Recently I have been learning about Jean-Paul Sartre one of the 20th centuries leading philosophers of existentialism.
Several of his focuses was on the imagination, perception and being.
Let's take this for example.
What dictates your emotional well-being?
If you are hungry, are you "hangry" because you're hungry or is it related to your imagination?
Sartre would make the argument that if you are hungry right at this moment but you know you're going to buy some food in the next hour you'll be happy.
However, in the exact same moment in time if you are hungry but there is no food for the foreseeable future you will be very distressed.
NOTHING about your particular moment has actually changed.
You are still hungry in the now but your state of emotion has been determined by the imagination you impressed upon yourself.
He took a very clear stance that this was not about your perception of the situation this was your imagination at play and the two never crossed nor intertwined.
I have seen this play out observing hundreds of students I have taken through dance medal examinations. The examinations in and of themselves aren't actually stressful it is the way the student applies their imagination towards the future event.
Often, months in advance, students would call me absolutely fearful and stressed out about an examination that wasn't even in existence yet but in their mind, they had already dictated the outcome.
What we can learn from this is you have the power in your existing reality, the now, and using the power of your imagination can dictate your emotional state regardless of how it "appears" to you.
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