Tiffany Shlain

Imagination Is

Imagination is riding on a big bicycle of thought in a wide-open terrain not knowing where you’ll go…

Imagination is being open to inspiration derived from both the intricate color pattern on a small mushroom or the vast oceans of clouds you see from an airplane window.  

Imagination is brainstorming in real time: wait — the vision of a “storm in the brain” is not the weather pattern I’m thinking of; perhaps it’s more a beautiful spring day with a slight breeze where you follow the scent of blooming thought flowers to see where they take you; a brain breeze that floats you to new places.

Imagination is creating a new word or phrase, if nothing quite conveys what you want to say.

Imagination is listening to other people’s experiences knowing they will expand your understanding of what can be.

Imagination is carving out space and time to think by yourself by turning off all screens, giving your mind freedom to roam and explore without being so influenced by what everyone else thinks or says.

Imagination is contradiction.

Imagination is knowing and valuing your own unique experiences and understanding that your individual perspective is always important because it is unlike anyone else’s.

Imagination is the kaleidoscope of patterns that you glean from having read, seen, lived many different things.

Imagination is knowing that out of the 30,000 thoughts you have each day, some will take you to fantastic unknown places, and interesting things will happen if you follow them.

Imagination is getting a ticket to ride on the what-if roller coaster of ideas.

Imagination is possibility.

Tiffany Shlain is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, Emmy-nominated filmmaker, speaker, founder of the Webby Awards, and author of the bestselling 24/6: Giving up Screens One Day a Week to Get More Time, Creativity, and Connection (winner of the Marshall McLuhan Outstanding Book Award), whose work explores the relationship between humanity and technology, the future of work, digital wellbeing and happiness, gender and women’s rights, and neuroscience and creativity.

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