What Does Your Child Imagine for this Life? – David Benzel

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What Does Your Child Imagine for this Life?

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As far as we know, human beings are the only mammals in the kingdom with an imagination. It makes us pretty unique. We have the ability to “see” something before it actually exists. We can imagine a light bulb before it’s invented, or even a lunar landing module, or an iPhone. Those things are invented…because someone believed it in their mind so the rest of us could see it with our eyes.

We can also imagine situations and circumstances before they exist. We can “see” in the theater of our minds things like triumph or defeat; being included or being excluded; behaving confidently or behaving fearfully. We’re capable of imaging almost any scenario, positive or negative. The manifestation of each scenario into a reality is just as likely, or more so, than the light bulb, lunar landing module, or the iPhone. Do our children realize the power of the brain, or that their imagination is within their control?

The human brain is a powerful tool due to its complexity and billions of connections (synopses), allowing thousands of thoughts per day at lightning speed. The good news is that we are the directors and producers of the movies we run in our head, even if it doesn’t seem that way sometimes. The part your child might not understand is that the sub-conscious mind does not evaluate the imagined scenarios as good or bad, healthy or unhealthy…it just accepts the movie scene and looks for ways to turn that fantasy into fact.

It’s a fact that in the absence of a positive desire, aspiration, or goal, the mind tends to imagine negative outcomes based on fears.  The question is, do your children assume there’s no harm in dwelling on the negative or forecasting doom? Are they privately building a thought-life around negativity or “awfulizing?” — the downward spiral of thoughts in which one awful event always leads to a worse awful event, on and on! The bad news, and the good news, is synopses that fire together stay together, thus developing patterns of thinking for all occasions.

To inspire your children to make better choices with their built-in-movie theater, ask them to imagine the kind of thinking that must go on in the minds of people who invent things, or discover medical and technological breakthroughs, or who win academic and athletic scholarships. Thomas Troward once said, “The law of floatation was not discovered by the contemplation of the sinking of things.”  If our kids understood the power of the brain, they would never allow themselves a negative thought. It’s our responsibility as parents to encourage our children to imagine progress in sports for themselves; to imagine healthy friendships; to picture a completed project or a successful final exam.  They are capable of choosing a mental image of what self-discipline, patience, or forgiveness looks like before they are called upon to deliver it.  Challenge your children to visualize what performing under pressure would feel like, sound like, and look like. Given the choice – which we all have – why would we ever imagine anything but victory for ourselves?  “As a man thinketh, so he is.” – Solomon                                         

Bonus Video Feature:

To Push or Not to Push 

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Please click here to watch To Push or Not to Push and complete your weekly Game Plan page so you can develop the skills for creating a natural learning environment.

 

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