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Implementing Imagination in Your Daily Life 

how to overcome bias
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By Susie Briscoe
Second part

When we think of imagination, often, we think of it in terms of coming up with stories, with daydreaming, or with having imaginary friends. That is to say, we think of it as entertainment and certainly as ‘separate’ from the real, ‘everyday’, tasks that occupy our minds the rest of the time.

But, in reality, imagination doesn’t just belong to daydreamers and isn’t just useful for storytellers. Imagination can in fact be an immensely powerful tool in almost every situation and has almost endless uses and benefits. And when you bring some imagination into your more mundane activities, it can make life seem almost magical.
implementing visualisation into your daily life

Examples of Imagination in Daily Activities

One example of life becoming more exciting when you have a good imagination is how it can help on a date. Someone who lacks imagination might suggest a meal for a date. Someone who is a little more creative and willing to think outside the box though, might, instead, suggest a moonlit walk followed by a picnic and stargazing. Which is more likely to impress the date?

And if you want to get even more imaginative, then you shouldn’t just save your more creative ideas for special occasions like dates. Why not make your ‘normal’ days more exciting and imaginative too? How about tonight you create an assault course in the living room? Or the ultimate game of tiddly-winks that involves firing them from the counter and over obstacles?

visualisation in your daily activities

Imagination at Work

Likewise, using a little imagination at work can lead to amazing breakthroughs that may just be game changing. Even if your job is the ‘dull’ kind that doesn’t seem to leave much space for creativity, that’s not to say there aren’t ways you can bring your own ideas to it, or things that could be done differently or better.

The employee with the great imagination is the one who says: what if we do things this way? Or maybe: could we run a promotion with X business? And they’re the same ones who can potentially earn their employers millions.

All of us have imaginations. The only difference is how much we use them. When we fall into a routine it’s easy to forget to apply creative thinking. So, from now on, take a moment out, even during your routine tasks, and ask if applying a little imagination might lead to positive results.

Enhance Your Creativity and Imagination by Removing This One Cognitive Bias

A cognitive bias is a ‘flaw’ in your thinking. This is any type of inaccuracy that our brains make on a large scale, due to the way they’ve evolved and the experiences that we’ve all gone through. Generally, this comes down to our brain’s preference for efficiency and the resulting attempts to take shortcuts.

Different cognitive biases affect different aspects of our cognition. When it comes to our creativity and imagination though, the ‘functional fixedness bias is the one you need to address.

Enhance Your Creativity and Imagination

What is Functional Fixedness?

Functional fixedness describes the brain’s general tendency to think of any given item or object only in a single context. For example, if you have a pair of scissors, it means you would only ever think of them as a cutting implement.

The most famous example of this bias in action is the ‘candle box experiment’. Here, participants are given a candle and a box of tacks. From there, they are then asked to attach the candle to the wall, in such a way that it can burn while upright. Invariably, the subjects then try to use the tacks to stick the candle to the wall and they fail.

After some time however, they eventually come to the realization that they can also use the box that the tacks came in. Now, they tack the box to the wall and stand the candle in it – thereby solving the problem. The issue was caused by their inability to view the box as anything other than a container for the tacks.

how to overcome bias

How to Overcome This Bias

So, if you want to overcome functional fixedness in your own life, what should you do?

The most common advice given is to break any resources you have down into their constituent parts. Thus, if you have a candle, you can view it not only as a candle, but as a candle, wax, and wick. Instead of a box of tacks, you have card and metal. This way, you can get around the problem of functional fixedness and view the raw resources instead.

This method can be used to help you find creative solutions to problems and even to be more imaginative and creative in your work.

And remember: there’s no such thing as a lack of resources, only a lack of resourcefulness!

The third part of this blog post will be published soon!

While you are waiting for the third part of this blog post to be published, join our Monday Morning M.O.T. : Mindset Optimization Trainings. It is a great way to get yourself in the right mindset for success. Our sessions are engaging and interactive so they don’t feel like lectures at all! We cover topics such as goal setting, motivation, productivity hacks, time management tips, networking skills – anything that will help us become more successful individuals overall. And best of all – it only takes 30 minutes out of your day once a week! That’s less than 1% of your entire week spent doing something productive for yourself!

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