Your Imagination Is Your Best Gift
I spend the day on the shores of Imagination, collecting a bag of quotes that inspired me and then I laid them out into themes that made sense to me. Here are 17 ways I found Imagination to be a wonderful gift from nature.
- Imagination is your nature. It’s as natural as your breathing. Nurture it.
“Our dreams prove that to imagine — to dream about things that have not happened — is among mankind’s deepest needs.”
― Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
“We live in condensations of our imagination”
― Terence McKenna
2. Imagination sharpens your intelligence.
“Reason is intelligence taking exercise. Imagination is intelligence with an erection.”
― Victor Hugo
3. Imagination is a way to filter your best thoughts and ideas.
“The creative act is a letting down of the net of human imagination into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended, and the attempt to bring out of it ideas.
It is the night sea journey, the lone fisherman on a tropical sea with his nets, and you let these nets down — sometimes, something tears through them that leaves them in shreds and you just row for shore, and put your head under your bed and pray.
At other times what slips through are the minutiae, the minnows of this ichthyological metaphor of idea chasing.
But, sometimes, you can actually bring home something that is food, food for the human community that we can sustain ourselves on and go forward.”
― Terence McKenna
4. Your imagination is your other, hidden half.
“It is said that you can’t write without a reader. The opposite holds true as well; you can’t read without a writer. But if as a single, creative person you are one and the same, then, well…..problem solved! Great writing is born from that which we personally long to read.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich
“Some minds corrode and grow inactive under the loss of personal liberty; others grow morbid and irritable, but it is the nature of the poet to become tender and imaginative in the loneliness of confinement. He banquets upon the honey of his own thoughts, and, like the captive bird, pours forth his soul in melody.”
― Washington Irving, The Sketch Book
“You know, they ask me if I were on a desert island and I knew nobody would ever see what I wrote, would I go on writing. My answer is most emphatically yes. I would go on writing for company. Because I’m creating an imaginary — it’s always imaginary — a world in which I would like to live.
(Interview, The Paris Review)”
― William S. Burroughs
“Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.”
― Francis Bacon
5. Your imagination is what makes you uniquely you.
“I believe that the imagination is the passport we create to take us into the real world. I believe the imagination is another phrase for what is most uniquely us.”
― John Guare, Six Degrees of Separation
“We can only know what we can truly imagine. Finally what we see comes from ourselves.”
― Marge Piercy, Woman on the Edge of Time
6. Your imagination is your mystery.
“Suspense is like a woman. The more left to the imagination, the more the excitement. … The conventional big-bosomed blonde is not mysterious. And what could be more obvious than the old black velvet and pearls type? The perfect ‘woman of mystery’ is one who is blonde, subtle, and Nordic. … Although I do not profess to be an authority on women, I fear that the perfect title [for a movie], like the perfect woman, is difficult to find.”
― Alfred Hitchcock
“Alas, everything that men say to one another is alike; the ideas they exchange are almost always the same, in their conversation. But inside all those isolated machines, what hidden recesses, what secret compartments! It is an entire world that each one carries within him, an unknown world that is born and dies in silence! What solitudes all these human bodies are!”
― Alfred De Musset, Fantasio
7. Your imagination is your fortitude.
“Those who make us believe that anything’s possible and fire our imagination over the long haul, are often the ones who have survived the bleakest of circumstances. The men and women who have every reason to despair, but don’t, may have the most to teach us, not only about how to hold true to our beliefs but about how such a life can bring about seemingly impossible social change. ”
― Paul Rogat Loeb, The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen’s Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear
8. Your imagination is your opportunity scout.
“I have a habit of letting my imagination run away from me. It always comes back though . . . drenched with possibilities.”
― Valaida Fullwood
“Get to work. Your work is to keep cranking the flywheel that turns the gears that spin the belt in the engine of belief that keeps you and your desk in midair.”
― Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
“The possible’s slow fuse is lit by the Imagination.”
― Emily Dickinson
9. Your imagination is your legacy.
“Rows and rows of books lined the shelves and I let my eyes linger on the sturdy spines, thinking how human books were, so full of ideas and images, worlds imagined, worlds perceived; full of fingerprints and sudden laughter and the sighs of readers, too. It was humbling to consider all these authors, struggling with this word or that phrase, recording their thoughts for people they’d never meet.”
― Kim Edwards, The Lake of Dreams
10. Your imagination is your tenacity.
“The writer must have a good imagination, to begin with, but the imagination has to be muscular, which means it must be exercised in a disciplined way, day in and day out, by writing, failing, succeeding and revising.”
[The Writer’s Digest Interview: Stephen King & Jerry B. Jenkins (Jessica Strawser, Writer’s Digest, May/June 2009)]”
― Stephen King
“Writing a novel is not merely going on a shopping expedition across the border to an unreal land: it is hours and years spent in the factories, the streets, the cathedrals of the imagination. ”
― Janet Frame
11. Your imagination is your detached way to coexist with reality.
“Reality can be entered through the main door or it can be slipped into through a window, which is much more fun.”
― Gianni Rodari, The Grammar of Fantasy: An Introduction to the Art of Inventing Stories
“And people who don’t dream, who don’t have any kind of imaginative life, they must… they must go nuts. I can’t imagine that.”
― Stephen King
12. Your imagination is a nursery of experiences that you plan to have.
Where you plant ideas and dreams as seeds and saplings in your mind and nurture them to maturity.
“Up goes the rocket. Its golden grain falls, fertilizing, upon the rich soil of my imagination.”
― Virginia Woolf, The Waves
“My imagination is a monastery, and I am its monk”
― John Keats
13. Your imagination is your first reality. That you subsequently realize.
“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it, we go nowhere.”
― Carl Sagan
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
― Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
“The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope.”
― Henry Ward Beecher
“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night
“Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.”
― Ray Bradbury
“Adventure is not outside man; it is within.”
― George Eliot
14. Imagination is your compassion.
“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and, therefore, the foundation of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared. Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people’s minds, imagine themselves into other people’s places.”
― J.K. Rowling
“There, Master Niketas,’ Baudolino said, ‘when I was not prey to the temptations of this world, I devoted my nights to imagining other worlds. A bit with the help of wine, and a bit with that of the green honey. There is nothing better than imagining other worlds,’ he said, ‘to forget the painful one we live in. At least so I thought then. I hadn’t yet realized that imagining other worlds, you end up changing this one.”
― Umberto Eco, Baudolino
15. Your imagination is your hope.
“Live out of your imagination, not your history.”
― Stephen Covey
“my imagination persisted in sticking horrors into the dark- so I stuck my imagination into the dark instead, and let it look out at me.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
16. Your imagination is your innocence that lives on until the end.
“When I was small, I never wanted to step in puddles. Not because of any fear of drowned worms or wet stockings; I was by and large a grubby child, with a blissful disregard for the filth of any kind.
It was because I couldn’t bring myself to believe that that perfect smooth expanse was no more than a thin film of water over solid earth. I believed it was an opening into some fathomless space. Sometimes, seeing the tiny ripples caused by my approach, I thought the puddle impossibly deep, a bottomless sea in which the lazy coil of a tentacle and gleam of scale lay hidden, with the threat of huge bodies and sharp teeth adrift and silent in the far-down depths.
And then, looking down into reflection, I would see my own round face and frizzled hair against a featureless blue sweep, and think instead that the puddle was the entrance to another sky. If I stepped in there, I would drop at once, and keep on falling, on and on, into blue space.
The only time I would dare walk through a puddle was at twilight when the evening stars came out. If I looked in the water and saw one lighted pinprick there, I could slash through unafraid — for if I should fall into the puddle and on into space, I could grab hold of the star as I passed, and be safe.
Even now, when I see a puddle in my path, my mind half-halts — though my feet do not — then hurries on, with only the echo of the thought left behind.
What if, this time, you fall?”
― Diana Gabaldon, Voyager
17. Your imagination is how you manifest your reality.
“There is the strange power we have of changing facts by the force of the imagination.”
― Virginia Woolf, The Common Reader
Imagination is one of my treasured values. It was wonderful to see her worshipped and adored by so many great minds. I hope you treasure her at the core of your life.