Albert Einstein, one of the greatest minds of our time, once said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
Einstein thought highly of imagination—a quick search online will turn up some quotes by him, praising humankind’s creative ability.
He also said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
Some people might think that imagination is for naive idealists and lazy daydreamers, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Imagination is crucial to success in life—just ask any successful person.
Here are five reasons why imagination is more important than reality.
1. Imagination Creates Reality
Books about the Law of Attraction teach us that what we focus on expands. The experiences that you have today are the results of the thoughts you had yesterday.
So if you don’t like your current reality and you’re always complaining about it, you’ll attract more of what you don’t want. On the other hand, if, despite the challenges you’re facing, you imagine having better experiences, then that’s what you’ll get in real life.
Without imagination, there is no reality. Did you know that Olympic athletes imagine their desired outcome when preparing for an event? Aside from physical training, many visualize their performance to help them bring home the gold.
You can also use this technique even if you’re not a professional athlete. You can visualize getting in shape, acing a test, closing a sale, et cetera.
2. Imagination Makes Life Interesting
What would life be without music, movies, books, and the arts? Imagine a world without Harry Potter or La La Land. Or the Sistine Chapel without Michelangelo’s paintings. Life would be so dull.
Thanks to artists who share their imagination with us, our creativity is sparked. Imagination, whether gleaned from the works of others or our own mind, definitely makes life more interesting.
3. Imagination Births Innovation
Would we have cars, airplanes, computers, smartphones, or buildings today without imagination? Would Steve Jobs have invented the iPhone, iPad, and iPod without imagination? Would Elon Musk have designed electric cars and rockets without imagination?
All of the innovative technologies that we enjoy now are products of imagination. Like the desktop computer or mobile device that you’re reading this article on now, everything first existed in someone’s mind before it became an actual, tangible thing.
Imagination is what enables us to come up with beautiful and useful ideas.
4. Imagination Takes Us Places
Imagination allows us to travel without actually leaving. Of course, nothing beats the real thing, but if you can’t hop on a plane and make your way to say, Paris, right now, you can still “visit” the city by reading a book, listening to French music, watching a French film, or having French cuisine. Really, you’re only limited by your imagination.
5. Imagination Gives Hope
Life has its ups and downs, and things don’t always turn out the way we want—we don’t get the job, we get into arguments, the bills pile up. But as long as we have our imagination, we can think of solutions and ways to cope with whatever life throws at us.
While their case is extreme, the Angulo brothers are a good example. The subject of the documentary The Wolfpack, the six brothers (and their sister) spent years locked away from society in their Manhattan apartment. To keep themselves entertained, they watched numerous films and reenacted the scenes they saw.
Fourteen years of being cooped up in a tiny space would be enough to drive most of us crazy, but the Angulo brothers used their imagination to stay sane, and eventually escape.
Imagination is a powerful tool that is inherent in each of us. Use it to shape your reality and not the other way around.