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  • Writer's pictureTim Burns

Imagine Changes

Updated: Apr 29

The Author in Chicago

Out of all the tools we have to solve problems, imagination is a problem-solving we can control and perhaps is the most powerful. We can't always help our financial situation; we are born with aptitude and can work to get better, but every person has a limit to their abilities. Health is often up to chance - the best we can do is care for ourselves. Our accomplishments are the past - and the past is gone. I never want to be the person who looks backward and hides from the present behind the past. Imagination, however, is a skill I can use every day to envision a better world and a better life for myself and those around me.

When I was in Chicago, we visited The Second City improv theatre. The sheer imaginative creativity in professional improv theatre is a skill that I aspire to build. Not that I want to do improv comedy, but I want to be in the moment, with enough understanding and interaction between whatever group I'm in and the ability to see how something simple, like a prompt, can be used to make connections and tell a story, make people laugh, or even think of a new idea. We can bring the spirit of improv into our lives whenever we get together to solve a problem, entertain each other, or discuss new ideas. This second quarter of 2024, the top of my growth goals is improving my improvisational skills.

Today, I'm imagining how my life could be different this summer. I can imagine better understanding deep neural networks, engaging more deeply in my job, and having closer relationships with my family.

A mathematician friend gave me the quote, "No one knows the future." I love that quote because it is fundamentally true and can be used as a basis for many thought exercises on change. There are many situations that I can't change - I can only change my reaction and behavior after the fact. I find myself today as I return, imagining what comes next.

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