Imagination for Planning: Run the Play With Your Mind First

“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” — Albert Einstein

A good salesperson runs through the entire interview with her client in her mind while she’s still in the car.

A great college football running back viewed video of his best plays and then ran the back in his mind.

A speaker visualizes his performance while off stage before anything begins.

People make lists of New Year’s Resolutions and then file them away–undone. Years ago I gained a shred of wisdom when I realized I was just copying last year’s resolutions and reprinting them in the front of my planning diary (before it was all electronic). Why go through the exercise only to feel guilt at the end of the year? Or the first of February?

Albert Einstein made his mark in physics not through his knowledge of math but through his imagination. He imagined gravitational pull on planets and stars, and light traveling through time. That told him which equations to work out and how to work them.

Instead of lists (which I love for remembering things to do or for brainstorming) why not try imagination? Imagine what your year could be like and what sort of person you will be.

  • Imagine joining a group that promotes a cause you admire. See yourself there. Then call someone next month.
  • See yourself reading two books a month for personal growth. Then download several books for your tablet app. Or visit a bookstore and buy a few books. Put them in a visible place. Read for an hour every morning or evening. You’ll be amazed.
  • Visualize time with the family.
  • See yourself at the gym every morning or evening. See the entire process of getting there, your workout, the sauna, the shower, feeling refreshed.
  • What can you imagine for yourself? There are no limits in imagination. Let it loose and follow it where it goes.

Who sees the irony of my making a list of suggestions? 😉

Happy New Year.

PS:  I have mostly taken the week off for thinking and imagining. So my December stats will suck. I’ll be back at it next week with more connected manufacturing coverage, leadership thoughts, and occasional marketing tips.

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