I think my three-year-old granddaughter Briannah was a waitress in a past life. She loves to play make believe and serve tea. On occasion she will find a piece of paper and even take my order. I was over at her house last week and she had an imaginary cup in hand. I usually order coffee. However, this time I decided to mix things up.
“I think I’ll have peppermint tea today,” I said with a smile.
“We don’t have that here,” she responded.
Even in her fantasy cabinet there was no peppermint tea to be had. Of course I thought this was funny. An unlimited supply of fictional food and beverage possibilities were available to the little tyke but peppermint tea was not an option. I ordered my usual coffee instead.
I told my spouse CB the saga of the limited tea supply. CB surmised that Briannah had never seen peppermint tea before so it was not a part of her imaginary world. Then it occurred to me that most of us operate on the same principle. Instead of imagining and pursuing the life of our dreams, we assume we are stuck and don’t even fathom that there is any way out. No hope and no peppermint tea exist in our world. Perhaps we think it would be silly to dream. Smart people stick to reality. If that misguided thought is bouncing around in your pragmatic mind, consider this quote by Albert Einstein.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
When I was a kid I spent hours daydreaming. It was great fun. Many adults (mostly teachers) did not approve of my fanciful thinking. However, I held out and kept it up anyway. It paid off. As a writer, a strong imagination is crucial so I have had the luxury to put my whimsical mind to good use. Perhaps I was ahead of my time. As more people are learning about The Secret and The Law of Attraction, folks are discovering what we can envision in our minds is the first step in turning our thoughts into reality. Therefore, what we choose to focus on is extremely important. That is why I make it a daily practice to focus on erasing negativity from my life. In fact I co-wrote a book on the subject, Erase Negativity and Embrace the Magic Within.
As an author and expert on optimism I have the pleasure of appearing on radio and television shows and being quoted in newspapers and magazines. A common question that comes up is “Isn’t optimism a form of denial?”. My answer is always a variation of this response.
“I don’t see it that way. Optimism is a way to approach situations with an eye on success. I don’t deny reality, I simply make a determination to face problems and choose a mindset that is more creative, empowering and hopeful. I think there are a lot more options with an optimistic approach.”
Not everyone may want to be an optimist, but we do value creativity. I believe optimistic thought is very innovative. Ask an optimist for solutions and you will get numerous options. They may not all work out, but at least the potential for success is in the making. Most of the pessimistic responses tend to be limiting and sound like, “It can’t be done. We’ve always done it this way. Things will never change.”
This negative train of thought is especially destructive when it comes to imagining the course of our lives. Because, like it or not, we are always imagining something. How often have we imagined the worst, only to see it appear just as we thought? Why not focus on positive life scenarios and creating ways to manifest the results? Personally, I think adults can learn a lot from using their imagination and playing make believe.
Which brings me back to the present. My daughter, Alicia and her two daughters, Rosannah and Briannah will be flying north and visiting CB and I next month. I plan on buying a little tea set for the girls to play with while they are here. I’m also going to make a spot of peppermint tea and let the girls take a little sip. That way the next time I have the opportunity to order my imaginary tea, I can get exactly the type I want.