I felt tears starting to well up and a lump in my throat. What I heard was beautiful and inspiring. I’d been listening to the children’s 500 words competition on BBC Radio 2. If you’ve never heard of this, it’s a writing competition for children 13 years or younger, and their work has to be a fictional story of 500 words or fewer. The standard of writing is mind blowing, and their imagination excites me beyond belief.
I love this competition for many reasons, particularly hearing the creativity that is in abundant supply in our future generation.
Today, I felt more emotional than in previous years because it reminded me of how important our imagination is. It’s your imagination that’s the starting point of building the life you want. First, what you desire is created in your imagination; then, it’s created again in your physical world. Your imagination creates your vision for the future. Your imagination is the starting point for setting goals.
Before lockdown, I’d created my vision of what I wanted to achieve this year, how I wanted to feel, how I wanted to show up, and how I wanted my life to be. And each week, I took steps to achieve what I desired.
Then lockdown happened. As well as being locked up in our home, my vision became locked away too; this was completely natural. Under threat, the human response is to focus on the immediate situation and getting through it. And sometimes, this involves retreating and hiding to feel safe. All plans and dreams are put on hold while all energy goes into the here and now and doing what needs to be done to get by.
With all the doom and gloom in the news, it’s easy for your energy to go down, and you end up in a daily battle with internal fears in your mind. What’s more, when you dare to imagine something different from where you’re at right now, you can feel guilty of wanting more when there’s so much suffering. However, the human soul wants to evolve. The moment you start seeing beyond the end of the day and imagine a brighter future, your energy lifts. As you rise, your energy creates a ripple effect to all around you.
There comes the point where your vision and goals need to be resurrected; otherwise, you’ll stay stuck. Your life will be continually on hold. You start saying things like ”When this is over’. And you enter a waiting room of life, not knowing when your name is going to be called—waiting and waiting. But what if you need to be the person who calls your name? Who says, you’re up now? It is your time.
When you’ve been focusing on ‘getting by,’ all your energy is going to the same place, and you don’t take action needed to move forward. What’s more, when you’ve parked your vision for so long, you don’t even recall what you desire. Your emotions feel so jumbled. It’s about tuning in and deciding if you feel you need to stay in hibernation mode and if that’s serving you right now or if it’s time to step out and begin taking action to build your vision again. Begin asking yourself questions: what do I desire? What needs to happen to take steps towards it? What emotions and mindset shifts do I need to make, so I fire up my imagination like the children who entered writing competition? Or flip the questions round, is feeling and staying where I am serving me?
When Chris Evans came up with the idea for 500 words ten years ago, he had no idea that it would evolve into such a huge annual event. Chris said, ‘I just planted the seed.’ He did much more than that; he watered and tended to this seed, which allowed it to grow into the fantastic event that it has become. He didn’t know ‘how’ it was all going to pan out when he took the first steps to start the competition, but he did take them.
When you begin to fire up your imagination so that it works for you rather than against you, the next step will unfold. And then the next. And the next.
I’ve gone back to my vision to see if I want to keep it the same as before lockdown or if it’s changed. I’m not scaling it back, writing it off, or waiting for permission to go after what I desire. Perhaps it will take longer to achieve, maybe not. There is much uncertainty, and I may have to do things differently, but I’ll keep taking action, fueled by my imagination of how I desire life to be and what work I’m guided to do. In a short period, life changed dramatically for all of us, which is a reminder to go live your life without wasting time staying stuck, continually waiting for the right moment.