The past is a place of reference, not a residence

“The past is a place of reference, not a residence. The past is a place of learning, not a place of living.”

—Roy T. Bennett, Late Author of The Light in the Heart

Image from Unsplash by Shantung Kulkarni

Our minds are marvelous. In a split second we can use our imagination to go anywhere and do anything.

By working at the speed of light and beyond, we can use mental worm holes and folds in spacetime to explore our limitless inner and outer worlds.

Another handy trick is our ability to go back in time or into the future whenever we wish.

Although daydreaming about the future and how our life may unfold is common, trips down memory lane seem to be even more prominent, since these roads have already been traveled.

Unfortunately, all this mental leaping can have us miss the very moments that make up these memories we hope to reflect upon down the road.


How much of your life do you spend residing in the past?

What lessons have you learned to make sure you prioritize opening the gifts of the present?

If you fall in love with the imagination, you understand

“If you fall in love with the imagination, you understand that it is a free spirit. It will go anywhere, and it can do anything.”

Alice Walker, American writer and social activist

Image from Unsplash by Michelle Cassar

Imagine that you are a new Marvel superhero that can do anything and go anywhere in an instant.

What special powers would you demonstrate and how would you share them with your communities and the world?

How did this journey into your imagination feel? To what degree did your notice a new level of freedom and a lifting up of your spirits?

How did you feel when you shifted back from your right brain to your left to get on with your day?

In what ways might you have experienced a bit of heaviness from your current responsibilities and obligations?


Make some time today to exercise your imagination.

What could you do and where might you go as this practice spills over into some of your typical daily activities?

“This world is but a canvas to our imaginations.”

“This world is but a canvas to our imaginations.”

—Henry David Thoreau, 19th Century American naturalist, essayist, poet, and philosopher

Image from Amazon

Thoreau lived for two years, two months, and two days by Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.

His writing about his time there became a model of deliberate and ethical living. His words and deeds continue to inspire millions around the world who seek solutions to critical environmental and social challenges.

Gandhi’s work in India, Tolstoy’s philosophies in Russia, and Martin Luther King Jr’s civil rights stand in the United States are just a few notable individuals inspired by his work.


How and where in your personal and professional communities can and will you embrace and generously offer your own imaginings to create a more beautiful world?

“One day I would like to turn on the news and hear, There’s Peace on Earth.”

“One day I would like to turn on the news and hear, There’s Peace on Earth.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Dimitry Anikin

John Lennon’s “Imagine” is one of his best written and most powerful songs. Consider and contemplate the lyrics relative to today’s quote:

Imagine there’s no heaven / It’s easy if you try / No hell below us / Above us, only sky / Imagine all the people / Livin’ for today…

Imagine there’s no countries / It isn’t hard to do / Nothing to kill or die for / And no religion, too / Imagine all the people / Livin’ life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer / But I’m not the only one / I hope someday you’ll join us / And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions / I wonder if you can / No need for greed or hunger / A brotherhood of man / Imagine all the people / Sharing all the world…

You may say I’m a dreamer / But I’m not the only one / I hope someday you’ll join us / And the world will live as one.


What peaceful thoughts and actions can and will you bring into your world today? How can and will you influence others in your communities to join us so the world will live as one. 

CLICK HERE to see the video and hear the song.

“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

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

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

image from

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?