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The Importance of Imagination

Jason Connell -- Those who dream, imagine a world without boundaries, and test what is and what is not possible are the ones who move the world forward.

I really love spending time reflecting during the beginning of the New Year. I like thinking about the highs and lows of the year past and I get excited thinking about what I want to accomplish in the year ahead.

While I was thinking about 2010 I had a shocking revelation: humans are bad at understanding what is possible.

Imagine trying to explain smartphones to someone living in the 1950s. At the time personal computers, cellphones, the Internet, and pocket cameras simply did not exist. Virtually everyone would have said, "that's impossible" to all of these inventions, let alone having all of them rolled into one pocket-sized device.

And I understand why -- fathoming such a device would have been beyond the limits of most people's imaginations.

But here is the thing: A very small percent of people would have said, "That sounds awesome! I think we can do that. I don't see why we couldn't. Lets try."

And those are the exact people who move the world forward.

Their secret? They dream. They imagine a world without boundaries. They let their minds run wild and test for themselves what is and what is not possible.

If you want to become one of the leaders who will truly move the world forward, you must unfetter your imagination. You must realize that people are not particularly good at understanding what is and is not possible.

Freeing your mind starts with you. Many of the limits that you believe apply to both yourself and the world are probably wrong. They are most likely unproven assumptions you have chosen (perhaps unconsciously) to believe are true.

To make 2011 the most awesome year of your life, to take your leadership skills to the next level, to really become one of the people who will move the world, allow yourself to dream. When you start thinking "that's impossible" or, "I can't do that" question that assumption. Ask yourself, "What is really preventing this from being possible?"

In virtually every case, the correct answer is nothing.

Jason Connell is a career consultant as well as a public speaker. His presentations (through his company Changing the World 101) focus on how university students can get involved with volunteer projects in the developing world. For more, visit. www.changingtheworld101.com.

© 2011 Jason Connell

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