Today’s QOTD is from the ancient stoic philosopher, Seneca. One of his famous quotes is about the link between our imagination and suffering.
Seneca famously said…
“We suffer more in imagination than in reality.”-Seneca
Curious Kid or False Prophet?
When we’re kids, our imaginations are active, wild, and creative. Then we reach the age of 7, and, for most of us, our personalities are formed. From there, life comes fast and by the time we reach adulthood, our imaginations are just as active as when we were kids, but they’re broken and jaded from life experience.
After life has beat us up a bit and practicality/responsibility sets in, our imaginations gradually go from being a curious kid full of inspiration to a false prophet full of fear-based predictive programming.
Exposing our “False Prophet(s)”
In Judeo-Christian philosophy, a “false prophet” is distinguished from the true by taking note of their predictions and seeing if they come to pass. If a prophet makes a prediction and it comes to pass, people should “fear” (revere, heed, pay mind to) that prophet.
If a self-proclaimed prophet forecasts things that don’t come to pass, you have an obligation to publically expose the false prophet and put him/her to “death.” Stripped of a literal interpretation, the concept of putting our “false prophet(s)” to death has deep and profound psychological implications.
Imagination Rebirth: Putting the “False Prophet” to Death
In psychological terms, in order for us to cultivate curiosity and creativity in adulthood, we must put the false prophet of our fear-based based predictive programming to death and allow our imagination to be “reborn.”
As silly as it may sound, a simple way of doing this is to think of all the movies and cartoons we enjoyed as children and watch them. This simple imagination activation technique will induce some healthy nostalgia and rekindle the divine spark of our creativity.
Recently, upon noticing that my wife, outside of work, didn’t have any hobbies or creative outlets, expressed that she wanted to color.
Just A Girl and Her Coloring Books
Here jaded adult brain (false prophet) quickly rushed to the city gate of her mind and told her that’s childish and silly. It’s definitely not something an adult like her should be doing.
Me, sensing that the false prophet of her mind was stifling the divine spark of creativity, said that I was going to go to the strore and get her some coloring books, crayons, and colored pencils.
Initially, the false prophet tried to use practicality to detour me from going, but I insisted. Seeing the curious kid come to life as my wife colored some of her favorite childhood characters that night was priceless.
What are some way’s you can put the false prophet of your mind to death, let your imagination be reborn, and be… childish?
As adults, in our world of timid practicality and unpleasant realities it’s healthy for us to practice a certain amount of escapism by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy.
It’s far too predictable, rigid, and boring existing as adults trying to get ahead in the rat race. It takes courage to be childish!
Let us know in the comments below how you plan to reactivate your imagination and feed your “childish” appetites. If you have questions or would like to make content recommendations, you can reach me at email@example.com.
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A Little Bit About Me…
Hi, my name is Daniel Fortune. I’m a husband to 1, dad to 5, U.S. Army combat veteran, mental health advocate, writer, and public speaker currently residing in the central valley of the sunny state of California. I started the Minding My Own Madness Blog as with a vision to become one of the best personal development and mental health resource blogs. As someone who has battled with combat related PTSD and Bipolar 1 Disorder for 2 decades now, I intimately know the unique struggles people living with a mental illness face. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you find yourself in crisis or would just like to say hi. I’m always just a message away.
“You can’t fail if you refuse to quit. Keep fighting the good fight and NEVER lose hope. You’re not alone. There are other people feeling the same way you feel right now. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of wisdom.”
I had the honor of serving with Fortune overseas. He is a solid guy and our relationship has lasted long after us both leaving the Army. He has helped me get out of dark places multiple times. I’m extremely grateful for his friendship and ability to sense when others are in need. Read his content, ask him questions, and journey well!
— Eric (Friend/Army veteran)
So glad I found this blog! It helped me find the mental health resources I needed and get out of a rough patch. Doesn’t hurt to shoot Daniel a message. He was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to respond to me. You won’t regret it. He’s a really cool, down to earth, and knowledgable guy who knows what it’s like to struggle. So grateful for this blog!
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