The Employers' Association

The Employers’ Association (TEA) is a not-for-profit employers’ association, formed in 1939, with offices in Grand Rapids serving the West Michigan employer community. We help more than 600 member companies maximize employee productivity and minimize employer liability through human resources and management advice, training, survey data, and consulting services.

TEA is in the business of helping people. This blog is intended to address human issues, concerns and the things that impact people - be they self-perpetuated or externally imposed. Feel free to respond to the thoughts presented here, for without each other, we are nothing!

Friday, February 14, 2014

IMAGINATION CHALLENGES AND SHAPES OUR WORLD


A person can show great proficiency without exhibiting imagination but an individual will never exercise their imagination by simply accomplishing the work assigned without asking “why” (or, “why not”).  Delivering a standard or anticipated response to a directive often satisfies those willing to do nothing more than the minimum. An understanding of what must be done as well as a verbalization of what might yet be accomplished is demonstrated when one researches enough – or is interested enough – to ask “why not?”

Given the choice between a “doer” and a “dreamer,” I would prefer to live within my imagination than within my reality. A realist accepts only what can be defined and demonstrated – content to accomplish the dreams and desires of others.  Many people live within the memories of their past, dwelling in thoughts of the safe places that brought them happiness and security rather than seeking new beginnings - living comfortably within a sheltered world of previous accomplishments. When life is contained within established thoughts of “what is” and memories of “what has been,” can one ever realize his or her full potential – can he or she even identify “what could be but has not yet been considered?”  I would prefer to live amongst those who imagine what has not yet been proven – has not yet been established – for they will accept nothing less than the great things they are destined to accomplish in this world.

While our memories are necessary to remind us of what we have accomplished – of the things we can do – our dreams provide an indication of what has yet to be, leading us to places not yet discovered. As we bring today’s dreams to fruition, they become tomorrow’s memories, leaving behind the safety and stability that yesterday provided.  Many successful individuals dream of what could be, casting off the limitations of “what is” or “what was” by choosing to reach for the promise and possibility of things that have not yet been realized.  They dwell upon how things might be different than in the past – truly believing that just because something “was” or “is” does not mean it will “always be.”  One cannot be content to live within a world defined by everyday realities when continually seeking unlimited potential and possibility.

For you who find fulfillment within the "way things are" and travel obediently upon the straight and narrow path that leads to a defined destination – good for you!  The world needs individuals that will “do without questioning” as it seeks to fulfill the mundane tasks required to close out each day while moving towards a new dawn.  For those unwilling to live another’s vision or accept another’s explanation of “why” as they seek their own “why not,” endless possibilities that have yet to be imagined are waiting to be realized.

In whatever you do, look beyond the obvious to experience all that life might provide.  Seek “the possible” rather than “the probable.” We need only our eyes to see – but casting and pursuing a vision requires our imagination. We need only our ears to hear – yet recognizing the cause and purpose of a noise requires our understanding.  Immerse yourself within your senses if you seek to fulfill the promise of a new tomorrow – a day that cannot materialize until yesterday becomes a historical “jumping off” point from which growth originates rather than a sacred safe haven that will always provide comfort.

A brave new world awaits those willing to question even those things that are held as true because of past practice or long-accepted policy - those courageous enough to act in a manner not yet imagined by the general public to accomplish things not yet considered possible. While known actions result in predictable results, untested and unproven actions cause equal and opposite reactions - creating new opportunities and fresh challenges that will transform things once considered only possible yesterday into probable advances as we move towards tomorrow.