Most of us understand the imagination to be like an inner television screen or perhaps a computer screen on which we can see images or movies of things we are thinking about. This is only partially true.
With your television, the information displayed on the screen is coming from some other place -- perhaps a television studio in a distant city.
If you are looking at a web page on your computer screen, the information on the screen is coming from a server in some other place -- maybe even a different country.
The greatest discovery I have ever made is that the imagination is a pipeline -- a connection -- through which information travels from some other region of time. This means the information displayed on the screen of my mind is coming from somewhere else too -- either from the past, the future, or some parallel present reality.
If it is coming from the past -- it is either a positive memory -- a past success -- causing me to feel good -- or a negative memory -- a past failure -- causing me to feel bad.
If the information is coming from the positive future -- perhaps a goal which I desire to achieve -- the image may make me feel excited or motivated. It it's coming from the negative future -- something that I hope won't happen -- we call it a fear or a worry, and this information makes me feel bad.
If the information comes from a parallel present reality -- something which might be happening right now but isn't -- it will make me feel relieved, if my present is better than the alternative, or make me feel angry or frustrated if what I am experiencing is less positive than what I was hoping for.
In every case, the information in my mind is coming from some other region of time, and the information is causing me to feel good or bad, depending on which area of the past or future I am focusing on.
The imagination is a pipeline. Information flows into my mind from somewhere else, through the pipeline of my imagination. Depending on where the information is coming from, my present experience will either be positive or negative; empowering or disempowering.
One key principle to understand is that the various regions of the past and the future are always available, meaning that the information is always available and the feelings and emotions I experience are always available too -- just as web pages or internet television channels are always available.
Understanding this means that we can have confidence on demand -- just as we have internet on demand; movies on demand; sports on demand; comedy on demand.
All you need to do is place your inner awareness in the region of the past or the future where good things have happened -- your past successes -- or where good things are expected to happen -- places where your dreams and goals are being fulfilled.
At any moment in time, you can be experiencing positive feelings and emotions, or you can be feeling negative emotions. It all depends on where your inner awareness is focused.
This is why you need to have a list of past successes -- sites where your positive energy resides. You also need to have a list of your dreams and goals. This is where the positive energy exists in the future.
At any moment, your present can be flooded with positive energy or negative energy. It is your choice. Do you choose to focus on the positive events in your past and future or the negative ones?
Whichever choice you make, your present will be instantly affected by your choice.
Just as your computer can connect instantly with any web site you choose, your mind can instantly connect with any memory or any future you choose. Your awareness of this ability and your skill in using it will be one of the most important skills you will ever develop.
You can read more about these ideas in Chapters Eleven and Twelve in my book, "Mind, Time and Power!"