Why you need to Imagine like a Child

My students often wonder what I do to entertain myself if I don't have TV.

I was sitting in a presentation that had a much larger audicence than expected, the speaker joked that there must not be anything good on TV.

A man selling cable for Comcast came to my door, he looked over his records and noted that they had nothing on file for our home. I stated that was because we didn't have anything. He was so confused, that instead of trying to make a sale, he just walked away.

From October

I'm not saying that I have a huge issue with TV. My issue is how much time TV takes up in our lives, and how much of our own imagaination we give up , in order to be entertained by the imagination of others.

Our culture is one that seems a bit flipped upside down. In our schools we place value on Math, Science, and English. We spend countless dollars and hours producing and implementing multiple choice tests to ensure that are students can reguritate this information at the drop of hat.

We spend our time on the internet, watching TV/movies, playing video games, and camping out to be sure that we are the first to get the new iphone. However, we aren't teaching our students the skills needed to create any of the above. They do need to know  math, science and reading. But they also need imagination and design.

We all have the ability to imagine, however it is traditionally taught out of us by 3rd grade.  I was watching our cat last night , as she sprinted around the house with paws of furry, chasing nothing, but her imagination.

 In an interview, Designer,  Genevieve Gorder says, " My job is to imagine harder than you." I'm afraid that we have made her job too easy, as most adults have given up on imagination.

We have it, we lose, and now we need to get it back.

Our world is changing faster than ever. Our children will likely change careers 7 times. What we teach them about in high school, may not even exist by the time they graduate from college. We can't teach them the right answer, we need to teach them how to imagine the solution, and then design it.

How can you bring imagination back into your life?

Here are a few steps that you can take to start to sharpen your ability to imagine.

1. Start an Everything Book: I call it an everything book because it's a place where you record everything. Mine contains the following: to do list, doodles, sketches, magazine clippings, any and every idea that pops into my head.

Writing down all of your thoughts and ideas helps to make you more aware that they are taking place. Also when you take the time to look back through your book, you will be able to create new connections that will help you to from ideas.

From October

From October

2. Set aside 15 minutes in your day. Get comfortable. Grab some kind of recording device. Close your eyese and begin to describe outloud everything that you see. It is important that you speak out load, it will help to keep the images flowing. If this seems to hard for you. Start by choosing an object, looking at it and describing it using all of your senses.

What would it taste like

What does it look like

What does it smell like

What does it feel like

What does it sound like

You will need to be creative and stretch yourself with this practice.

3. Free your mind. It's time to turn off the left side of your brain. The left side acts as the filter, and will often shot down ideas that it doesn' see as being logical. Grab a piece of paper and two pens or markers. Hold a pen in each one of your hands. Now write your name, making a mirror image. Write several words this way. Now try to draw a pattern. Now look at something and draw it.

After you and your friends do one or more of these activites, email me and let me know how you felt.

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