The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons, Napoleon Hill’s 1,600+ page monstrosity published prior to Think and Grow Rich, contains a lot of useful information that can help you realise your potential. In this series, Joshua Moore covers each of these attributes in a practical way that you can apply to your life and work. Today he discusses Lesson Six: Imagination
Also in this series:
- Lesson #1: The Master Mind
- Lesson #2: A Definite Chief Aim
- Lesson #3: Self Confidence
- Lesson #4: The Habit of Saving
- Lesson #5: Initiative and Leadership
- Lesson #6: Imagination
Imagination is an essential ingredient for success, especially for entrepreneurs.
A lot of people try to make imagination complex, but the easiest way to sum it up is as follows:
Imagination = Creating new solutions to problems
Those who use their imagination to succeed are likely to progress rapidly in their business or chosen career. As most people fail to use their imagination for constructive purposes in their business or employment, it is easy to begin to develop your reputation for accomplishing results by using your imagination.
It’s about thinking!
How can you develop your imagination? Napoleon Hill goes into great detail in his book about the importance of having imagination and uses a variety of case studies where people have used their imagination (including Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Edwin C. Barnes, Andrew Carnegie). Hill does not spend a huge amount of time outlining how to develop one’s imagination, though. So how can we develop our imagination?
The reality is that everyone who emerges from childhood has developed an imagination, but we often fail to use it. When we were little we used our imagination to create fun games and ways of doing things.
In ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ by Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer uses his imagination. He convinces his friends to paint a fence he’s asked to paint by giving them the impression that it was a ‘responsibility and a privilege’ that could only be entrusted to a select few. These friends wanted to be seen as reliable and able to do it and Tom ended up charging many of them to do so. Later, he sold them back their toys and other items in order to collect ticket stubs from Bible memory verses in order to get himself a Bible at the Church! This was only available to select children who had memorised several Bible verses and had received ticket stubs to prove so.
Imagination comes when we look at problems and turn those problems into solutions with benefits. I remember Richard Branson writing in his biography, Losing My Virginity, that when he wasn’t able to make it on a holiday due to the cancellation of a flight, he made a call and found out what it would cost to charter a plane. He then worked out numbers based on how many people were meant to be on the flight and sold tickets to the destination to the other passengers who were going to miss out on their holiday. For his imagination he was able to make a little profit from the process.
When was the last time you found yourself with a problem? Perhaps you are having a bit of difficulty financially. If so, have you considered other alternatives to picking up an extra job? Maybe you could sell some stuff on eBay, rent things out on rentoid, build a part time business selling your services or something else. The creative alternatives you come up with are all products of your imagination.
A book that is useful for building your imagination is Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono. It is not the easiest read, but it does open your mind to develop your imagination using lateral thinking.
Don’t be afraid to imagine and try new things. You never know the rewards you may find from tapping your imagination.
- Think of a problem you are facing at the moment in your life.
- Try to come up with at least five ways to solve that problem other than the obvious.
- Try one of them and see what happens.
- Read ‘Lateral Thinking’ by Edward De Bono.
- Always look for possibilities and solutions, even when they seem impossible. Never close your mind once a solution has been found.
Joshua Moore is the founder of Moore Thought, a website dedicated to helping people tap their mind and reach their potential in life.