Trust That Your Imagination is Real

Trust that your imagination is real.

-Albert Einstein

 

I love to mull over things like this that such a great thinker has said…

What was Einstein thinking about when he said that?
Why does it matter?

How does it apply to my life, minute by minute?

I’ve recently had quite an epiphany around this one.

We DO trust that our imagination is real. All day, every day – and we often let it run our life in ways that definitely do not serve us.

When you are walking down the street, and you pass a good friend, and she ignores you – where does your imagination go?

“Is she mad at me? What did I do to alienate her? How can I make it up? Do I have bad breath and not know it? Is it this person I’m walking with? Does she not like them so she’s ignoring me?”

On and on ad nauseum. Our little monkey brain can make quite a mountain out of that molehill in a nano-second.

When the only known fact is that she walked by without acknowledging you.

Even the word ignore is a mind-read. You don’t know that she was ignoring you. All you know is that she did not acknowledge you.

Who knows – maybe she just got a piece of really bad news. Maybe she’s rehearsing for an important meeting. Maybe she has a rock in her shoe and it’s taking all her attention. Who KNOWS. Probably, for any of these or a million other reasons, she just didn’t see you.

The point is, you don’t know, and your imagination has created a huge scenario that you are in the absolute middle of believing is real.

When I was first training in NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) the idea of what is fact vs. what is a mind-read was really hammered in. I quickly got to the point of – OK, I get it, enough already!  Now that I’ve worked with people over many years, I have come to appreciate the value of this idea at a very deep level. The power of recognizing when you are dealing with a fact, and when you are mind reading, cannot be overstated.

If you want to feel better, right away, in almost any situation, practice staying aware of when you are dealing with facts, when you are dealing with mind-reads, and how to tell the difference. Listen to how big a story you are weaving about something that you’ve made up. Recognize that it IS your imagination, feel into how REAL it seems – and then choose. What better reality could you imagine? What reality would you LIKE to imagine?

Oh yes, your imagination is real. This may not have been exactly what Einstein was thinking of – but it’s a really good tool for seeing just how real you DO credit your imagination for being. Your imagination is so real it can absolutely ruin your day, a friendship, and almost anything else, if let run rampant.

On the other hand – IMAGINE how you can change what you are imagining, so you are happier and better able to function well in the world.


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