“Today is the day when infinite possibilities remain open before us, if only we can shake off our torpor and re-imagine a different future.”
The ability to create both our lives and our careers requires a series of acts of imagination. The great Romantic Poet, William Blake, called this capacity the “Divine Imagination” – the vast creative power inherent in all of us when we are willing to open up to something truly new. After all, everything in our modern world was once but an idea in someone’s head. All of what has been created, however, was due to a network of individuals who were open to imagining something greater. They then worked in concert towards a common purpose that was informed by that deep capacity of a vibrant, living imagination. In our strange social quest for individuation, of “being the star of our own movie,” it is easy to forget that we can never do it alone. Just as it takes many people to make a significant movie, it also takes the active engagement of the imaginations, talents and discretionary effort of others to create anything of substance whether it is a business, a new social network or a healthy community.
Are you making the critical decision to re-imagine your life and how you are living and working? Are you opening yourself up and inviting others to support and engage with you in re-creating your business, your life and your deeper sense of meaning? What is blocking your ability to imagine something significantly better, more vitalizing and enlivening?
The biggest block to being more effective in life is a “failure of imagination.” We falter when we lose sight of the vast transformational space from which all creation, invention and new ideas spring. Too many in our society are locked down tightly into the smaller realm of the “transactional.” This is the space of getting and having, of give and take, of contracts, the daily means of transacting business and of most relationships. When in this space, we constrain and limit our capacity to imagine our lives and work – we squeeze ours souls down into an ill-fitting “shoe” and wonder why we don’t have as much joy, happiness, love or deep satisfaction as we imagined – why life is not as vibrant as we once experienced it to be.
To be fully ourselves, to empower our lives and to create more meaningful relationships and fulfilling life experiences, we must have the courage to step up and out of the hypnotic transactional realm into the vast space of transformation, the place where “divine imagination” flows. This truth is even more the case when we are talking about re-imagining our lives and ways of being in the world. The facts are fairly self-evident: our world, our organizations, our bodies and our loved ones are moving through changing lifecycles. We are riding an ever shifting, increasingly challenging “wave of possibility.” Learning how to “surf” the wave is preferable to being crushed under its enormous mass and velocity. To surf that wave of change, of possibility, we are required to step up out of the “water” onto the plane of greater possibility and freedom.
A truth I discovered while practicing as a clinician with individuals and families captures the essence of the dilemma we face. “No one can do it for you, and, you cannot do it by yourself.” Let’s unpack that sentence. First, “No one can do it for you,” is the realization that only you can make the choices; you can’t get someone else to make you happy. In essence, no one can make the critical life decisions for you or get you moving on a path to increased joy, happiness and significance. You have to make the decisions, the choices and initiate the actions that lead to meaningfully riding the possibility wave instead of being a victim to it. The second part of that sentence, “You cannot do it by yourself,” is the recognition that you will need the active input, support, encouragement, feedback and engagement of others if you are to succeed.
As a consultant, keynote speaker, developer of leaders and life-coach I get to work with many people, teams and organizations. There are some core questions I have found that help to crack the “egg” of the transactional space and which open up the possibility of stepping up into the transformational realm of creation. So take the time to consider the following questions:
• Are you surrounding yourself with people who are more open and courageous?
• Where do you let your fear run you and your decisions?
• What are you afraid of and how does that play out in your life?
• Where do you most need courage to live at your fullest?
• How often do you step back from the day-to-day grind of getting and having and doing to be still, quiet and invite in some space, some “emptiness” – where you just “be” versus “do”?
• What is your life purpose – why are you here on this planet and what will you leave behind?
• How often do you let yourself experience joy, exuberance and abandon yourself to the moment?
• To what are you in “service?”
• How deeply do you let yourself love, how fully do you let yourself live?
• How easy is it for you to admit you don’t know – to ask for help?
• How easy is it for you to access active imagination and to play freely with ideas and possibilities?
• How do you hold yourself back from being your best and most joyous self?
Answer those questions and be prepared for the next step in the follow-up blogs or communicate directly with me. Ready to imagine a better you, a better path and more joyous life?