In Week Eight of The Master Key System, Charles F. Haanel continues to work with cultivating your imagination — your creative imagination, to be precise. In doing so, he explained the difference between using one’s imagination and day-dreaming.
Day dreaming is a form of mental dissipation, while imagination is a form of constructive thought that must precede every constructive action.
In building your mental images — visualization or using the “constructive imagination” — you are seeing the things you want: how you want your business to look, the end result toward which you are working, the solution to a problem, the effect you ultimately want, the life that you want.
Day-dreaming entails none of that. It is entering a fantasy world that, for all practical purposes, cannot be. While sometimes the difference between the two are slight, they are differences based on the facts that one will eventually provide a blueprint for its attainment whilst the other will not.
In summation, Haanel stated that day-dreaming is bad: it’s wasteful, indulgent, and not a good thing to do.
I agree, but not totally. While working with some Master Key Mentoring clients, I have found that a little day-dreaming can be an effective way for a person to discover what it is they want to do as well as to put them in a “state” that encourages them to pursue a course of action (or stay on a course of action).
Regarding the latter, day-dreaming, as we all well know, is often relaxing and uplifting. Who doesn’t listen to a Rolling Stones‘ song and imagine themselves as Mick Jagger gyrating on the stage? (OK … Perhaps I’m the only one …) Who hasn’t imagined themselves at one time or another doing something ridiculously amazing — discovering the cure for cancer, being the ultimate titan of business, presenting a multi-million gift to the world — and receiving the adulations and praise that comes from it?
We all do at one time or another. It’s a human thing to do. It’s fun, relaxing, and at times it is energizing. It “pumps us up.”
It’s also dangerous. It is far too easy to get “trapped” in that fantasy world. Thus, instead of utilizing our constructive imagination — that “hard mental labor” to which Haanel often refers — we get seduced by the immediate gratification of our fantasy world.
That is not a good thing. So we must note and know the difference and realize that day-dreaming can be “addictive” to one degree or another and we must entertain those thoughts carefully.
I’ve also used day-dreaming to help Master Key Mentoring clients discover their “passions” and help devise some courses of action they should follow. It works like this:
When you day-dream, in what fantasies do you often find yourself?
Perhaps you can take those fantasies and, with a little mental work, begin using your constructive imagination to bring an aspect of them into reality.
You may not be a world-class singer or musician, but you can explore that path doing everything from local theater to management (working with the acts) to teaching.
You might not become the titan of industry that you see yourself as in your day-dream, but you can start a business — and it might even become a big one!
Use this method sparingly, though. If at all possible, use it only with the guidance of a Master Key Coach.
Now, why do you use the creative imagination? This has been answered in many ways before this, but Haanel wrote in Week Eight…
The cultivation of the imagination leads to the development of the ideal out of which your future will emerge.
In other words, you’re seeing the end you want in order to make the plans to accomplish and attain it.
We do this because
The ideal held steadily in mind attracts the necessary conditions for its fulfillment.
As Haanel has written, our thoughts lead to actions that attract the people and circumstances that lead to the attainment of our goal.