Professional Feature: Imagination


About The Professional Feature 'Imagination'

Imagination is the ability to make a representation in your mind of something that doesn't (yet) exist. You can form a picture of it. This is not only about visual images, but also about sounds, smells and abstract concepts, such as ideas and concepts. Imagination is one of the basic skills of creativity and an important catalyst for out-of-the-box thinking, innovative ideas and innovation.

What is the power of imagination?

In the early 1960s, US President Kennedy sketched the image of a man walking on the moon. Something that had not happened until then. His visionary image inspired and stimulated numerous researchers to make the impossible possible. On July 21, 1969, the time had come: Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon.

Imagination enables you to visualize dreams, to assess (rough) ideas, to develop new visions, to push boundaries and to invent new products and services. No creative solution can be devised, designed and realized without imagination.

Albert Einstein once said that he had benefited more from his ability to imagine things than from his ability to absorb knowledge. When he developed his theory of relativity, he did not do that in a laboratory, but in his head. He imagined what it would be like to travel through space at a ray of light at the speed of light, and thus came to his theory.

Why is imagination useful?

A visionary vision of the future works like a magnet and a motor. A well-known statement by Aristotle is: "A vivid image forces the body to realize it. " He meant that by forming an image of what you want to achieve, you release an energy that helps you to achieve that performance. You become intrinsically motivated. Imagination is a powerful building block for success.

For top athletes, imagination is an important element in the preparation for an important competition or tournament. Before the competition starts, each part is played in the head as a film. From the moment they get up in the morning to the moment the national anthem is played. They know that a lively image of a perfect performance helps the body to realize that desired reality - winning the competition. This is also called 'imagery' or 'visualization'.

You can't only use imagination to raise your own performance. It is also a powerful communication tool to convince others of a plan or a new course. You probably know them: from those endless presentations in which the speaker tries to explain to you with all kinds of graphs and numbers why you've to support his plan and what the benefits are. Often this doesn't work. Dry facts have less communication power than images. Rather tell how you see the futureand respond to the imagination of your audience. Let them experience an 'example' of what it would be like if your plan was implemented and what possibilities it offers for them. In this way you ensure that your audience is emotionally touched and gripped by your story and is motivated by itself to support it.

How do you stimulate your imagination?

Imagination is a competency that everyone can learn. One person can naturally be better at it than another, but by practicing a lot you can improve your basic level. The following visualization exercises appeal to your imagination.

Hmm tasty!

Imagine something that you find very dirty. Now try to change a number of elements in your imagination. Change the color, the shape. Enlarge or reduce it, omit things. What is happening?

Your workplace

Close your eyes and imagine your workplace. Walk through your room. View your desk. Walk around it. What do you see and hear? Now describe for yourself what bothers you at your workplace. What would you like to change? Adjust it in your mind. How does it look? What do you feel?

Which competencies are important?

- Empathy: You can relate to other people's problems or situations. This helps you develop creative solutions.
- Analyze: You are good at analyzing problems. You easily make connections and dare to make leaps to a field outside your own field or another department.
- Vision: You set goals and you know where you want to go.
- Perseverance: You bite into a topic. You hold on until you've found a solution.
- Initiative: You come up with many new initiatives that are original, out-of-the-box and relevant.
- Dare: You are not afraid to create space for yourself and to act independently and independently.

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