â€œCreativity is simply the human brain forming new connections between ideas, and we all are engaged in this process every day.â€ Michael Gungor
I had two experiences this week that applied my imagination in different ways.
The first was a video shoot I did. I do quite a few of these at Central but this one was by far the most difficult one I have ever done. It was in the style of the HP commercials (click here to see an example of one with Jay-Z; he and I have a lot in common). That meant that I was doing things with my hands that will set up our animators to add things to the video. But it meant that I had to rely solely on my imagination to film it. Sounds easy right? (I have a new-found respect for the Blues Clues TV show guys…)
If you think it’s hard to pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time you can’t even imagine trying to deliver a script while pretending to do things with your hands in a way that lines up properly so that the video editors can make it look real. I’m tired just trying to describe it for you. In this experience I learned that my imagination doesn’t always produce what I need it to. I had to work hard mentally to think through each element.
The second experience was getting a cavity filled at my dentist. Again, sounds normal enough except that my dentist did it without giving me anything to numb my mouth (this is the same dentist who convinced me to be awake to get my wisdom teeth out). As I sat in the chair and awaited the big moment my imagination took off like a rabid pack of wolves pulling an Iditarod sled. In this experience I learned that sometimes my imagination has a life of its own.
While we often talk about the value of an imagination (especially in kids), we must learn to foster this as adults. Both to have it to rely upon when we work to create something new and to have the ability to control it when our emotions kick in. Here are some practical ways to develop your own imagination:
- read a fictional story (anything from The Chronicles of Narnia, to Lord of the Rings, to the lastest book from Paul Young). Unlike movies, reading a fictional story requires you to use your imagination to fill in the details.
- take the time to ask questions about things you don’t understand
- avoid things that cause you to lose control of your imagination (this is why I don’t watch scary movies)
- talk with people who are talented in areas that are totally beyond your abilities
- share vulnerably with others any irrational fears that you have and let them give you their perspective
- stop listening to my stories from the dentist
What are some other ways you know of to foster a healthy imagination?