The interview was proceeding as expected: well-prepared questions, exceptional answers. I was getting exactly what I needed for the overall video project—a glimpse into the organization’s purpose, history and future—when the Executive Director took the the interview in a whole new direction which would not only impact what my vision for the video was, but also uproot what the vision for my life and business is: “You mind if I say something? We need to address the fears that people have so that we can engage their imaginations. It’s when we are able to do this that something amazing can happen.”
While the context of this quote was related to the fears associated with starting new churches, i.e. religious start-ups, the idea of addressing fears in order to ignite imagination is relevant to our lives in areas of creativity, risk, success and failure.
What are you afraid of?
Fear is the fuel that drives decision-making at every level, as well as supply, demand, buying, selling, creation, reduction, competition, and the status quo. Fear is playing it safe regardless of what the appropriate response should be. It is a short-term reaction instead of a long-term solution. It is choosing to deal with only the problems that have solutions that can be created in the image of what is familiar and comfortable.
Fear is remaking, rebuilding, or reengineering what was once successful in hopes that it will succeed again. It is failing when success is wanted and succeeding when failure is the desired outcome. Fear provides the inevitable doubt that what you can imagine probably won’t work because it didn’t work for someone else.
While there are many fears that are realistic responses to the challenges and struggles of life, our fears are typically imaginative responses to the “what ifs” that we ask ourselves along our daily journey. They are our mind’s way of exercising imagination and creativity, without thought, purpose or direction.
Are you all in or are you ready to fold?
What is it that prevents you from pushing all in and committing wholeheartedly to the vision, plan and purpose of your life? Chances are, if you are like most of us it is either fear (as described above) or it is exhaustion from constantly reacting to the myriad snares and entrapments that surround our dreams.
What if there was a way to finally give everything that you had, knowing that regardless of whether you succeeded or failed, you could hold your head high at the end of the day?
The only way that you can give everything that you have is if you have engaged your imagination. If you have truly looked at what is buried deep inside of you to do. Not just for a career, but for the sake of the legacy that your life selflessly offers to the community, and to your family and friends.
Imagination from the deepest part of your soul has the power to not only shape your life, but transform the lives of others. It is one thing to dream, it is another thing to share, and yet a new level entirely to actually create a tangible manifestation of what was once a figment of your imagination.
There is tremendous power and fear in the act of imagining what could be. Fear will never be defeated or removed from our lives. However, when we are able to act despite our fears and engage our imaginations with purpose and direction, amazing things can happen.