Everything that is new or uncommon raises a pleasure in the imagination, because it fills the soul with an agreeable surprise, gratifies its curiosity, and gives it an idea of which it was not before possessed.
— Joseph Addison
Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of the imagination.
—John Dewey, The Quest For Certainty
We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we create the world.
— The Buddha, The Dammapada
Fortunately, somewhere between chance and mystery lies imagination, the only thing that protects our freedom, despite the fact that people keep trying to reduce it or kill it off altogether.
— Luis Bunuel (1900-1983) Mexican film director
Don’t fake it till you make it. Fake it till you become it.
To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.
The mere formulation of a problem is far more often essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.
— Albert Einstein
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
What is possible in art becomes thinkable in life.
Our imagination is stretched to the utmost, not, as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend those things which ‘are’ there.
We learn to work creatively by confronting real problems that matter to us personally. This a profound truth expressed throughout the vast literature on creativity. We can help in many ways, but we cannot supply the imagination that humans are born with (but that their families and teachers traditionally suppress).
— Lee Gass PhD
Microsoft is a company that manages imagination.
— Bill Gates
Reason can answer questions, but imagination has to ask them.
Held in the palms of thousands of disgruntled people over the centuries have been ideas worth millions – if they only had taken the first step and then followed through.
—Robert M. Hayes
Greater than the tread of mighty armies is an idea whose time has come.
Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations. If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won’t exist because you’ll have already shut it out… You can hear other people’s wisdom, but you’ve got to re-evaluate the world for yourself. —Mae C. Jemison, engineer, physician, and astronaut, on thinking for yourself. Source: Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, November 2009
Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief is more powerful in the mature than in the young.
—W. Somerset Maugham
Improvisation frees us from being perfect, being in control, thinking ahead, and second guessing. It can feel like jumping into the abyss at first, but once you jump, fear turns into excitement, and your imagination kicks in.
—Linda Naiman (on Improv in business) (Fast Company Magazine Oct 2005)
Daydreams are fertile ground for the imagination to soar. As you sit absorbed in a problem, notice when you get lost in a day dream. What were you just thinking of? Your unconscious is a rich source of images, ideas and experiences that lead to new connections, and fresh thinking.
While daydreaming, rational thought goes out the window, so new perspectives can find their way in.
—Linda Naiman (Dynamic Graphics Magazine Dec/Jan 03)
We were punished for daydreaming in school. We were not taught to develop our creative imagination; we were taught to suppress it. It takes courage and perseverance to let go of control and trust our intuition.
—Linda Naiman, from Creativity and the Meaning of Work
Sometimes you have to make things up, to tell truths that alter outcomes. Without the power of the imagination we lack the power the power to alter outcomes, so if we can’t imagine better outcomes in a better world, we cannot act to achieve these.
—Ruth Ozeki (author, My Year of Meats)
The pioneering scientist must have a vivid intuitive imagination, for new ideas are not generated by deduction, but by artistically creative imagination.
— Max Planck, the father of quantum theory
Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not – and therefore the fount 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.
I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized, and I still had a daughter who I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
—J. K. Rowling
If you want to build a boat, do not instruct the men to saw wood, stitch the sails, prepare the tools and organize the work, but make them long for setting sail and travel to distant lands.
—Antoine De Saint-Exupéry
As founder of Creativity Work, I help executives and their teams develop creativity, innovation, and leadership skills via arts-based learning and design thinking.(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases on blog posts)