What Einstein Didn't Say About Imagination

Jim Donovan

I recently posted this quotation from Einstein on Facebook. In thinking about it afterward I realized that, though Mr. Einstein was one of the smartest people in recent history, he neglected to caution people that it works both ways.

While imagining your ideal life is not only a good idea but a major component in creating the life you want, too many people spend their time doing the opposite. They imagine all sorts of horrible things that could happen.

“What if I lose my job,” so many are asking right now. “What if I get sick?” we worry. “What if I go for my goals but don’t succeed,” “What if I start my own business and fail?” And on and on.

The people I just described are using their imaginations but they’re using them against themselves. They’re using their imagination backwards. If you stop and think about this, I think that you’ll agree that it’s crazy to imagine what we don’t want. Isn’t it?

Consider that what you’re imagining (something that is not yet real) is pure fantasy. This being the case, why would anyone want to fantasize what they do not want?

If, when we imagine things, we’re making it all up anyway, why not make up great things? Why not see our most amazing life? Why not see (imagine) everything working out perfectly?

Doesn’t this make more sense? Of course it does, yet much of the time we do the opposite. We imagine everything that can go wrong. “For better or for worse” the wedding vows caution us. Why not rewrite them to be “For better and for better”

Our imagination, as Einstein was trying to teach us, is the most powerful tool we have for creating our life. therefore, it is important to use it wisely.

The next time you’re worried, which is just another word for imagining what you don’t want, do something to interrupt your thoughts long enough to replace them with something you do want.

As the late Lynn Grabhorn wrote in her wonderful book, Excuse Me, You’re Life is Waiting, learn to “flip switch” your attention to something you desire.

When you catch yourself imagining the worst, say to yourself “Cancel and clear” and then shift your attention to your ideal life.

Jim Donovan is the author of This is Your Life, Not a Dress Rehersal
Copyright 2010 Author retains owndership. All Rights Reserved.

Category: Work-Life, Balance
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