There is a special key within each of us that opens up countless doors to adventure. It’s simple, timeless, and easy to unlock.

Sometimes it lurks below the surface, hidden by the day-to-day rush so many of us feel.

But we are reminded of its potential anytime we are privileged to be around a little one. They are tapped in and connected from the get-go.

That special key is ‘imagination.’

It’s a big word that has a big job. Our imagination can lead us to new potentials, abundant opportunities, and levels of joy every day. It is a gateway to endless adventures.

It can also be the source of self-imposed limitations, giving rise to groundless fears and a whole heap of worry.

It depends on which way you turn the key. Our awareness can keep us pointed in the right direction and the summer months are the perfect time to unleash grand explorations.

In fact, all you need is a little time, a goal or desire and a bit of thought to strengthen your creative muscle. Here’s something to do on a warm summer day that will help the creative juices flow.

Try this:

  1. Give yourself 5-10 minutes of quiet, uninterrupted time.
  2. Think about a goal or desire you have. Start with something simple.
  3. Now, imagine you are sitting at the edge of a lake. It’s a beautiful day. You notice clear blue skies, a gentle breeze, and calm waters. You see a pile of pebbles next to you.
  4. Refocus on your goal or desire.
  5. Pick up a pebble and toss it in the lake. Look at the ripples it creates. Imagine those ripples spreading out leading you in the direction of your goal.
  6. Dive deep into the feelings and emotions that will arise when your goal is accomplished. Be specific. Will you feel happy, proud, accomplished, joyful?
  7. Throw another pebble out and notice how the ripples are starting to interact with each other.
  8. Consider the actions and behaviors you will take as your goal becomes reality. Will you jump up for joy? Call a cherished friend? Smile and laugh? Replay the scenario in your mind as you toss in another pebble or two.

This is the power of intention and imagination when they mingle.

If you have trouble connecting to an elevated emotion, think about another time in your life when you did feel that emotion.

I can remember how I felt at the summit of my first Colorado 14er. I felt accomplished, proud, happy.

Now, I have a new goal of training for a strenuous multi-day hike. In my imagination I connect that same feeling of accomplishment and pride to this new goal. As Wayne Dyer said, “You’ll see it when you believe it.”

I still need to train. I still need to focus. I still need to prepare.

But I am doing so from a perspective of strength and possibility, not limitation and fear.

Repetition is important. When we go to the gym or work out, it takes time to build our muscles. By consistently flexing our creative muscle through imagination, we can witness its growth and strength over time.

Have fun with this over the summer! Remain curious and spend a few minutes every day unleashing your imagination. And if you ever need a reminder, watch a child in your life play or better yet, jump in and play too.

Happy creating!