Imagination is Like a Muscle
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I was on Twitter the other day and saw a post by a Twitter Friend, who's also a Hypnotist and NLP practitioner here in Dallas, that I follow, 's name is Darren Hiller, who posted a quote that got me to thinking:
“Imagination is like a muscle. If it is not exercised, it atrophies.” Neil Gaiman said that.
Now, I always like to look up the person who is quoted. A person that is worth quoting is something special on this planet out of the 20 Billion souls that walked it.
Neil Gaiman is a Brit that writes short fiction, novels, comic books, radio theater, screenwriter. He's the author of The Sandman book series and has won awards like the Hugo and the Nebula. What I really found cool about him is that he was inspired by C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, Tolkien, Shelley. And I think he should try to audition for the next Dr. Who.
So,...my comment back to Darren was, “Well said brother. Too many people passively watch the imagination of others just like they watch sports...on TV. Feed your starving imagination with books.”
And I find this true with a lot of our clients. Since 80% of the information from the things and happenings around you, comes to you through your eyes, and when we close our eyes, it's been said that we are 80% in a trance with just our sight sense gone, then you'd think that 80% of people would primarily be visually oriented.
While we're doing the initial interview with a client, we give them what we call a VAK Test. That's V-A-K, VAK, which stands for Visual, Auditory, or Kinesthetic. People will process information in different ways. A visual person will say things like, “Oh, I see what you mean.” An auditory person will say something like, “I hear ya' loud and clear, man,” and a Kinesthetic person will say something like, “I feel ya', brother.”
If you try to get a person who is primarily an Auditory or Kinesthetic person to “visualize” something or relate to them conversationally in visual ideas or verbs and adverbs, they might lose interest or not even understand the concept you're trying to get across, especially under hypnosis.
Anyway, I've noticed a rise in the number of people taking our VAK Test who are NOT primarily visually oriented. And Darren's tweet jogged my thinking about an answer as to why less and less people are good at visualizing or picturing things in their mind's eye.
I believe it's because TV and Movies have come to substitute more and more for peoples' visualizations, peoples' imagination.
Just like in our modern age, we have gotten physically weaker and weaker because of machine transportation, like trains, planes, automobiles and elevators; our imaginations, our ability to pretend, picture, or visualize has been weakened by movies, TV, Youtube, and the like.
My remedy? Books. Those long forgotten tomes. Books. If Oprah Winfrey is remembered for nothing else, the single greatest thing for our country that she ever did was start her Book Club. You can get all sorts of books to download for free as pdf's by just entering the name of the book and putting pdf after the title. You can store hundreds of books in your phone as pdf's. I like to use adobe's acrobat reader app. Books re-awaken the visual muscles in our brains. Great exercise for the mind's eye
Another remedy is radio theater. Look up Old Time Radio, or OTR online or on Youtube and listen to some of these audio dramas and comedies. Just like prime-time TV, there was prime-time radio shows from the 30s to the 70s. It uses your ears to paint movies in your mind.
Audio books. You can listen for free on Youtube. Heck, look up Neil Gaiman on Youtube, his “Odd and the Frost Giants” and “The Graveyard Books” come right up.
And, of course, sit back, relax, take a deep breath, and picture yourself in the house of your dreams, on the vacation of your dreams, pretend you are there in person. Day by day, you'll get better and better doing this and who knows, may be the home of your dreams will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.