Imagination Is More Important Than Knowledge | It's Everything

photo of an old albert einstein

Imagination has always been the driving force behind new discoveries and innovations. Knowledge is finite where as imagination knows no bounds. 05.29.24

Why Is Imagination More Important Than Knowledge?

The famous quote from Albert Einstein. Not to get this wrong, because this quote is definitely misunderstood to a certain degree. Einstein wasn't dismissing the power of knowledge, he was merely stating that knowledge is finite where imagination knows no bounds. The power of creative thinking is greater than one's accumulation of information.

Innovation Through Imagination

Imagination has always been the driving force behind new discoveries and innovations. It allows us to take the facts and information we've learned and expand upon them to unveil new possibilities. It allows us to take the problem at hand and think outside of the box, helping us create solutions. Einstein was able to think beyond the knowledge of his time, which ultimately lead to his scientific breakthroughs like the Theory of Relativity and Quantom Theory of Light.

picasso with his imaginative works

Artistic and Scientific Endeavors

Both artistic expression and scientific inquiry rely heavily on one's imagination. Science uses the imagination to create hypotheses and come up with new experiments to test the boundaries of human knowledge, while artists use it to dream up the unimaginable and try to bring it to life. The beauty of imagination is something doesn't exist quite yet, but we can take what we know already and dream up something new based off that said knowledge. It's both exciting and motivating at the same time. Progress is attained through this. We can take the established boundaries and push them just a little tiny bit more.

beatles imagining in the studio We look at a band like the Beatles and what they did for music world. They had so many breakthroughs on new ways to record sound and use the studio. They were the first to employ multi-tracking allowing them to layer multiple sounds and instruments that were recorded seperately. They heavily experimented with tape loops flipping the tape reel over and playing guitar tracks in reverse. Artificial Double Tracking was introduced where you could have two of the same vocal track barely out of sync to create a doubling effect. This is literally the tip of the iceburg. This is what imagination is all about.

Imagination In Child Development

Imagination encourages children to play without rules or boundaries. Creating environments and made up scenarios can in turn give practice to solving problems. You may suddenly build a fortress from your couch cushions, become the quintessential knight rescuing the princess, but wait! She is trapped in a dungeon behind a fierce powerful dragon. How can you get her out? Can you lure the dragon from his chamber? Is there another way in? Can you build a device to catapult yourself over the mountain to the otherwise unreachable side of the dungeon? These moments may seem small at the time but this is practicing creative problem solving and thinking outside of the box. It's giving practice to social settings that require emotional cognizance, creating storylines with cause and effects, and also allowing us to better understand the world around us.

Encourages Both Personal and Professional Growth

One's imagination can serve as a mental-canvas. It allows us to see new possibilities that may not have existed before. We set new goals in our life that may seem unattainable, we harness new passions and take risks because we can imagine them. If we can see the outcome in our head we have a much better chance of motivating ourselves to try. This plays into both personal and professional settings. When setbacks do come, we can be more flexible in how we navigate the situation because we may have imagined something of the nature before. Journaling is a good form of free form creativity.

photo of albert einstein

Understanding Others Using Our Imagination & Empathy

This goes back to "put yourself in their shoes" and see how it makes you feel. Well the only way you can actually try to do this is by using your imagination. Instead of getting mad at the clerk for your order being delayed, you can try to imagine being them, sitting behind that counter all day dealing with irritated, unhappy curmudgeons who are entitled to treat you as if you aren't a human, all for pennies on the dollar. You wouldn't be able to accomplish this without that creative prowess.

The benefits of being able to tap into that part of your brain can be endless. Why? Because your imagination knows no bounds. If you can dream it up, imagine it, then it's possible right? Knowledge is power or so they say, but if knowledge is power then imagination is supreme domination.

Solutions To New, Unexpected Problems: Adaptability

In the digital age we live in where things are rapidly evolving and constantly changing it's important to be able to adapt, and do it quickly. We saw the global pandemic hit in 2020 and immediately had to change the way we interacted with one another, the way we worked. We introduced remote work, virtual events, and tele-medicine. We quickly had to rethink how we could continue on with our day to day lives while also avoiding the spread of Covid.

Even my grandpa learned how to use a computer in his late 70s. He loved the idea of making birthday cards at home using Microsoft. He learned excel to help with finances. Imagination is rooted in all of these snap changes. We need to be able to imagine it before it can come into existence. All of the progress humanity has seen over the past 2000 years is built off of someone having an idea in their head, and finding a way to make it real. This is why imagination is more important than knowledge.

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