The Art of Strengths Coaching

I is for The Importance Of Imagination

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People love to use their imagination. They love to explore ideas, cultures and other ways of doing things. Imagination can take them to places that provide solace and stimulation for the soul.

People sometimes use their imagination to create. They may then go through the stages of focusing on imagination, implementation and impact. They may create books, buildings, prototypes or whatever.

Imagination is one of our greatest assets. People can nurture it within themselves and within others to tackle some of societies biggest challenges.

Many social enterprises, for example, are taking this approach. They are enabling people to do positive things to improve life on the planet.

Looking back, what have you done in the past to stimulate your imagination? You may have chosen to read, travel, study, play music, be beside water, dream, walk, run, learn from different cultures or find other inspiration.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the specific things you have done in the past to stimulate your imagination.

Describe the specific benefits of doing these things.

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Human beings may need to foster their imagination – rather than bow to indoctrination – in order to progress. One good place to do this is in education.

Many educational projects are taking this step. They are also helping students to develop the 4 Cs in what are called 21st Century Skills.

These are Clear Thinking – though some refer to this as critical thinking – Creativity, Collaboration and Communication. Here are some projects that are bringing these ideas to life.

Imagination Foundation

The Imagination Foundation aims to nurture creativity and entrepreneurship in the home, school and everywhere. Here is an excerpt from its website that you can find via the following link.

http://imagination.is/about-us/mission-vision/

The mission of the Imagination Foundation is to find, foster and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in children around the world to raise a new generation of innovators and problem solvers who have the tools they need to build the world they imagine.

Design For Change

Kiran Bir Sethi founded the global movement called Design For Change. This encourages children to express their ideas for a better world and translate these into action.

Here is an excerpt from its website. You can discover more at:

http://www.dfcworld.com/default.aspx

Children and adults learn through the Design for Change Challenge that “I Can” are the two most powerful words a person can believe.

Children who have discovered this are changing their world.

This year, Design for Change reaches 34 countries and over 300,000 schools inspiring hundreds of thousands of children, their teachers and parents, to celebrate the fact change is possible and that they can lead that change!

Destination Imagination

Destination Imagination is a non-profit organisation that aims to inspire the global community of learners. It uses many approaches to applying 21st century skills.

Here is an excerpt from its website. You can learn more via the following link.

http://destinationimagination.org/about-us/vision-mission-history

The Destination Imagination program is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage and curiosity through open-ended academic Challenges in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fine arts and service learning.

Our participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem solving process. Teams may showcase their solutions at a tournament.

Our purpose is to inspire and equip students to become the next generation of innovators and leaders.

Our organization was incorporated in 1982, when we took over the charter for OM Association, Inc. In 1999, our name was changed to Destination Imagination, Inc. Since then, our non-profit has impacted more than one million participants.

Approximately 200,000 youth make friends and learn the creative process through our programs every year, and 38,000 volunteers support us!

People can continue to stimulate their imagination as they get older. Sometimes this can be necessary when institutions say they want people to be innovative, but actually reward inertia.

Human beings are ingenious and can find solutions to many challenges. Sometimes this means combining their efforts to achieve a common goal – such as the survival of the species.

The Dalai Lama referred to this approach in 1991 when praising the World Conservation Union in launching its campaign on the theme of Caring for the Earth.

Here is an excerpt from the piece he wrote. You can discover more via the following link.

http://www.dalailama.com/messages/environment/caring-for-the-earth

The earth is not only the common heritage of all humankind but also the ultimate source of life. Therefore, the protection and conservation of the earth is not a question of morality or ethics but a question of our survival.  

How we respond to this challenge will affect not only this generation but also many generations to come.

In the case of such global issues as the conservation of the Earth, and indeed in tackling all problems, the human mind is the key factor.

In order to change the external situation we must first change within ourselves.  

If we want a beautiful garden we must first have a blueprint in the imagination, a vision. Then that idea can be implemented and the external garden can materialize.  

History shows us how often in the past people have failed to cooperate. Our failures in the past are the result of ignorance of our own interdependent nature.

What we need now is a holistic approach towards problems combined with a genuine sense of universal responsibility based on love and compassion.

Let’s return to your own life and work. How can you continue to nurture your imagination?

How can you, if appropriate, perform superb work by going through the stages of imagination, implementation and impact? How can support such creativity in other people and across the planet?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme? This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the specific things you can do to continue to use your imagination. 

Describe the specific things you can do to, if appropriate, encourage other people to use their imagination. 

Describe the specific benefits of doing these things – both for yourself and other people.

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