How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
The Need to Imagine
We have a need to think about the future, about what could be and what we might create.
A person walks in order to think. When they have a problem, they walk in the forest, enjoy the trees and muse.
A sales person uses the line 'Imagine yourself driving this car...'
We like to daydream, to wonder why things happen as they do and to imagine what could happen in the future.
The mind is always active. When we stop, our minds keep working, even when we sleep. We cannot help but think. And much of this is either sense-making about the past or imagining the future.
Imagination is often based on extrapolation, following the dots of the past into likely futures. We also think about what we might do to change things and the consequent thoughts and actions of others. We even invent, based on our understanding of how things work.
Imagination can lead to positive, good feelings as we create hope and dream up fantastic possibilities. It can also be negative as we consider all the things that go wrong. Imagination and anxiety are closely related. Yet such is the power of the need to imagine, we can easily end up dwelling on the negatives and perhaps slide into depression.
While animals also think about the future, they do not do so as intensely as humans, nor do they think as far ahead. The complexity of human imagination not only makes us stand out, it also perhaps explains our dominance over other species.
Get people to think about the future and the consequences of their actions. Get them to think about possibilities and what could be. Guide their thoughts to where you want them to be.