Posts Tagged ‘imagination’
In 1977, I was 5 years old when my parents took me to my first movie but, it wasn’t just a movie, it was a drive-in movie. The movie? Star Wars. Needless to say, it flipped me right out.
Unlike most of my pals, who were drawn to Luke or Chewbacca or Han or whatever, I was obsessively drawn to R2-D2. I wasn’t just into R2, I wanted to BE R2. Something about his character, his utility, his outright usefulness in so many contexts and situations captivated and appealed to me. So, my room had models of R2 on the shelves, my bedside table had an R2 alarm clock, my watch was an homage to R2, and my birthday cakes were more than once adorned with his image in crystalline sugar.
The obsession continued throughout my elementary and middle school years. I might even say it never actually ended. I saw, and continue to see, his influence everywhere. In the functionality of tools, vehicles, and other simple machines, devices, industrial design, consumer gadgets, and systems theories.
Here’s the thing: R2′s sheer ability, willingness, and selflessness to adapt so readily, without fear or delay, to so many challenges on behalf of the goals of his peers inspired me as my family moved around. As a kid, I was constantly having to adapt to new environments, new geographic layouts, people, styles, vocabularies, dialects, the whole thing. Since that wasn’t easy, I often imagined what R2 would do, moving through situations as if I were him, though slightly taller and more maneuverable. Just the idea of him, imagining myself as having his chutzpah, gave me confidence when I needed it and, I admit, continues to influence me to this day. Silly? So what?
Imagination makes us powerful. As children we imagine ourselves as someone else, someone more capable of accomplishing what we feel we cannot. It is through these personas many of us are able to make our first, significant achievements. Whether faced with the adversity of a spelling bee, school play, or the playground rights of passage, we resort to the power of our imagination to envision ourselves accomplishing something seemingly beyond our reach. As we age, some of us seem to either pull back on this while others expand on it and, in some cases, become Jack Whites, Oprah Winfreys, and Michael Jordans.
Success pivots on something simple: the will to believe.