The ‘Scrap’ Project: To Imagine is Everything

Handmade Paper Scraps & Ink – Words: Albert Einstein

This is piece number three from my ‘Scrap Project’. I wanted to create a mat that split complimentary colors together somehow. It is hard to tell from this photo that the colors are pink and purple. The text inside the mat is bright pink and the quote is solid black. I had fun with this one shifting the lines into two different directions. When I had it done I thought it was missing something so I added the ink splotches which are actually purple.

I find it quite perfect that a man like Albert Einstein would believe that knowing is nothing, to imagine is everything! Before he knew he had to believe, imagine and dream about his formulations. He had to imagine what was possible then work to pull it into reality. I think that is true for all great ideas. They have to be imagined first then pulled into this mortal world.

I was managing a team of people and we had a problem. I gave them time to share ANY idea no matter the budget, the context, whether we knew how to do it or not, or if even they thought it was possible. We put them all on a white board then went through each idea one by one. We ended up with more than ten options. I gave them two weeks to pick at them then we would meet again to determine which way we wanted to progress. After all that more ideas came along, better ideas, strong suggestions. We ended up with a brilliant solution that they were very excited to get moving forward. From that point forward I never had a problem getting them to bring solutions to the table. All I had to do was throw down the challenge and off they went.

I find it frustrating when people kill an idea because they cannot imagine it as a possibility. Nothing existed without someone thinking it first, imagining it and then working to make it possible. When we shoot down an idea we are showing not just power and control issues, we are demonstrating the narrow thought processes we ourselves live within. If no new ideas come along, if we can’t muster the thought of supporting an idea we did not invent, or if we stifle the creativity of those around us…then where are the new and world transforming ideas supposed to come from? For things to get better things have to change, and imagination is the first stop along that path. The more we allow people to imagine the more a thing – anything – is possible.

Next time someone asks for ideas, throw them out and see what happens. If your idea gets shot down, write it down because maybe this is not the audience for that idea. They may think they ‘know’, but as Albert said, knowing is nothing. To imagine is everything!

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