What if no one ever imagined new things? Would we still be living in caves, hunting for our next meals and running from saber-toothed tigers?
Positive imagination is a key ingredient to inspire creativity. Einstein was a proponent of thought experiments, asking questions that required imagination to solve them. His most famous thought experiment– wondering what it would be like to chase a beam of light– led to his breakthrough scientific theories of relativity. All the world's arts and advancements have come to life largely from people wondering, "What if?" and applying analytical and creative thinking to imagine and create solutions and opportunities.
Some of our technologies have led to unintended externalities in need of timely resolution. For instance, climate change is perceived as the most pressing world problem according to millennials in a recent Global Shapers Survey; and several other issues such as cyberattacks are outlined in the World Economic Forum's summary of biggest risks. The art of living has always involved creating ways to overcome obstacles and difficulties. When we invite in positive imagination, we find there's hope for even the most complex problems. For instance, if we adopt sustainable agricultural practices, expand solar and wind power, electric vehicles, and public transportation it's expected we'll reverse climate change and create new green jobs.
We can expand beyond where we are now in any area of our lives by applying knowledge and creativity. We can work towards a more balanced world by creating harmony within ourselves first, and then in our families and communities. And always, most importantly, we can keep questioning to learn about all the points of view on a problem we may be looking to solve, and continue imagining and working towards solutions where they're most needed.
Now is a good time to question, wonder, think the best, and ask "What if?" about something you'd like to create or improve. Or ask, "Imagine If?"