Craig Copeland


Imagine Greater

Why do I have both a category for creativity and a category for imagination? Aren’t they the same?  The best way to answer this is to state that both are part of the intuitive mindset. And because this entire system is about fostering and enhancing your intuitive genius, it’s important to teach you about both areas. And yes, they are different.

Creativity is a part of what we see every day in our lives but sometimes we don’t always observe it as creative – articles, stories, ads, marketing, clothing, design, entertainment, music, and sometimes food. These are just some of the areas where creativity can have an influence on how we look at life.

But imagination is how we build life. As I have mentioned before, and also in my book, except for what nature has created, everything else that exists is because of someone’s imagination. And until we adopt these imaginations into our lives, they are simply nothing more than fantasy. But more on that later.

Imagine, Then Build

Imagination is responsible for everything we do, how we live, and even how we act. Look at it this way; imagination is someone’s idea brought to life. Someone has to imagine the bridge, how it will look, and what it will do. Once that happens, then someone else builds it.

This happens everywhere in life. Sometimes it’s bringing something new into the world, and sometimes it’s about solving a problem, which I know I have said is typically about rational thinking, but there are areas for using imagination to solve problems. Examples of this have involved figuring out imaginative ways to get potable water or septic and toilet facilities to third-world countries. Not the most creative of examples, but still, important.

There is a reason that I separate imagination from rational thinking, however, and that’s to illustrate that, unfortunately, as a standard practice we do not use our higher levels of thinking as a way to create since we typically use rational thinking just to survive and solve daily problems.

The typical mindset goes something like this:

Plan for tomorrow, get some sleep, wake up, get up, run, feed the kids, get everyone out of the house, get ready for work, plan the best way to get there, stop for coffee, brief morning hellos, sit down, and spend the day doing rational things to make someone else’s bottom-line move. Go home, repeat.

Okay, that’s a little unimaginative, but not far from the truth.

And this is where Descartes kind of confused us. By becoming self-aware, we try to figure out where we really fit into this daily routine. What is our value and self-worth? Where does self-esteem fit in?

Is There an Aptitude Test for Imagination?

Then there are those seemingly rare individuals who get to add a little creativity to their day. The creators. These are the people who get to do creative or imaginative jobs for a living, cartoonists, illustrators, authors, screen & play writers, songwriters, graphic artists, comic & graphic story writers and artists, singers, animators, advertising copywriters & art directors, painters, etc.

Strange though, when we test for aptitude in the workplace to see where someone might excel, these creative/imaginative areas are often left out when it comes to securing an occupation. Yet we value and admire all of these people who get to imagine for a living.

Society deems these occupations as non-grounded, impractical occupations to pursue, suggesting instead to go after a more secure, stable job, something that assures both income and job security. I say, good luck with that.

What’s funny about this is that some of the biggest companies were built on someone’s imaginative ideas, and now people jump in line hoping to get hired at these companies.

These include Pixar, Disney, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Virgin, Tesla, SpaceX, and Amazon, just to name the obvious.  

Of course, when we think of imagination in the workplace, it’s usually a luxury that we only have a little time for, even though we know this will relax, refresh, and rejuvenate us, or spark, inspire, and motivate us, as some companies are now beginning to see the value behind a more playful work environment.

But of course, we are conditioned to use play, imagination, and creativity sparingly or we won’t be taken seriously, and everything valuable and important to mankind’s survival will be lost or drastically fall behind. That is, until we are fired, quit, or are replaced by someone younger, smarter, cheaper, or worse, by automation. Oy!

Many businesses have begun using the phrase imagination within the workplace as a way to establish a culture of innovation that encourages employees to take greater risks to create breakthrough products. However, they do not know how to correctly build this culture. They are merely attempting to increase their bottom line, stay competitive, and have glommed onto business buzzwords that promise to radically change the perception of how innovative they have become.

The two ironies here are that most HR people have little clue as to what an imaginative employee looks like, and second, what they’re really looking for are people to improve their bottom line, but they have little clue who that might be or where to find them.

And if you do a little online research, these days you will notice that imagination is used in two ways.

One is when talking about how to foster imagination in children, because we are still in the mindset of chasing money, and suddenly schools are slowly realizing that the three R’s don’t really cut it anymore, nor do they add value to companies as much as innovation does, so schools are attempting to create incubators and accelerators. And the other area for imagination is in regard to cultivating workplace environments or working for a more competitive company that now claims they are imaginative.

But I digress.

Why should you focus on cultivating imagination? Because, when you do this, when you expand your mind, you are actually creating more opportunities for yourself.

The cool thing is that imagination is governed only by yourself. You get to choose how much or how little (though I suggest you are probably not going high enough and should push it farther).

Because society has instilled a safety-zone mindset, it’s likely that you aren’t daring yourself to dream or imagine on a big enough scale. In fact, when it comes to imagination, is there really even a ‘big enough’? In other words, you may currently be denying yourself the opportunity to explore what your potential is and what you are truly capable of. Usually, this is because we are scared to risk safety and security for the unknown.

It’s said that “Where your mind goes, energy flows.” And of course, the opposite is true as well.

Losing Your Mind

Adults are afraid to let their minds ‘wander’. They fear they won’t be able to focus, concentrate, or be productive, or worse, that they won’t be able to rein it in. That they will lose control.

So, just for kicks, let’s look at some of the people who allowed their minds to lose control:

Leonardo da Vinci, Coco Chanel, Hedy Lamarr, Freddy Mercury, Filippo Brunelleschi, Frank Geary, Amadeus Mozart, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Socrates, The Wachowskis’, Nicolaus Copernicus, Amelia Earheart, Jack Parsons, William Shakespeare, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Albert Hofmann, Carl Jung, Lady Gaga, Tim Berners Lee, Nikola Tesla, Marie Curie, Antoni Gaudi, Ada Lovelace, Hans Asperger, the McDonald brothers, Alan Turing, Pablo Picasso, Galileo Galilei. And the list goes on.

And we can’t help but think of the father of imagination, Walt Disney.

The Disney company even has a word for what he has created, Imagineering.

He even said, “Many of the things that seem impossible now, will become realities tomorrow.”

I will say this, imagination and self don’t swim in the same waters. When one is in an imaginative state, it’s less about self-worth or self-identity, and more about breaking the boundaries of what’s rational and seeking the fantastical.

Imagination, dreaming, pretending, creating, inventing, and playful philosophizing, all require one important idea… to let go of rational thought and let your mind soar wherever it takes you.

There’s even a word that many adults resist. The word silly. Why do they resist? Simply because they do not want to look foolish. This means that they are concerned with what others will think of them, and how they will be perceived. Yet we enjoy it when others take silly risks as comedians or performers. And again, this is where ‘you’ and ‘imagination’ don’t coexist well.

It's Just a Figment

Have you ever wondered what the word “Figment” really means?

What is a figment? We can’t or don’t use this word except when it comes to imagination.

Definition: Figment – a thing that someone believes to be real but that exists only in their imagination.

Here’s the conundrum, your imagination comes from your mind. Your mind is yours. But in order to really soar to incredible heights, you have to take the ‘you’ out of the equation and let your mind go free and wild.

Let’s say that the brain is an organ as science indicates. So then, what is the mind? Well, the mind can be looked at as energy.

Imagination is more than just what your eyes can see, and sometimes much more than your senses have the ability to perceive.

“There’s more to the imagination than meets the eye.”

In other words, imagination works best when you set it free. This also means not purposefully looking for conclusions or answers but exploring wildly irrational ideas and thoughts.

This requires one to be able to pretend. Pretending is another important part of imagination, and what children do best. But many adults lack or lose the ability to utilize imagination often enough.

Walt Disney even had a formula for understanding imagination.

“The special secret to life and imagination are summarized in four C’s. Curiosity, Courage, Confidence, and Constancy. The greatest of all is Confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.” ~ Walt Disney

Nature has no rules when it comes to imagination, so why do we?

Oh yeah, I almost forgot laughter. But I guess so do most of us these days.

Comedy is about imagination. Take a look at this wonderful clip from Robin Williams:

Most people begin their day with inspirational or motivational tapes or podcasts. I’d suggest, instead, start with some imaginative comedy. Spark new ways of looking at life. Get your wilder imagination running. There will always be plenty of time left for the business of producing, marketing, and selling.

Einstein said, “Imagination will take you everywhere.” So why aren’t we following this advice? Why are we, instead, limiting ourselves and our opportunities?

I’ll tell you why. This may be hard to hear, but it’s because we’ve created a world that revere’s, honors, and chases money, fame, and power over creation, opportunity, and growth. Our very evolution is stifled. We have created a vacuum or bubble which only a few, these days, seem to be able to rise above, and that is why they look so special to us. They are able to imagine and create on levels that astound and surprise us. Yet, the thing is, we are all, each and every one of us, capable of achieving the same levels of creative genius.

Let me ask you this. What would you give to be able to heighten and enhance your levels of creativity, imagination, and genius? What would you gain? How would you use them?

Would it interest you to know that you already have these skills within you, that they are not hard to acquire, and that it won’t take years to learn?

“If I haven’t thought about six impossible things before breakfast,
I consider the day wasted.”
~ Walt Disney

There is just one simple thing you must practice. In order to regain your personal levels of imaginative genius, you must remember and practice what you did when you were a child between the ages of 2-10. When you weren’t afraid to try new things. When you didn’t consider the consequences. When you couldn’t hear the words ‘no’ or ‘failure’. When you didn’t know the meaning of words like ‘limitation’ and ‘boundaries.’ When the backyard was a magical, fantasy world. When anything was possible. When the world was so big, and everything you saw was a brand new discovery.

When you can learn to do that, you will be no different than the geniuses you admire.

Today, we are going to take Disney’s four C’s
and give you some new tools:


Curiosity is the playground for discovery. Discovery requires exploration. Exploration dictates adventure. Who wouldn’t want a little more of that in their life? And the catalyst of it all is imagination. When we wonder, our mind tends to wander to new and unusual places. The trick is to know how to do this in a way that promotes and encourages higher thinking. The best way to do this is to forgo the need to draw conclusions, and instead, give yourself permission to just enjoy the journey to see what it has to offer. You may be surprised to gain some new ideas or insights because you didn’t close the door to discovery.


There will be many times you will doubt yourself and want to acquiesce to the thoughts and opinions of others. If you do this, you keep your inner intuition from becoming stronger. Like exercising any muscle, you need to practice staying true to your intuitive voice. This is where creativity and imagination come from and with persistence, will thrive. It is said that your intuition already knows the answer. This means that before you even rationalize a thought or idea, you already know in which direction you are leaning.

They call this “Knowing without knowing.” Or more to the point, without knowing why or how you came to that conclusion. I can only offer that for some, intuition is like having the skillset of Sherlock Holmes. He was a master at taking thousands of small, unconnected pieces of information and putting them together in a way that only makes obvious sense to others once the process of how simple it was to arrive at a conclusion has been explained. In this way, courage is staying on your path even when others doubt you. Don’t ever second guess your choices. Failure isn’t permanent. It is a guide for course-correcting.


The people throughout history, the ones you admire, had confidence. Oddly enough, not always in themselves, but in their ideas. At times, Edison, Einstein, Faraday, Turing, Disney, Tesla, Hershey, and others didn’t always feel they were smart or educated enough, but they always believed in their ideas. They had confidence that what they were doing was right. Yes, sometimes it took many years and many more failures to get it right, but they stuck to their path because ultimately, they believed in their vision.

Having a strong vision is much more than having passion. Passion can wain and falter when one’s emotions come into play. If you are upset, hurt, tired, angry, embarrassed, or frustrated, your passionate state can diminish. But VISION is always constant. It never falters. Why? For one very simple reason. A vision is about figuring something out, solving a riddle, or pulling at a thread. This motivation typically overrides any need to be passionate about your quest. And in this way, it keeps you highly motivated, because who doesn’t want to solve a curious riddle?



The quality of being enduring and unchanging. By now, we’ve all heard this a thousand times from Malcolm Gladwell and Robert Greene, that to become an expert, or what they refer to as a master, takes thousands of hours of practice, repetition, and… consistency. Think of someone like Tony Hawk. He worked on his craft for hours upon hours. Or big wave surfer, Laird Hamilton. The Beatles. Van Gogh. The Wright Brothers. They all put in many hours upon hours of consistency and practice into their personal art form. And for them, constancy was the way they stayed on course and kept going, even when the journey was tough. When you have a goal, a number of things can get in the way to throw you off course.

Rumor has it that the concept for one of the most visited tourist sites and theme parks in North America was turned down over 300 times by bankers and financiers. But Walt Disney continues to serve as inspiration as one of the 20th Century’s most extraordinary visionaries. Don’t get me wrong, he had many, many ups and downs, lived off eating beans while racking up debts, and supposedly had a breakdown after creating Mickey Mouse, but he never lost focus and remained unchanging in his dream. Walt Disney had perseverance and a strong vision. Disneyland, and later Disney World and EPCOT Theme Park would have never seen the light of day had Disney himself not persevered after multiple rejections from financiers for the Mickey Mouse concept that started his incredible journey. He remained both enduring and unchanging.


Walt Disney World

Here’s your mission: When nobody is looking, take some time for yourself and imagine and fantasize in a bigger way than you ever have before. Allow yourself permission to be silly and just pretend. Create something in your mind that is wildly uncharacteristic of what you would normally do. An example is to imagine you are a caveman (person), and you are foraging weapons to fight predators, or creating fire, or the wheel. Or, you’re the first person to land and live on Mars. What would you do? How would your days go?

Practice this often. It may take you some time to allow yourself enough egolessness to try this out. If this is still a challenge for you, start by picking up a children’s adventure book and just sit and read. Let this help to re-spark your imagination. But have fun and don’t be afraid to be a little silly in the process.

Other Articles:

This is a complete list of articles I have written on your Imaginative Nature. Enjoy!