by Tom Hasker, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International
It was said that if his inventions were more commercial Nikola Tesla would have been more famous than the great Thomas Edison. Tesla worked in the early 1900s making amazing improvements to likes of electric motors, power transmissions, turbines and much more...
The most amazing thing about Tesla however was the power of his imagination. Tesla developed the ability to visualise his work in great detail and that allowed him to save vast amounts of time, money and effort in designing, testing and building his machines. He cultivated his ability to visualise complex rotating machinery, electric currents, magnetic fields and astoundingly, how all these things interact together - before he touched a piece of machinery!
Why is Imagination Important?
We all use our imaginations every day without even realising it. For example, when we plan a trip (like a holiday or even going to work) we imagine how we will get there, the route, the vehicles, the road or stations we will pass through as we travel etc. As Wayne Rooney and Jessica Ennis have shown us, our ability to see the pictures of what we want in our lives is so absolutely crucial to our success. How often are the images we see in our heads of what we don't want or of what could go wrong? Is it any wonder then that that is often what we experience?
Here's Tesla on his imagination...
“I soon discovered that my best comfort was attained if I simply went on in my vision further and further, getting new impressions all the time and so I began to travel; of course, in my mind. Every night (and sometimes during the day), when alone, I would start on my journeys – see new places, cities and countries; live there, meet people and make friendships and acquaintances…
This I did constantly until I was about seventeen, when my thoughts turned seriously to invention. Then I observed to my delight that I could visualize with the greatest facility. I need no models, drawings or experiments. I could picture them all as real in my mind… I do not rush into actual work. When I get an idea, I start at once building it up in my imagination. I change the construction, make improvements and operate the device in my mind. It is absolutely immaterial to me whether I run my turbine in thought or test it in my shop.”
We All Have the Power to Harness Our Imaginations
If Tesla can visualise complex machinery in his head, why can't we visualise what we want in life? There is nothing fundamentally different between someone like Tesla, Einstein, Branson, or any other legend and you. The only difference is how well any of us are able to discipline our minds and put the hard work and dedication in to achieve our goals, remember visualisation without action won't work! It worked for Jim Carrey, so why couldn't it work for you?
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