Failure To Imagine - How Your Life Can Improve With Awareness, Thoughtfulness & Action
A very interesting phrase resurfaced this week due to the recent events in Washington. This post has ZERO to do with politics, but I did want to capitalize (pun intended) on how these three simple words can transform your life if you open up your mind to the process.
This phrase has been around for several decades, but maybe the most memorable use was after the attacks of 9/11. One writer suggested that the 'success' of the enemy was not brought about by the breakdown of intelligence or coordination. Both of those things were available in abundance. Our collective downfall as a country was the failure to imagine such evil intentions and the extreme measures our adversaries would take to further their cause.
The phrase ‘failure to imagine’ was used again this week in an attempt to explain away lack of preparedness and a total inability to either read the writing on the wall (of social media) or the choice to ignore it.
How often do each of us do that in our daily lives? Are we guilty of being short-sighted and rob ourselves of the benefits of taking steps to improve our future selves? An article in Psychology Today talks about the trap some people believe themselves to be in. They live in a small orbit of family, friends, jobs, and can't envision a path forward from good to better.
It offers the idea that true fulfillment requires we need to "first imagine a life that transcends" our current vision. In other words, we need to embrace both short-term goals as well as long-term ones.
So how do all these lofty words and ideals translate into a better life for YOU?
It starts with intentional thoughtfulness. The ability to make informed choices and take deliberate action without an immediate reward. We live in an instant world. From microwaves to ATM machines, to Amazon Prime 2 day delivery, we have grown accustomed to having what we want (or think we want), right NOW!
And even though NOW is where we live, we should plan and prepare for the many nows that will hopefully come later. Think of it as your life's version of the decades' old candy:
You can (and should) enjoy your life now while still planning for the later.
Here are a few places to start.
Imagine A Healthier You
Sure, maybe your blood pressure, glucose levels, and ideal weight are spot on. Congrats!
Don't be fooled into believing that your food and exercise decisions today won't affect your overall health and wellness in the years to come. And you do want years to come.... right?
Even if you currently struggle with certain medical conditions, it is never too late to try and do better. Try to see past the immediate desire for a double cheeseburger and 'imagine' being around to play with your grandchildren or feeling up to a rousing game of golf or tennis in your retirement.
And be careful to heed the advice of your doctor. You should not put off taking medications or having preventative tests. Both of these can help you live a longer, healthier life.
Imagine Happier Relationships
The energy and passion of young love is the subject of many books, poems, and songs. What they fail to accurately represent is the hard work involved in maintaining that love.
It is all too easy to get caught up in what feels good now and what my needs are today. Being selfish is a common roadblock to a long-term love affair.
Nurture and commitment are the cornerstones of any successful relationship. Romantic or otherwise.
Forgiving and also being able to ask for forgiveness in return. The resolv