“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”~Lewis Carroll
Our imagination is usually expansive and unstoppable when we’re young, and then, bit by bit, it lessens and sometimes even dies. And then corporations pay consultants, such as us, to teach their employees “innovative thinking and problem solving” or “creativity.”
I won’t say these sessions don’t add value – we thoroughly love offering them and have seen great results and outcomes for the participants and our clients. However, perhaps they wouldn’t be as necessary, or perhaps they’d be even more effective (because the jumping off point would be higher), if our imagination wasn’t squelched and we, like Lewis Carroll, believed impossible things.
Imagination is what allows us to find our way out of tough situations. Imagination helps us come up with solutions to business issues and challenges. Imagination offers us ways to connect with others and work more effectively together than we ever thought possible. Imagination provides us with a different way to view things, so that we can “think out of the box,” “do the impossible,” and discover opportunities we may not have even thought were there.
Sometimes it feels like we have no imagination – like we’re simply stuck in reality and facts. But if we make the effort to begin to imagine, to view things with the newness of a child, to be willing to consider possibilities that seem impossible, we can find ways to visualize a different opportunity or outcome. Or to conceive of something that doesn’t make any practical sense…and yet works. It often just takes being willing to try and being open to options.
Imagination brought us Disney…and Disneyland…and Disneyworld. Imagination brought us Harry Potter. Imagination brought us the iPhone and the iPad and iTunes. Imagination brought us Facebook and LinkedIn and Twitter. Imagination brought us light bulbs and cars and airplanes. Imagination has brought us far…imagine what might happen if we all let ourselves believe six impossible things before breakfast, and fueled our imagination to take us even further.
The next time you think it’s impossible, believe it anyway and see what happens.
What impossible thing can you believe? How can you fuel your imagination?
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Thanks for sharing this post. I like it! I always tell my clients, if you don’t continuously innovate in a sea of change, you could get BlockBuster’d out of business. Too many business leaders get trapped into their patterns and stop believing in the impossible, or what I call, what’s next. You might also like a post on my Delightability site: Innovation Squelchers: Pattern Thinking, Biases, and Gator Brains. Here is a link to the post: http://www.delightability.com/2011/04/18/987/
Business Coach | Marketing Consultant | Managing Director
Thanks Greg. I love your idea of calling the “impossible” simply what’s next! We do get in our own way and squelch ourselves so often – by what we “know” as true or possible. Keep telling your clients to reach, and I’ll do the same. Maybe that way we’ll slowly change the world! I think that’s next.