Albert Einstein said “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” So whatever my goal, imagination can be the key, at least to beginning the process.
I want to write a novel. I’ve never written a novel before, so I’ve had trouble actually believing that I can do it and figuring out how to make it happen. But recently I hit a milestone: I can see the ending—really see it, and now I’ve mapped my journey to get there.
Athletes visualize their success I’ve heard, and sometimes use coaches who specialize in helping them with that process. I’m not an athlete, so I can only imagine how they do it. But I suppose imagining is the point.
In fiction, readers are drawn into a story by details, particularly sensory details. There’s no reason this couldn’t work for imagining our goals too.
If my dream requires a move to the city, as I plan I need to feel the strain on my leg muscles as I walk up to the fourth floor loft above the grocery store. Hear the sirens keeping me from going to sleep at night. Smell the exhaust fumes as I step out the door in the morning.
Or if my long term goal takes me far into the future, I need to think about what has changed—in the world and also in me. Do I move my elderly body more carefully, securing each step as I walk? Stop to rub my arthritic knuckles?
Whatever it is, dream it. Be it. Imagine. As John Lennon sang, “It’s easy if you try.”