“The worst thing you can do to your future is to place limits on your imagination.” -Ciara Lilly
I have always had a big imagination. And if we share that in common, you know how difficult it is to nurture a big imagination in a world that tries to force-feed you a prescribed reality. But have you ever thought about what would happen if we lost our imagination? If we lost our ability to believe?
Our circumstances would determine our perspective.
And when that happens, we unknowingly segregate ourselves from what we think is unobtainable. Here’s an example- If a child is born into poverty and develops a poverty mindset, he or she has one lens to view the world out of. Without the ability to imagine or believe for more, the child’s chances of staying in this environment increase, because they’re not connected to the idea that there’s something better for them. The child’s circumstances will ultimately determine their perspective.
But when you dare to imagine…
Your vision is no longer limited. You now have access to a world of possibilities that care not about where you grew up or how much money you have. See, your imagination is a powerful gift that, when paired with your words and actions, can change your life completely.
I recently watched the Pursuit of Happyness for the fifth time. And in the movie, you see a father, Will Smith, trying to provide a better life for him and his son. You see them bouncing from homeless shelters, even sleeping in the bathroom of a New York subway, as Smith pursues his dream of becoming a stockbroker. If you’ve seen the movie, you know that it’s based on a true story. Chris Gardner lived what we see in that movie and is now an accomplished stockbroker, entrepreneur, philanthropist and investor.
What would have happened if Chris Gardner put limits on his imagination?
What would have happened if he decided, “You know what, I’ll never overcome homelessness, I just need to accept this as my reality.” What would have happened if he thought, “I can never become a stockbroker. Only successful, college-educated, people can become stockbrokers.” I cannot say what exactly would have happened, but I’m sure there wouldn’t be a movie about it.
What do you see for your life?
Life may deal you some less than desirable cards, but it’s how you play them that counts. Do not put limits on your imagination. The possibilities for your life can swallow any unfair circumstances you’ve experienced in the past. And it all starts with your ability to imagine. You’ll hear doubt tell you:
It’s too late to fulfill your dreams. You have adult responsibilities. Can you pay bills with dreams?
You don’t even have a college degree, how are you going to do that?
Don’t even think about looking at that neighborhood, you could never live there. Do you remember where you grew up?
But keep on believing.
If you have a dream, even if you have to take baby steps to achieve it, keep pushing toward it. Don’t segregate yourself from the people who are in the position you endeavor to be in. Volunteer to run their errands if they’ll mentor you for 30-mins each month over coffee. Don’t drive pass certain neighborhoods thinking that you could never live there, drive into the neighborhood, stop by the houses that are for sale and pick up some information about them. Take that information home and use it to fuel your vision for home-ownership.
“Your imagination is a powerful gift that, when paired with your words and actions, can change your life completely.”