How to Improve Your Imagination | Inspirational Podcasts

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Today’s podcast was edited and adapted from Secrets of Mental Supremacy by W. R. C. Latson, published in 1913.

THE universe to us is but a projection of our own inner consciousness. Of all the powers of the mind, imagination is the most picturesque, and, in many respects, the most interesting. Without it, the world would be barren. Not merely would there be no pictures, no music, no books, but there would be no houses, no bridges, no ocean liners, no great business enterprises — nothing, in fact; for everything that humanity has made was first conceived in the imagination before it was born into the world.

We cannot think of a person being without any power of imagination, for that is an impossibility. But many, many people, I am sorry to say, are greatly deficient in imagination. And this lack of imagination alone is enough to render them commonplace, uninteresting, and of lesser use in the world. A man or woman may be deficient in imagination and yet be honest, straightforward, hard-working, conscientious. But for such a person, the higher rewards of life are hopelessly unattainable. They may make an excellent bookkeeper, but never an accountant; a skillful typist, but never an author; a faithful brick-layer, but never a builder. The accountant, the author, the builder, must have imagination.

Of course when it comes to any actual creative work — painting, sculpture, musical composition, literature — the power of imagination (highly trained, refined, daring, and vivid) is the great essential. The creators of famous masterpieces have, in instances, lacked everything else but that one thing — imagination. Some great artists have lived all their lives in misery and want. Some have been ignorant, some have been coarse, some have been immoral, some have been eccentric, some have been almost, or quite, insane. But one thing all have possessed in common, and that is — a superb imagination.

In no respect, I believe, do people differ so widely as in the power and activity of their faculty of imagination. Hundreds of men and women have walked and sat in an old country churchyard, and no one had observed there anything that was especially interesting or picturesque. But one day there came to the churchyard a man with a fine imagination, a poet. He saw more than mere grass and trees and headstones; and he gave to the world perhaps the most perfect poem in the English language. His name is Thomas Gray, and the poem was the famous “Elegy in a Country Churchyard.”

Likewise, countless people had seen an apple fall from a tree to the ground. But one day a person with a great imagination saw that commonplace thing. His imagination seized upon it, and he propounded Newton’s theory of the law of gravitation, one of the most important achievements in the whole history of human thought. And so we might go on indefinitely. Enough, perhaps, to repeat that the world’s masters have always been possessed of fine and daring imagination, and that, without great powers of imagination, there can be accomplished no great or important work of any nature whatsoever.

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