By Susie Briscoe
When someone exhibits a truly extensive imagination, this can be truly wondrous to behold. Especially for those of us who are not particularly creative or imaginative, seeing someone who can create an entire world or an entire cast of characters from nothing is always impressive.
Of course, you can’t really rate imagination as being ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Every kind of creation and exploration is unique and different in its own way, and in fact, the difference between invention and imagination is probably that the latter doesn’t have to solve a problem or serve a purpose.
But that said, when worlds completely abandon all normal points of reference, or when they’re so intricately detailed that they almost seem real, then we might be particularly blown-away by the mental prowess that was necessary to bring them into being.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the most imaginative and creative worlds and narratives from fiction and media.
Lord of the Rings
There’s no denying that J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterpiece ‘Lord of the Rings’ is a true tour-de-force when it comes to ‘world building’. Few fantasy realms have been more thoroughly realised and fleshed out. Middle Earth has its own politics, its own languages, its own landmarks, and more. And the world has outlived its creator to take on a life of its own as a result.
DMC: Devil May Cry
For a more modern example of creative world building, look at the Xbox 360 and PS3 game ‘DMC: Devil May Cry’. This game is set partially in Limbo, with levels that completely defy expectations and all logic. One has you entering the reflection of a city in a lake, to traverse a completely upside-down world. This is a real marriage of technology and vision.
Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell, is a book that spans cultures, generations, and more to show how lives that are centuries apart can be interwoven with parallel themes and events. Mitchell draws on history for parts of the book, while envisioning a dystopian future for others. It’s truly breath-taking in scope, and the film captures it very ably.
If you enjoy seeing imaginary worlds, creatures, and landscapes, then be sure to check out ‘World Builders’ on Reddit or ‘Dreamscapes’. Both communities take great pleasure in inventing worlds, creatures, and stories, and there are some amazing examples on display.
These Activities Will Help You Hone Your Imagination!
Our imagination is something that many of us feel the need to ‘grow out of’ as we get older. The insinuation is that imagining is something for little children only, and that as we acquire responsibilities, we need to come back to the ‘real world’.
In fact, though, imagination has a lot of crucial uses that go far beyond simply coming up with stories. Imagination is crucial because it allows us to imagine ‘what if’ scenarios and come up with new ideas. It even helps us to have more fun, as we can come up with more unique ways to spend our time.
So how do you cultivate that imagination and regain the childhood excitement you once felt for the ‘not yet possible’? Here are some activities that can help bring your imagination back to life.
If you find it difficult to let go and forget yourself while you toy around in the sandbox of your mind, then you may find that the framework provided by a game like Minecraft can really help. Minecraft is a game that allows you to build anything you can dream of out of blocks, and the things that people share online are truly incredible. This is a great way to tap into your primal sense of invention and creativity, as you build houses, at first to survive and later, to thrive.
Write a Story
They say that everyone has a book in them, but this isn’t really true. In reality, we all have hundreds of books in us. This isn’t to say that you need to write an entire novel, but a fun exercise can be to sit down and write a short story, which is a lot of fun and a great way to forget the rules and let your mind run away from you.
Imagine the Future
If you’re still struggling, then sometimes, it can help to get a bit more narcissistic. Instead of imagining a random world with made up people and events, instead, think about your own future and how things might go. Take the situation you’re in now, and then extrapolate. Where does it lead? Where will your family and friends be in their lives?
What will technology be like? Imagining future technology is not only fun, but, sometimes, it can even lead to breakthrough ideas that you otherwise wouldn’t have had!
Top Reasons a Great Imagination is so Valuable
Some people look down on imagination as though it’s only for kids. ‘Real work’ involves crunching numbers, speaking with clients, and lifting heavy objects. Imagination is just a waste of time that disconnects you from the real world.
This would all be fine and well if it weren’t so untrue. Imagination is not only a great escape, but also what allowed society to progress to the point it has. It’s something that can make the world a much happier place on an individual basis.
Read on, and we’ll address a few of the most important benefits of a good imagination.
While some people dismiss escapism, it’s actually an especially useful tool. If you have a good imagination, then you can be anywhere in the world, doing anything of which you can think. As a result, life is never boring, and you never feel trapped. And those of us who are particularly good at imagining these other worlds, characters, and scenarios, can then share those with other people, which is how best-selling authors are made!
Colour and Excitement
But imagination can also help us in the real world. Never is this more apparent than when you have a family. If you lack imagination, then evenings can become boring and routine, spent watching TV, doing chores, and eating dinner. Inject a little creativity, though, and you can come up with new games, connect with your kids, and surprise your partner in truly romantic ways that show how thoughtful you are.
Invention and Creation
Our imagination is what allows us to plan ahead and to come up with amazing ideas. Imagination is, at its core, a survival tool. It helps us survive by allowing us to visualize ‘what if’ scenarios and to come up with contingencies. At the same time, this lets us see how things could improve, and it lets us come up with solutions to the problems that other people weren’t even aware of.
If you lack imagination and don’t make an effort to employ it, you will just go through the motions and follow the rules. If you have an imagination though, then you’ll be able to define your own reality. You’ll be able to set the rules that other people follow.
This is what imagination really is: the ability to visualize other realities and to, eventually, make them real.
The next part of the blog post will be published soon!
And, while you are waiting for the next part of this blog post to be published join the WinTrade Global Masterclass with Suki Thompson this Thursday at 17:00 GMT to learn about 7 steps to reset.