Be Playful

The Power of Imagining New Worlds

Posted on: 6 April 2008


Being able to imagine new and different worlds lies at the heart of playful living. Why is the imagination so important, and what can we do to use our imaginative capabilities to their full potential?

A key feature of childhood play is creating imaginary worlds and imaginary friends. As a child I used to love working out a world for my toys – who was friends with who, what the dangers were, and where everyone’s favourite place was. The possibilities seemed both endless and constrained by the toys and play-space that I had available.

Central to being playful is the ability to imagine new worlds and new possibilities for the world. Because we are able to do this, we know that another world is possible. This knowledge gives us hope when things aren’t going as we would like, and pushes us to extend our boundaries when things are going well.

The ability to imagine new worlds is important at an indvidual level and on a social level.

Imagine a new you

On an individual level the capacity to imagine leads to personal dreams and goals, stretching us to move beyond where we are now into new and better places.

It also makes visualisation possible – by taking the time to imagine how I would ideally behave in a future situation, I make that outcome more likely to occur.

Imagine a new world


On a social level, the capacity to imagine both assures us that another world is possible, and acts as a reminder that the world often doesn’t function as it should.

The very act of imagining a more just and peaceful world is the beginning of making the world a better place.

Making the most of your imagination in your life

Visualise. The tool of visualisation can be applied to numerous situations, from job interviews to public speaking. It is even possible to use visualisation to help you get out of bed in the morning.

Spend time day dreaming. Giving yourself thinking time will bring out your creative side.

Write down your dreams. Work out your goals. Imagine where would you like to be in 10 years; let your imagination run wild.

Work out a route to your dreams. What goals can you set to complete over the next year to get where you would like to be? What about over the next month? The next week? The next 24 hours?

Making the most of your imagination in the world

Contribute to a charity. This can be money. However, many charities would prefer you to contribute your time and your skills.

Know your dreams for the world. Imagine how you would like the world to be. Ask yourself: What can you do in your local community, or within your networks, that help to bring your dream for the world about?

Share you ideas. If you have an idea that could make the world a better place, don’t keep it to yourself. Tell others about it. Share it with the world!

Books that Inspired this Post

How to Be Brilliant by Michael Heppel.

Theology of Hope by Jurgen Moltman.


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