...to stop people from fantasizing is a very destructive thing indeed. - J. K. Rowling


…to stop people from fantasizing is a very destructive thing indeed. – J. K. Rowling

Do you take time out of your day to fantasize? If you do, judging by our busy culture, I’d say you’d be in the minority.

We’re never taught by our parents, school, or workplace to take some time to use our imagination. In fact, it’s probably a task that is looked down upon as wasteful, insignificant, and something that is only for children.

I’d like to challenge that mindset, and instead point towards the usefulness, power, and relevance of fantasizing and using our imagination – especially in the modern world where creative thinking differentiates our abilities from computational tasks.

Firstly, I’d like to punch back at accusations that claim that fantasizing will leave you broke. Take J. K. Rowling as an example. Her entire career is based on her ability to fantasize and create the amazing characters that many of us have enjoyed in the Harry Potter series. In fact, her ability to fantasize has earned a total revenue of $7.7 billion with an estimated 450 million Harry Potter books sold. That’s not even including the billions of dollars in revenue from the films and other ventures. Of course, there was a lot of work built around all of those projects, but it all originated, and was only possible, through the use of Rowling’s imagination. It all came from her mind.

Despite all of this, you might think you have me on the ropes by claiming that this is only applicable to fictional entertainment and that fantasizing is not applicable outside of the entertainment industry.

So let me come in with a right hook to the head of anyone without the sense to understand the power of imagination in advancing our scientific and philosophical understandings of the world. Take Einstein for example, and you know I’m really pulling the punches when I mention Einstein. Albert Einstein would often imagine how photons would interact with each other and use his intuitive imagination to first develop his theories.

We can gain some insight into how Einstein saw the universe when he said:

With all that being said, we need people to be able to conceptualize new possibilities and to create things from their own minds. Yet our culture lacks any kind of emphasis on these skills and abilities. This is why I am so passionate about defending the importance of fantasizing and exercising our imaginations – because it’s integral to our future.

By Jared Chan

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