Why You Should Finish Things Before You Start Them
Have you ever walked through an impressive building and just allowed yourself to be amazed at its construction? Imagine the amount of planning, resources, thought, and manpower that went into getting such a building erected. Imagine the imagination it required from the person, or the people, who came up with the ideas that lead to the creation of such a building in the first place.
Behind every work of wonder are people. Behind those people are ideas. Ideas can become a reality if you know how to imagine the possibilities. This is not some fairy tale or some pie-in-the-sky idea, this is what happens in the real world every single day.
Almost all the companies we see today were once ideas trapped in the minds of men. A man by the name of Sam Walton once had an idea that retail stores could employ low prices to drive high sales volume on quality items. He decided to operate his store based on this idea. His store, Walmart, now employs 2.2 million people and generates over $500 billion in sales. Now his kids are among the richest people in the world.
“Imagination Is More Important Than Knowledge”
Einstein is quoted as saying, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Some might instantly scoff at this as just another quote blown out of proportion. However, rarely have people heard the rest of what Einstein had to say at the same time when he was quoted saying those famous words.
He also said, “Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” He not only thought imagination was more important than knowledge, he doubled down on it.
These are powerful words that you should take some time to ponder. If Sam Walton had limited his imagination, for instance, he would have just been another store owner. Sure, he would have done well, Sam was a good businessman. However, 2.2 million people would be looking for jobs right now and his legacy would have been lost. We all would have suffered from it. We wouldn’t even be talking about it right now. We need people like Sam Walton to inspire us. We need people like you to inspire us.
How To See Success
If you haven’t figured it out yet, finishing before you start means imagining things to make them a reality. In order to be able to create something worth creating, it is important to see it fully in your mind’s eye. You cannot be successful unless you can envision that success.
What does success look like for you? Can you see it clearly? How does a successful life play out day to day? Unless you can see it in your mind’s eye, you’re shooting at a target that doesn’t exist. Take some time to envision success until you can really see it.
Exercising Your Imagination
Some people believe they are not imaginative or creative. They believe that somehow they weren’t given that gene, perhaps. This is a myth that can ruin your chances of success. Odds are your belief of the former became a self-fulfilling prophecy which kept you away from your imagination and it slowly withered over time.
For example, when you were younger, did you have any problem using your imagination? Probably not. For most youngsters it just happens naturally.
These following exercises were created to help unleash the inner potential that is already within you from a young age. By following these exercises, soon your imagination will be unlocked and you will be able to imagine like you did when you were a child.
1. Combining Objects
This simple exercise may at first seem a bit silly, but it is designed to get you into the right mindset for the exercises that follow. Imagine two objects that have no business being together and combine them.
An example would be a “dragon” and a “cat.” This would then be a “dragon cat.” Use your imagination to think about how such a creature would look, act, interact with other animals, etc. Another example would be a “shoe” and a “gun,” or a “shoe gun.” How would such a device work? What would it look like? How would someone build it if they wanted to?
Go through a list of several dozen of these. Spend some time with the ideas after you create them and see them in your mind. This helps to get your brain firing the right way and puts you in the proper frame of mind.
2. The Story of You
Now, you are going to write one-page story. You are the main character and you are writing a short story of your life. Where you were born, your upbringing, today and everything in-between. You’ll continue the story until you get to the end of your life.
Odds are most of your life will be a bit fuzzy. You’ll have to use your imagination just to come up with the missing pieces. You’ll also have to use your imagination heavily to think about the rest of your life from the present until the moment you die.
This exercise not only cultivates your imagination but it also puts your life into perspective. A real moment of honesty can happen when performing this exercise.
3. Business Ideas
In this exercise you’re simply going to jot down a list of ideas for new businesses that do not currently exist. Don’t dwell on whether each and every idea is a great idea, just write them down as they come to you.
When you’re done, take a look at each of the ideas you created and pick the best one. You’ll be using this business for the next exercise.
4. Expanding Your Idea
Now you’re simply going to imagine the business from the above exercise actually existing.
How does this business operate? How many employees are there? What types of customers are being served? What types of products or services are being offered? How much money is the business making?
Keep exploring all the different avenues of how your business would operate in the real world. Try to visualize all the different components of the business and how they interact. Also, try to envision your role in your business and how you would treat your employees.
Right now you are probably stuck in limited thinking. You’re only stuck in “limited thinking” by allowing your thinking to be limited in the first place. You are not letting your imagination run wild.
Perhaps you’ve been told too many times your ideas are foolish or you’ve been hit with the harsh realities of life. Your sense of wonder might even feel like it was knocked clear out of your head. That’s okay, you haven’t lost it or your ability to imagine. You have just forgotten how to cultivate innate abilities that never truly left.
Follow the simple exercises above, create some of your own ideas, and let your imagination run free, unabashedly. Allow your mind to see your reality before it becomes a reality. Finish before you start.