Investing Emotions into Imagination

Investing Emotions into Imagination

Do you remember something you really wanted and eventually you got?  Like a car, or house, maybe it was a girl or boyfriend you had been seeing every day?  Do you remember how much you thought about that goal?  How you’d go to sleep thinking about it?  How every spare moment you found yourself dreaming about it, and how it would feel having achieved that goal?

That is powerful and emotional visualization.  That is how olympic athletes, top performing executives, and yes even some presidents operate.  The image every nuance and detail as if it’s happened.  But most importantly they imagine how it will FEEL to achieve that goal.  Because a goal without an emotion attached to the outcome will never be important enough to overcome the adversity or challenges that life will throw you.

But if you’re attaching an emotion to the outcome, you’ll be pulled toward that goal.  You’ll WANT to feel that excitement, joy, love, exhilaration.  The thought is the “how” and the emotion is the “why”.  Having an overwhelming “why” is the reason you won’t accept defeat or no.  It’s why you’ll figure out another way to accomplish that goal.  It’s why you won’t give up when someone tells you no.  Walt Disney was rejected by over 300 banks to build Walt Disney World!  J.K. Rowlings was turned down by a dozen publishers before she found one that would publish Harry Potter.  Could you imagine what this world would be like if either of them gave up before they got their goal?

You’ve got a have an overwhelming why and be SO CONVINCED that it’ll happen that under no circumstances will you give up!

The key to unlocking the big enough why is tied to how deep you “feel” the outcome and the level of detail you imagine it.

Imagination always reminds me of being an actor.  Improvisation is a huge part of being an actor. Allowing yourself to explore your emotions, giving yourself permission to be silly, etc…Many people don’t give themselves permission to feel certain things, and if they do, often they don’t let themselves feel the DEPTH necessary to create lasting change.

They feel that they’ll be judged, or something is too silly, or “why do I have to do that”. But the net effect is that they limit themselves. Just like the gym and doing a bench press to get a bigger chest, we’ve got to flex and strengthen our emotional muscles as well!

When I was an actor there was a great exercise that was a kind of meditation. It was called the “private moment”. The actor would sit on stage in a safe circle of fellow actors. After taking a few moments to center themselves, they would construct an imaginary wall around them – a “bubble” if you would. Inside of it, there was only what you as the actor created. Often a happy childhood memory or place was created, where you felt loved and safe. You could become that child again – and play with what you used to as a child. Nothing outside that bubble existed.

It was an exercise in concentration, playfulness, emotional exploration, but also it allowed you to be vulnerable, which many people have trouble with. Even if you don’t have any huge breakthroughs during this activity (which can occur), the letting down of the normal daily walls can reveal new and wonderful perspectives and realizations that go on well after the exercise is through. Kind of how HIIT has an “afterburn” effect, this exercise gives you insights you might not have had because you couldn’t see them.

It takes courage to allow yourself to feel, to dream, to overcome obstacles.  But courage just like imagination and your biceps is something that can be strengthened.  Give yourself the space and time to play, to imagine, to dream and you’ll be able to achieve just about anything.

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