“Worry is just imagination used in an unproductive way.”

“Worry is just imagination used in an unproductive way.”

—Andy Andrews, The Noticer

Image from Unsplash by Ethan Sykes

These days, many people have been pulled to the dark side of imagination. Instead of using our wonderful imagination for creative and positive purposes, we easily slip into worry.

Imagine you are a special kind of meteorologist. You can easily report on inclement weather and potential storms, but you can also change the forecast to sunnier skies with your power of positive intentions and optimism.


Where is your imagination causing you to worry about future events in unproductive ways?

How can and will you bring greater creativity and a positive bias to your thinking when you notice the clouds of worry headed your way?

Don’t be satisfied with stories

“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”

—Rumi, 13th-century Persian Sunni Muslim poet

Image of a woman watching TV and eating popcorn

Image from Unsplash by Jeshoots.com

One of my daily rituals is to read the Word of the Day provided by Merriam-Webster. You can subscribe by email at Merriam-Webster.com.

The word of the day on which I wrote this post was vicarious. It pertains to today’s quote in that we gain a particular experience in our imagination through the feeling and actions of another person.

Consider all the secondhand and surrogate experiences we take in through television, movies, sporting events, social media, and of course, good old gossip.

How does ingesting vicarious stories and experiences truly contribute positively to your world, beyond the distracting, entertainment value?


How and in what ways can and will you live, moving forward, to become far more of the main character of your own life story?

Reading gives us some place to go

“Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”

—Mason Cooley, Late American Aphorist

Image of a man reading at a bus stop

Photo by Laëtitia Buscaylet on Unsplash

My mother, Rose, was the most avid reader I’ve ever known. As a boy, I would frequently go with her to the library where, every three weeks, she would pick a new batch of 12 books. She devoured them every evening after dinner.

I recall her frustration on one occasion, in that she could not find, in our small local library, enough books of interest that she had not already read.

Although she was never a world traveler or college graduate, she took countless trips with her vivid imagination – wherever her written portals to adventure would take her.


Consider visiting your local library or bookstore to pick up a book that will take you on a great adventure, from the comfort of your favorite chair.

Misuse of Imagination

“Worry is a misuse of the imagination.”

-Dan Zadra, Founder/Editorial Director of Compendium, Inc.

Image of entrance to Imagination Pavilion

Image from WDWlive

IMAGINATION is a pavilion on the western side of Epcot’s “Future World.”

At one time, a playful purple dragon named Figment was the IMAGINATION host, taking visitors on a happy and whimsical ride.

What if there were a “Worry Pavilion”? What would you name the host character?  What might the ride through that pavilion entail?  Unfortunately, many of us take a ride through the Worry Pavilion every day, living lives that are anything but whimsical.


How can and will you channel your imagination muscle to have a far more joyful ride?

“Never judge a book by its movie.”

“Never judge a book by its movie.”

—Don DeLillo, American novelist

image from icezen.com

image from icezen.com

Reading a book takes effort. Watching a movie, not so much. More often than not, many if not most movies fall short of their books.

Tens or hundreds of millions of dollars are invested in movies based on books because the characters and stories amaze readers. It is in these stories and characters that our visions of these works of art are envisioned and portrayed by producers and directors. Unfortunately, even with brilliant actors and special effects, the images on screen rarely capture what our own creativity and imagination can create from the words of a masterful storyteller.

Books allow us to pace ourselves and literally savor each bit of dialogue or image painted, if we choose to do the work the writer intended. Phrases like “I couldn’t put it down,” or “page turner” are familiar to all of us who have been fortunate to get our hands on great books.

These works also tend to have a lasting impact in that their messages and images penetrate deeply, due to the active role the reader must play.

Perhaps a picture does not always paint 1,000 words, and the words found in books allow us to paint more masterful pictures in our hearts and minds.


Consider reading the book upon which a current film has been made, either before or after attending a screening.

Determine which you enjoyed the most, or felt had the greatest impact.

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”

“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”

– Thomas Edison, inventor

471Image from Flickr by Marion Doss.

Whenever I think of the term “invention”, “innovation” or “imagination”, Thomas Edison comes to mind. During his life, over 1,000 patents were attributed to him.

But what about us? I personally do not hold a single patent. On the other hand, if there is validity to his quote and we can martial our imaginations as he suggests, perhaps there is hope for all of us to be future inventors.


Consider using a word such as “resources”, “assets” or even “belongings” in place of the word “junk”.

How could you apply, combine, blend or piece together these items with a healthy helping of imagination to bring something new and valuable into your world?

“Every human has four endowments – self-awareness, conscience, independent will, and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom … The power to choose, to respond, to change.”

“Every human has four endowments – self-awareness, conscience, independent will, and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom … The power to choose, to respond, to change.”

– Stephen Covey, self-help author

Last year, we all lost a legend in the personal development world in Stephen Covey. Among his many accomplishments, he was recognized as one of Time Magazine’s “25 Most Influential Americans.”

He dedicated his life to demonstrating how every person can truly control and influence their own destiny – and the quote above sums it up pretty well.


How are you currently doing in your personal mastery journey to improve your self-awareness conscience, independent will, and creative imagination, to maximize your power to choose, respond, and change?

“Imagination is a quality given to man to compensate him for what he is not and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.”

“Imagination is a quality given to man to compensate him for what he is not and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.”

– Oscar Wilde, writer and poet

The development of self-awareness and the ability to adapt to life’s circumstances are critical skills developed and enhanced during a coaching relationship.

Quite often, I discover many people I work with have strong “inner critics” and tend to emphasize their own perceived shortcomings. At the same time, many of these same individuals take themselves and life far too seriously, which often diminishes their pleasure and enjoyment of life.


Try on “Wilde coaching” by exercising both your imagination and sense of humor to bring greater fulfillment and satisfaction to your days.

Let your friends, mentors and coaches in your life know that you intend to make these efforts so that they can help you improve your likelihood of success.