From the onset of human civilization, there has been a constant need to grow and succeed. Humans, animals, plants, all breathe, eat, sleep, have senses and brains, some exhibit varying levels of intelligence and even emotions. What makes humans unique among all other living beings is their imagination, also known asmanas in Sanskrit. Humans go after success only because they can imagine it.

The ability to imagine things, situations, and conjure up a conceptual reality is unique to human beings and even unique for every human being.That is why we enjoy reading books, hearing stories, watching movies as they all stimulate our imagination.

Most of the concepts are based on ideas, which are the fruit of human imagination. For example, zero as a concept is based on imagination, because its existence cannot be proven in material reality. While walking on the street, I can see one car, two cars, three cars, but I cannot see zero cars. That has to be imagined.

Now, when it comes to learning, does imagination play a role? Why not? Our brains are hardwired for imagination. Perhaps, that is why our grandmothers told us interesting stories to impart moral values and saints resorted to fables for preaching.

Then why, when it comes to education or as the modern world goes, skill building, our thinking gets limited to text books or professionally to bullet points? Probably, that is the reason most of us dread long running classes or training sessions.

Learner motivation and engagement are crucial elements for any learning session to be successful. With motivation comes engagement and engagement further builds motivation. Not to forget the retention.

With technology becoming increasingly accessible and all-pervasive, this is not so difficult. An idea well communicated with the help of a relatable story, painted aesthetically with interesting graphics and even brought to life with the magic of animation. Concepts conveyed through metaphors and symbols capture imaginative minds. The learning that happens in the process is retained even after long as it goes deep into the learners’ memory lanes.

Just imagine, if movies started unfolding in bullet points, we would stop going to the theatres. It’s stories, not facts that engage most people and enable them to learn more and grow well.