Imaginable Book Summary - Imaginable Book explained in key points
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Imaginable summary

How to See the Future Coming and Feel Ready for Anything – Even Things That Seem Impossible Today

4.5 (415 ratings)
26 mins

Brief summary

Imaginable by Jane McGonigal is a book about how to harness the power of your imagination and use it to solve real-world problems. It provides practical methods for improving creativity, focus, and resilience.

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    Learn to imagine the unimaginable.

    Can you bear with me for a second? We’re going to do a little time traveling exercise. You can also grab a pen and paper and write things down. That could be helpful. I’ll wait till you have those.

    Ready? Okay. Imagine yourself waking up tomorrow morning. Picture it in as much detail as you possibly can. Which room are you in? What woke you up – an alarm, a nudge? Is it light out? How do you feel? And now that you’re awake, what’s the first thing you’re going to do?

    Cool – you just took your first mental time trip! Easy, right? Now let’s try it again. But this time, imagine waking up one year from today. Take a few seconds to vividly picture this future moment. Are you waking up somewhere different? Is someone else lying in bed next to you? Do you look or feel different? Has your morning routine after waking up changed?

    How did that feel? Notice how easy – or hard – it was to think of the details.

    Okay, last one: close your eyes, and this time, imagine waking up ten years from today. I know. This is a bit harder. I’ll give you a few seconds to really trace out where you are, who you are, who might be there with you, what you hear, smell, and feel, and what you’re going to do next.

    So. How was all that? It was probably pretty effortless for you to picture waking up tomorrow morning. Expanding your imagination ten years ahead, on the other hand, might’ve been a bit harder – perhaps like you were grasping at thin air.

    Stretching your imagination the way you just did is a really good practice – your brain has to invent a totally new reality instead of just remembering what it knows already. But see what you just did? You made the unimaginable imaginable!

    You can use your “memory of the future” to plan and prepare for what’s to come. Revisit this memory as often as you want. Really focus on how it makes you feel. Does it spark joy? Does it fill you with dread? These so-called “pre-feelings” indicate whether you should change what you’re doing today to make a possible future more or less likely.

    This kind of imagination – the mental ability to spring forward in time and pre-experience the future – is what scientists call episodic future thinking, or EFT. The name isn’t quite accurate though; you’re not just thinking about the future, you’re simulating it. Consider the difference between knowing it’ll be sunny tomorrow and actually imagining yourself in the sun, trying to pre-feel its warmth on your skin. The bright light blinding you. The smell of dry grass.

    EFT includes asking yourself four specific questions: First, Where exactly am I in my future? Second, What’s true in this version of reality that isn’t true today? Third, What do I really want in this future moment, and how will I get it? And Fourth, How do I feel now that I’m here?

    This tool helps you answer a simple but super powerful question: Is this a world I want to wake up in? And if the answer isn’t a resounding Yes! it helps you understand what you need to change in order to make it so.

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    What is Imaginable about?

    Imaginable (2022) lays out a simple but powerful premise: you have more control over the future than you may think. Through psychology-backed games, it explores how to train your imagination in order to transform your outlook on life and, ultimately, change the world. Its big-picture thinking and actionable exercises will help you prepare for – and get excited about – what’s to come.

    Imaginable Review

    Imaginable by Jane McGonigal gives readers a fascinating exploration of the power of imagination and its impact on our lives. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Filled with engaging case studies, it demonstrates how imagination can enhance creativity, problem-solving, and overall well-being.
    • Backed by scientific research and expert insights, the book offers a deep understanding of the role imagination plays in shaping our reality.
    • With its practical exercises and thought-provoking ideas, it encourages readers to tap into their own imagination to unlock their full potential.

    Who should read Imaginable?

    • People stuck in a spiral of doomsday thinking
    • Action-oriented folks seeking an antidote to the world’s afflictions
    • Anyone who thinks the future is just something that happens

    About the Author

    Jane McGonigal is a future forecaster, reality game designer, and the director of games research and development at the Institute for the Future. She’s written two New York Times best sellers, Reality Is Broken and SuperBetter, and teaches a course on “How to Think Like a Futurist” at Stanford University. Her TED talks on how gaming can improve lives and solve actual problems have been viewed more than 15 million times.

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    Imaginable FAQs 

    What is the main message of Imaginable?

    The main message of Imaginable is to harness the power of our imaginations to create a better reality.

    How long does it take to read Imaginable?

    The reading time for Imaginable varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Imaginable a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Imaginable is worth reading for its inspiring exploration of the transformative potential of imagination.

    Who is the author of Imaginable?

    The author of Imaginable is Jane McGonigal.

    What to read after Imaginable?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Imaginable, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • SuperBetter by Jane McGonigal
    • Don't Overthink It by Anne Bogel
    • Stress Resets by Jennifer L. Taitz
    • How to Talk to Anyone by Leil Lowndes
    • AI for Business Leaders by Michael Ramsay
    • Hidden Potential by Adam Grant
    • Influence by Robert B. Cialdini
    • How Highly Effective People Speak by Peter Andrei
    • Frames of Mind by Howard Gardner