Congratulations! I’m assuming you answered “Yes” to this question which means you are highly creative and capable of producing great ideas, much-needed inventions and significant masterpieces.
You may not be in touch with your imagination (sadly, it’s not always encouraged in school), but it should be your most prized possession.
With imagination, you can do literally anything: envision peace, write a symphony, create the next I-Phone.
Steve Jobs, in fact, claimed it was imagination, not analytic rigor that sparked a company that most everyone can agree is “insanely great,” which happened to be his favorite phrase, his goal, his calling. Trained in Zen Buddhism, Jobs valued intuition over empirical analysis. He didn’t believe in studying data or crunching numbers or pursuing what he called, “Western rational thought.”
“Imagination,” he said, “is more powerful than intellect.”
Given free rein, your imagination can lead you to your calling.
Maybe that’s a poem tapping on your heart. Perhaps there’s a song that keeps you awake at night, a screenplay that won’t leave you alone. A dream you keep pushing aside with some comment like “nah! I could never sing or dance like that. I could never make a film.”
Now is the time to quit pushing that dream aside.
Every dream that has ever tiptoed across your mind is a summons from the Higher Realm. Your song may not be sung on David Letterman. It may never make the top-40 list. But somebody out there needs to hear it. Maybe it’s the 92-year-old shut-in who lives next door, who giggles every time she overhears you sing, “I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Weiner” outside her bedroom window. Isn’t that enough?
At times, it seems like a daunting task, adding your voice to the chorus. You wonder:
“What do I have to add to the world’s great body of art?”
“Who am I to join the likes of Steve Jobs, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Peter Ustinov?”
Perhaps the better question is:
“Who are you not to? What right do you have to refuse the voice that whispers to you every morning, every afternoon and every evening as you retire spent and exhausted from denying again and again the hand of the Great Collaborator.
“But hasn’t everything already been said?”
Until we hear your version of this fierce and joyful world, there is more to be said. Each man looks upon the sunset with a slightly different eye.
All of us long for a rich, participatory life. We all have the same recurrent longing to break down our defenses, to be able to give and receive our gifts. When we compose a piece of music or shape a lump of clay, we wriggle out of the straitjacket and come out shouting, shouting “yes, yes, yes” to the possibilities of Spirit.
Alexander Papaderos, who started a monastery and Peace Center in Crete, Greece, carries a piece of a broken mirror in his wallet. When he was a small boy, he found the broken mirror next to a motorcycle that someone had wrecked and then abandoned along a road near his small village. He spent hours trying to put the mirror back together. Unfortunately, some of the pieces were missing so he had little choice but to give up, but not before plucking out the biggest piece which he rubbed against a rock until it was smooth and round. Papaderos spent much of his childhood playing with that piece of mirror. He discovered that when he held it just right, he could shine the sun’s light into the dark, lighting up unknown cracks and crevices.
Your piece of the mirror is just a fragment. Nobody knows for sure how big and vast “the whole” really is. But if you take your small piece and hold it just right, you can shine light into the world’s dark places.
The choice is yours. You can use your mirror to shine light. Or you can keep it in your wallet. But the mirror will never be whole without you.