The workshop of the imagination – where we can turn our dreams into reality
Each and every success story begins with an idea. And behind each and every idea is the imagination. It is, essentially, the creative workshop of our minds that transforms our dreams into ideas and our ideas into reality.
This imaginative ability has two different forms: the creative imagination and the synthetic imagination.
By using our creative imagination, we are able to come up with completely new things. Ingenious composers, visual artists and writers use this function to create works unlike anything made before.
The synthetic imagination, by contrast, rearranges old ideas into new combinations. The developers at Sony, for example, were using that faculty when they decided to further develop the playback device or dictaphone used by journalists, turning it into a portable music player everybody could use – and so the Walkman was born.
Creative and synthetic imagination can play off one another in a productive way. Take the story of Asa Candler, who formed the global brand Coca-Cola out of a headache medication about 140 years ago. Although it wasn’t Candler himself who came up with the Coca-Cola recipe – he bought it from a pharmacist for $3,000 – he developed the ingenious plans and marketing strategies that turned the product into a huge success.
If you want to keep your imagination from getting sluggish, you need to challenge and encourage it. And you can achieve that by stimulating it, keeping it active and training it like a muscle: the more frequently you use it, the more productive and powerful it will become.