Imagination or Knowledge
Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is stronger than knowledge. Knowledge is limited, imagination encircles the world.” Mr Einstein was famous for his discoveries in science. His theories of relativity are the most famous. Here is a man who was very knowledgeable and intelligent, yet his imagination allowed him to see things that others had not considered.
Imagination is defined as: “the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses; the ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful; the power to create in one’s mind.” Whereas, knowledge is defined as: “facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.”Reading the two definitions you could say that knowledge is things we know, the facts as they are; and imagination is seeing things that are not or seeing things differently.
Watch A Child
As children, we have lots of imagination. Sit and watch a small child as they play, it is amazing to see them. I recently was watching my 2-year-old granddaughter. She had a tea set and she was pouring her tea and pretending to drink it. She had some type of food on a plate that she was pretending to eat. She played with that tea set for over an hour. She was feeding her doll and me. She imagined the tea and the food and when she drank from her cup she actually looked like she was drinking. Two year olds have imagination that we need to capture. They can see and feel things that we don’t see.
But as we grow older, we come to believe knowledge is more important. And, yes, while knowledge is important we still need to use that creative side of our minds. If we take our knowledge and allow our imagination to see what is not then it is amazing what can be done or created. Some of the greatest inventions of our time was due to someone doing just that. Simon Foster, in his book Manifesting Change states: “Remember that children’s imaginations are usually stronger than those of adults; as we get older, we learn (too well, for the most part!) to be ‘realistic.’ If you want to learn to manifest, you have to regain some of that childlike belief that anything is possible.”
Imagination allows you to see things in a non-traditional, non-restrictive manner. Your imagination is your picture of what tomorrow may bring.
What about the first person who imagined flying a plane? The only thing that occupied the skies in those days were the birds. It sounded absurd to think that someone could actually build a machine that would allow people to fly! Yet, Orville and Wilbur Wright’s imagination saw that plane. Imagine what knowledgeable people of the day thought when the Wright brothers discussed their idea, what they had in their head. They probably thought they were crazy, that is was just a fantasy, because at that time it was unheard of and some people considered it impossible for man to fly in the sky in a machine. To quote the words wisdom said by Orville Wright, “If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance.”
Now today imagine not being able to fly in a plane. That sounds even more absurd. It would be hard to think about not having access to airplanes to get from one place to another. Because it is now our knowledge we don’t imagine that it could be impossible.
A Great Example
Another example of imagination is Disneyland. Today millions of people enjoy the excitement and joy of this wonderful place. But when Walt Disney first talked about it people laughed and did not have the insight to see it. The people who laughed at him did not have the vision that Disney had. Disney was inspired by his vision – his imagination of what could be. And he once said, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”Can you see what is and imagine what is not. Think about the words of Walt Disney, “I first saw the site for Disneyland back in 1953, In those days it was all flat land – no rivers, no mountains, no castles or rocket ships – just orange groves, and a few acres of walnut trees.” Disney had an idea, he and image in his mind of what he wanted to create. And, the observation and expertise of some of the people he approached to help him could not see beyond the facts – a piece of flat land.
Use all of your knowledge and resources to see things not as they are but as they could be – turn things imagined, into reality. When you look at people like the Wright brothers and Walt Disney they had that picture in their mind. They had imagination. They moved forward with their idea, and they faced challenge after challenge, they were ridiculed by people, but that did not stop them. They demonstrated determination and perseverance and created what was once only imagined!
“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.”
We don’t have to invent the airplane or create a Disneyland, but we all have the capability to imagine. It can be as simple as seeing your goals completed. Let your mind see the success that you don’t yet have and let that be motivation to keep moving you forward even when you face challenges and disappointments. Imagine what could be!
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
“Imagine what we could accomplish if we had the attitude of children. They are not limited by the thoughts I can’t do that.” Byron Pulsifer
“The opportunities of man are limited only by his imagination. But so few have imagination that there are ten thousand fiddlers to one composer.” Charles F. Kettering
“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” Napoleon Hill
“Because of their courage, their lack of fear, they (creative people) are willing to make silly mistakes. The truly creative person is one who can think crazy; such a person knows full well that many of his great ideas will prove to be worthless. The creative person is flexible; he is able to change as the situation changes, to break habits, to face indecision and changes in conditions without undue stress. He is not threatened by the unexpected as rigid, inflexible people are.” Frank Goble
“Opening up the mind, exposing yourself to something you have not done before will increase your skill sets and access parts of your brain that perhaps are rarely accessed.” Michael Cesar
“If you want to get somewhere you have to know where you want to go and how to get there. Then never, never, never give up.” Norman Vincent Peale
“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”Gloria Steinem
“Within each of us is a hidden store of determination. Determination to keep us in the race when all seems lost.” Roger Dawson
“All the breaks you need in life wait within your imagination. Imagination is the workshop of your mind, capable of turning mind energy into accomplishment and wealth.” Napoleon Hill
“Why we are here is important, but to know where we are going is imperative. It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you use, that makes a difference in how your life turns out.” Zig Ziglar
“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.” John Maynard Keynes
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