“Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
After completing the ‘Sexy Simplicity’ article back in August 2017, a number of readers and friends fed back to me some of their experiences after applying the idea of a ‘simplicity mind-set’. What became clear to many is that simplicity is not as simple to work with as we would think.
I think there is a good reason for this. Albert’s quote above knocks the nail on the head in that we are looking for simplicity but yet not too simple. You might ask how this is achieved and I can share that I believe it is to do with the idea that elegant solutions are where we strike the right balance between complexity and simplicity. We see this in Albert’s own life where he worked hard by day yet also seen that it was when sleeping that his imagination would experience the freedom required to break through from the world of probability to the world of possibility where new ideas are born. His revolutionary theory of relativity came to him in a dream.
If we look at more a waking state where we get to have the imagination be more active, we can see that the dynamics of a fantasy mind set can assist us.
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”
Imagination – Friend or Foe
The human imagination can be said to be the source of every solution known to man. The flip side of the imagination is that it can also get a person into lots of trouble. This might for many people take them back to experiences in life. An obvious one for me was in the school classroom when being told off for daydreaming instead of getting on with classwork. This was a pretty regular occurrence for me.
What we can see that the imagination mechanism is working in the background as part of our daily lives to a high degree automatically. Whenever you go grocery shopping, you are probably not very aware that you will only buy what you area already picturing being able to enjoyably eat and drink. You might even be imagining yourself preparing and cooking food where required. It happens in the mind so quickly and slickly that you might only become aware when for example you see something new that is a bit of a change for you. I bought some herbs and spices recently after I recalled seeing a chef on TV make up a great salad dressing. As I was selecting the items from the shelves to my basket, I was to a degree going through the steps in my kitchen of preparing the dressing. I even imagined at one point dipping my finger into the sauce and tasting it to check if it needed anything else adding. You will be doing similar things with your mind each and every day whether you are consciously aware of it or not.
Being intrigued by novel ideas, inventions and technical advancements, I am also intrigued by a compartment of the imagination that could be termed ‘The Fantasy Theatre’. The reason for this is that if I ask you to imagine something, it will have an effect, if however I ask you to fantasise about something, it is more likely to feel like you have been given permission to be even more imaginative.
When George Lucas brought Star Wars to the movie theatre, he did something very clever. He started with the dialogue on the big screen ‘A long time ago in a Galaxy far, far away…..’. What this allowed was the minds of the audience set aside their adult mind sets and engage into a childlike state of possibility. The permission and ability to distance themselves from reality allowed them to enjoy the movie even more.
Between the adult mind-set and the childlike state, we also have the adolescence stage. This one tends to get a bit of a bad rap as it seems to be associated with the confusion and less than positive aspects that exist between childhood and adulthood when hormone production is difficult to manage and predict. My hope is that by the end of this three part article, you will see the mind-set of the child, adolescent and adult as all having their useful place. When each is applied well, the imagination works for us, when not, you better get ready to manage the consequences.
As already noted, the fantasy mind set could be described as an extension of the imagination. If a fantasy mind set is applied well, it can bring a person a lot of assistance in terms of great ideas. The trick is to understand the difference between delusion and creation as both can utilise the imagination and there exists a very fine line between them. This brought me to asking the following question:
“How can I make for fantasies that both give me permission to think outside of what has been true up to now… and… also allow me to integrate my imagination to make for a more compelling future?”
This question could be useful to help us distinguish between what we just want to only entertain in our imagination and what we truly want to experience in the outside world.
So, how can a person work with their imagination such that they can make for a way of leveraging their mind and the power of possibility over probability? What we can see is that ultimately, we all seek the following in our lives:
- Happiness – we want to feel good about ourselves.
- Success – we want to feel that we have the abilities to make good things happen.
- Freedom – we want to feel free from external constraints that can limit us.
What will discover is that in reality, we seek one or more of these three items whenever we fantasise. Ideally… all three.
Fundamentals of a Fantasy…
Now we will take a step further into an area of life that is rarely discussed. Even the word ‘fantasy’ can bring to mind all kinds of connotations that are so often sexual or sensual in nature that they will so often not be voiced or discussed. The word ‘fantasy’ originated back in 1275-1325 and in Middle English was ‘fantasie’ meaning ‘mental image’.
What we can say is that whatever a person creates a mental image off and holds in mind is an indication to the subconscious mind of what we want it to apply our resources to and make come about. It can therefore be said to be a ‘form of rehearsal’.
What we will do is look at fantasies in such a way that you can then take a measure of control over what you would like to experience more of in your life.
This could be anything from a dream vacation, a new identity that can come with changing a job or even a new hobby that you have held back from indulging yourself in. Off course, if you would like to venture more into the privacy of your own mind, a place where you can feel totally free of constraints, you can also feel free to think about the things that you would like to try on that are more of a sensual nature. You have the freedom to find a formula where you can have a way to allow yourself to take what started as just an idea, an image growing clearer, to become a living breathing pulsating reality. We are sexual and sensual beings after all.
As a side-note, My Secret Garden by Nancy Friday shares some dynamics about female fantasies that might challenge the idea that the feminine is based on ‘sugar and spice and all things nice’. Most men will be quite surprised and even shocked by the power and vivid nature of the female imagination when given permission to break free from cultural constraints and let loose.
Ok, now back to your imagination. The privacy of your mind can be extended to the privacy behind a closed bedroom door (or beyond) by finding a formula that is so unique that it is known only to yourself as you will soon discover.
The Tester DVD concept…
The analogy I would like to introduce is the ‘Tester DVD’ concept. I had a friend that wanted to go somewhere quite exotic for a vacation a few years back. She had heard of Antigua but didn’t really know enough about it. What she discovered was one travel company provided DVD’s with lots of footage of some of the key sights and sounds she could expect to experience. Not so much that it would take away anything from a person’s experience of the adventure, just enough so they get a feel for whether it is right for them. This is in no way a guarantee that if you followed this idea that you will be happy with the purchase of your vacation but it cuts out a lot of the potential for regrets.
Now consider what if you had the ability to do this in life such that you could find a way to distinguish between the fantasies that are for entertainment purposes only in your own mind and those that you would like to bring to real life? What could that be worth to you?
When discussing the DVD idea with my friend, I asked her a question out of curiosity:
“If you had complete freedom to order up a DVD for something you might desire, something that you might not even want to tell you best friend you secretly longed for… what might that be?”
I was quite taken aback when she immediately responded with ‘Ideal Lover’. This was with zero hesitation. This then stirred up a further question as my intrigue kicked in:
If I were to ask you… what is it about you… what three personal qualities would bring this Ideal Lover to you… what might you say?
This focused her imagination is a way that she seen that her imagination could start piecing together a formula. She could use this for any area of life not just her love life or vacations.
- The human imagination can be useful or detrimental, it is a very fine line between the two.
- A ‘Tester DVD’ is an idea where we get to use our imagination to insert ourselves into a potential future reality to ‘test the water’ so to speak.
- Discovering an Ideal Lover whether it be another person or just what brings out the best in yourself is maybe something you would like to indulge your imagination into?
In Part 2, we will look at the idea of a fantasy from the perspective of a formula to allow you to take a step towards a more compelling future…