. And there are games that get you to draw or to be creative in other ways (Minecraft, for instance).
4) Do anything new: The best way to train your brain in EVERY way is to learn new things. Every day learn one new thing, even if it is something very simple, like tying a new kind of know. This increases neuroplasticity and helps your imagination.
5) Make use of this list of 40 daily brain training exercises. The healthier your brain is the better your imagination will be.
But you know what the number one exercise is? Fun.
Having fun is the absolute number one aspect of training your imagination.
I know this from personal experience because I am something of a freak of the imagination. As an artist, actor, writer, poet, and journalist I’ve used my imagination professional for many years. And honestly, every single time I’ve come up with a new idea that knocked my socks off, it’s been while I was messing around, when I was just having a laugh. And there’s a reason for that.
It’s because, neurologically, feats of the imagination require neuroplasticity, they require the ability to inject entropy into your mind, to mess things up. But that’s really just a clever way of saying that you should let go, have fun, and allow your imagination to take you where it will.
Try these exercises. You will love the results.
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