Use Your Imagination to Learn

Imagination is a mental capacity that’s enabled by our ability to think. No doubt, it’s a double-edged sword, but used correctly, it can greatly enhance our ability to learn.

Not that I have scientific proof, but it is something I picked up and found tremendously useful when I practice fencing, singing, basketball, piano… especially piano, there is such thing called “mental-play”. Supposedly Beethoven is a master of that, which is he can play perfectly blind!

It is pretty simple, just requires both mental strength and awareness to observe your own thoughts. Whatever you wan to do, be it a physical movement, a goal you want to accomplish, try to imagine yourself doing it.

Now, can you see yourself doing it?

If you can, keep repeating it and most likely, your chance of success will be enhanced. If you CANNOT, that is fine too and it is time to explore what is holding you back.

If it is a physical movement/exercise, you need to feel your own body. How are you breathing? How is your posture? Which part of your body, down to specific muscle, is tense? You need to be able to feel your body to make progress.

If it is a abstract goal, something you need to do, then it is time to examine what is holding you back. What are your values? What skills you need to learn? Why are you not confident? What kind of friends do you keep? How many things are you doing? Maybe you are watching too much TV?

According to Craig Harper, before he opened his gym, he has been running his gym in his mind for years. Before he trained his first client, he has trained thousands of clients in his mind before. I believe him.

I took what I learned from physical activities and applied it in my work settings when have important meetings or presentations, it is quite helpful. Think of imagination as a sub-version of you doing the actual things. Practice makes perfect, right?

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