Harvey Mackay Academy's Blog

Walt Disney was a giant in the world of imagination.  On Saturdays, Disney took his daughters to a local park to ride the merry-go-round and play.  While sitting on a bench watching his children enjoy their rides, Disney imagined an elaborate family park filled with happy people.  He put every detail into place – from the pirates of the Caribbean to Main Street USA. 

This pioneer of family amusement had no similar facilities to draw ideas from.  He relied on his imagination.  Now, one particularly descriptive job title at Disney is “imagineer.”

Imagineering is the research and development arm of The Walt Disney Company, responsible for the creation, design and construction of Disney theme parks and attractions worldwide.  They are illustrators, architects, engineers, lighting designers, show writers and graphic designers.  They make the magic happen.

An article in “Bits & Pieces” claims each of us possesses a secret superpower that we can’t use enough.  This force:

  • Can help you find innovative solutions to everyday and complex problems.
  • Transcends time, space and limitations.
  • Stokes our creativity.
  • Travels faster than the speed of light or sound.
  • Like a muscle, gets stronger with use and exercise.

What is this awesome power? 

The answer might surprise you:  your imagination.

Always remember that if you can conceive it, you can create a plan, get to work and bring your vision to fruition.  Dream up bold and positive opportunities or focus on improving minute details that can bring about impactful changes.

No matter who you are or what you do, your imagination is one special thing that makes you unique.  Unlock your imagination, and watch yourself soar toward endless possibilities.

“When we recognize that everything in our life was created twice, first as a thought and then as a thing, we begin to recognize the incredible power of the imagination,” according to life coach Pam Sterling.

Let your subconscious mind help you exercise your imagination.  Try this technique used by Thomas Edison:  Ten minutes before you go to sleep, organize your thoughts.  Think about a problem you’re trying to solve, or ask your brain a question.  Keep thinking about this as you drift off to dreamland.

Then, during the first 10 minutes after waking up, write down whatever pops into your head.  You’ll often find that your brain has answered your question during your sleep.  In the morning your mind is looser, and you’re more likely to remember dreams and connect them to your daytime reality.

The Internet Age has opened a world of opportunities that showcase imagination.  One of my favorite examples is Snapchat, the app that brought photo sharing forward into the modern age and brought back a real interest in communicating through photos, CAIL.com explains.

The former Stanford students who founded Snapchat were successful because they incorporated the social element and added ways to edit the pictures and add things to them that were even more fun for their audience.  They made it interactive, and found a way to make it temporary (so the evidence disappears!)

Even if you don’t think of yourself as the creative type, you can always amp your imagination up with a little effort.  Here are some strategies I like to try when I’m searching for an original idea or an innovative solution:

Meditate.  Spend some time each day visualizing something pleasant and peaceful.  It doesn’t have to relate to anything you’re working on – just picture a lake, a forest or even a loved one.  You’ll relax your brain and body while creating a mental environment that makes way for fresh thinking.  Another brain stimulator for me is exercise.

Pretend.  Look at ordinary objects around you and pretend they’re something different.  Challenge your mind to look at things from a new perspective.  Turn them upside down or sideways and see what they morph into. 

Try something new.  Break out of your routine on a regular basis.  Read a book on a subject you’re unfamiliar with, try a new sport, talk to someone you don’t know well.  Different experiences can help loosen up stiff ways of thinking about things.

Make some art.  Try sketching a picture or writing a poem.  It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece.  Give yourself permission to roam in an unconventional direction.  You may see and hear the world differently later.  Pablo Picasso didn’t listen to critics, and neither should you!

 Mackay’s Moral:  Anyone who thinks the sky is the limit has limited imagination.

About the Author

Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.