Childrearing. Do they call it that because of how often the tending to rear ends is involved?

No matter—that’s neither rear no there. Whilst childrearing, I often find myself wondering what the little tikes will be like as they grow up.

I think about how future days when my little two year old girl will learn to ride a bike, go to school, get married, and even start her own family (presumably she will no longer be a two year old at that point). I consider what sort of games my half-a-year old son will like to play, what his hobbies might be, and how many messes he will make for us to clean up (many in the nearer future, I’m sure).

There are plenty of opportunities for foresight in life, but I find them most often when I’m around my own kids. Oddly, when it comes to myself, I have an assumption things will stay just about the same. This can’t possibly be true, of course, but I have it anyhow.

Fact is, we’re always changing, one way or another, whether we welcome it or not. The good thing about foresight is it helps us prepare for change, even direct it.

Creatively speaking, this also holds true. The more we plan and prepare for our creative hobbies, goals, and careers, the more likely we are to reach our desired outcomes. Very few people (if any) are successful on accident.

Granted, there will always be a good measure of the unexpected—those twists and turns, maybe even a few ramps, cliffs and loop-the-loops. But unless you plan for some kind of destination and head in that general direction, you’ll never get there.

It’s impossible to prepare for everything, and crazy to even attempt it, but if we never anticipate the future, we’ll constantly be caught off-guard by it. 

I appreciate the advice I found in the childrearing book, Baby Wise

“Begin as you mean to go.”

When you visualize what the results will be and make the necessary preparations toward that end, it’s like gathering and prepping all the right ingredients and preheating the oven before cooking. Turns out, it’s a much better strategy than just throwing whatever you have on hand into a bowl, mixing it up, and hoping for the best. This is how I think some of the more day-to-day lifestyles can turn out, a big mess that fails to rise in the heat of the oven.

When it comes to being a parent, there is virtually no end to what I do not know. But I can still take the little I know and apply it with foresight. I can think about what sort of family I want to help build and what I need to do now in order to get there. 

Eventually, one Lego brick at a time, we’ll end up with a sweet castle that has its own moat and a working drawbridge, or at least an impressively tall tower that my kids will enjoy knocking over.



We’ve seen a lot of houses lately. That happens when you’re looking for a new place to live.

It’s fun to see how other people live, to check out different styles of construction and notice the changes over time—to recognize what is modern and what appears outdated. 

In the process, there's one habit I’ve noticed my wife and I doing: we speak about the house we’re viewing as if it were our own, even if it’s one we have no serious intention of living in. I think it’s a helpful practice, to pretend we already live there and imagine how our lives (and furniture) would be structured in such a place. It allows us to weigh out the positives and negatives of a future there. This is one of the many benefits of employing the imagination.

Our capacity to imagine is a spectacular thing. I heard this from copywriter and coach, Joshua Boswell, in a video course, 

“As humans, we have the unique ability to imagine and turn those imaginations into reality through a process called creation. If you don’t imagine something, you can never create it.”

Imagination is not only helpful, it’s essential for creatives of any field.

The wonderful thing about imagination is how accessible it is: anyone can do it anytime and anywhere. But not everyone does. It is a rare and valuable trait.

If you’re like me, you may hear the dear departed Gene Wilder singing Pure Imagination. It sounds so lovely, so magical. But let’s be honest, we don’t all have a bunch of money and a crazy chocolate factory in which to live out our wildest (or wilder) imaginations. Even the dreamiest of dreamers has their limits.

Like just about any part of creativity, there is an inherent challenge to living imaginatively. To be imaginative, you must be willing to overcome your own inner doubts and distractions and use your mind with purpose.

There is a balance to be found between giving your mind a direct focus but also allowing it to roam free.

These days, we can be so task-oriented, so goal-focused, we forget to take time to daydream, to “waste time”. 

Okay critics, I hear you, if our heads are always in the clouds, we’ll never get anything done, we’re in danger of being called a good-for-nothing layabout by some old-timey person (heaven forbid). 

So I say sure, it’s good to be a hard worker, to keep your head down and be dedicated to a task, but sometimes you need to look up and see the sky above you. Sometimes you have to step back and ask why you’re doing what you’re doing and, ultimately, where you’re going with it.

When we become so consumed with the t-crossing and i-dotting of day-to-day tasks, imagination becomes essential to help us get the broader view.

To imagine is to let your mind free, to allow it to think whatever it wishes, without hindrance.

Some folks will tell you imagination is a waste of time—a pointless, idle practice. And yet those people rely on methods and tools which were imagined by someone else.

Our imaginations may take us to far-off worlds, but it may be in those far-off worlds where we discover the keys we need in this world.

So whether you’re looking for a new place of residence or even trying to picture what life is like for someone who lives on the other side of the planet, I invite you to take a little time to imagine, to let your mind roam (with some direction). You may be delighted with what you discover. You may learn a valuable lesson you can apply today. Or you might just be weirded out by the thought of an entire workforce made entirely of oompa loompas.