Keep Moving Between Reality and Imagination


Play and fantasy are intuitively connected. At the same time, when you Play, you operate in the real world, even if only in a well-defined playground. But this is not a one-time transition. When you are in a Playful mindset, you frequently move between the real world and the imaginative one. These two worlds affect one another. You imagine something, then apply it to your playground, and then take what you Experience, Observe, and Wonder about back to the imaginative realm to reshape what you see in your mind.

If you start with a vision of a reshaped reality and then “go back down to earth” without ever looking back, you are not Playing, and consequently, you are not utilizing your Creativity. Creativity is not confined to a single event or a moment in time. The constant movement between the two realities enables you to refine and reshape your vision of the future reality throughout the journey.

Moving Between Reality and Imagination also has a positive impact on the Fuse function. Fusion is, by definition, an imaginative act. When you blend ingredients together, you take a detour to an imaginative playground where you see the potential of the harmony you are about to create. Fuse is not a one-time action. Anything you come across can potentially be weaved into whatever it is you are working on. The only way to do that is to allow yourself to jump into and out of the fantasy world.

You need to work in a mixed-mode: moving forward in the real world and making occasional stops to enjoy the scenery of your imaginary world. It is a powerful combination that injects Playfulness into anything you do, no matter how serious.

actionable steps

Revisit each of your short-term and long-term visions of reshaped realities throughout the journey.

Explore each vision while adding ingredients from the evolving reality. Be ready to refine it or change it. Let your vision evolve in parallel to what you do in the real world.

Allow the refined vision to affect the path you are taking, even if it means changing the destination.


Example 1

The model you are now exploring has started as a lineup for a book. As the work on the book progressed and each part of the model evolved, the vision of where this project was heading has changed dramatically. The c.os model became the essence — the center of the reshaped reality as I imagined it — and the book just one of the different ways to reach people and help them lead a creative life.

related practices

Attribution and Inspiration

  • Inspired by the definition of Play by Peter Gray

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