One of my favorite places on the planet is Disneyland (opening soon). I know it's pricey and crowded (feet tangled in a sea of strollers). It doesn't matter, I've been dozens of times and it's still magical.
I theorize that upon entering the park we inhale invisible pixie dust and our senses are heightened. Colors are more vivid and the smells are euphoric. The magic powder is now in our veins. Our neurons are firing, and life as we know it is no longer acceptable. What's happening? Our imagination is coming back to life.
We spend the day in a "matrix-like state" transported back and forth to our childhood when we didn't care that grass was green or the sky was blue. We opened our minds and created unfiltered: building a three-headed dragon, with tennis racket arms, who pooped peanut butter. But time has a way of taming our imagination and we started playing it safe, coloring within the lines, and lowering our expectations.
Not at Disneyland. The wizards who create, design, and construct the Disney parks are called "Imagineers." They combine imagination and engineering to create worlds that don't exist. God has given each of us this life-changing gift, and the unlimited capacity to create something from nothing.
According to Stephen Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, "All things are created twice. First in the mind, then in the physical." Everything begins as a thought. The chair you're sitting in, the book you're reading, and the cheeseburger you're going to eat later. Thoughts also influenced the man who premeditated the murder of his wife. Thoughts produce actions: good or bad.
Our imagination works in the positive or the negative. We can visualize a long and happy marriage, or we can dwell on thoughts of unfaithfulness. We can picture ourselves trim and healthy, or we can obsess over our fat rolls. If we entertain distorted thinking (not God's thoughts) long enough … we shouldn't be surprised when they happen. Covey goes on to say, "If you don't make a conscious effort to visualize who you are and what you want in life, then you empower other people and circumstances to shape you and your life by default."
If you want to change your life … change your thinking.
So, grab your imagination and let's go. Do you want to lose weight, get married, or start a new business? Maybe you have a crazy idea that seems so big you haven't even told anyone. Awesome! God is in the audacious dream building business.
The power to imagine creates the possibility, and persistent visualization makes it a reality. We think in images based on the words we see and hear. A single thought has an insignificant impact on our life, but a stream of thoughts builds a vision inside of us.
Consider creating a "vision" or "imagination board." In You Can, You Will, Joel Osteen says, "Studies tell us we move toward what we consistently see. You should keep something in front of you even if it's symbolic, to remind you of what you're believing for." I have my board on the wall in my office, and I look at it every day. I trust God placed this vision in my heart, and I stand on His promises to bring it to pass.
In the immortal words of William Arthur Ward, "If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it. Do like Disney and unleash your Mental Masterpiece!