Saturday, November 29, 2008

Motivational Quote #12

"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions."--Albert Einstein

I found the above Einstein quote when I logged into Google today and thought it perfect for this week's motivational quote. But, the researcher in me always likes to find the origin of the quotes I use and today's research uncovered something interesting: this is not exactly what Einstein said. GASP! Can you believe someone changed the words around? LOL!

If I am correct, this quotation is taken from an interview titled What Life Means to Einstein by George Sylvester Viereck. This interview appeared in the October 26, 1929 issue of the Saturday Evening Post. This is what the actual quote reads:

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."

And when I put this quote into context with other quotations attributed to Einstein this quote has tremendous meaning for the aspiring author. Here are just a few additional quotes I found:

"When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge."

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity."

Ideas for great books start with the words "What if...". And because we are dealing in fantasy and not reality, that allows the aspiring author to explore avenues that he may not in real life. "What if..." encourages the aspiring author to push a character to her limits, past any limit he might be comfortable with from inside his four walls; and when written well, the reader comes along for the ride and gets the opportunity to witness just how far this character will go.

Imagination and curiosity are perhaps the aspiring author's greatest tools. And when coupled with knowledge of craft and grammar, a new world opens up for the aspiring author and his future readers.

Spend some time this week with the words "What if..." If Einstein approves of imagination, I'm sure not about to knock it.

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