Share this story

The Promise of Hope: Imagination

Find out why Edward Grinnan says imagination is the third key to personal growth in his new book, “The Promise of Hope.”


Guideposts Video: Inspiring True Stories

Hi. I’m Edward Grinnan, editor-in-chief of Guideposts and author of the new Guideposts book “The Promise of Hope– How True Stories of Hope and Inspiration Saved My Life, and How They Can Help Transform Yours.” 


Imagination, said Albert Einstein, is more important than knowledge. And I would have to agree with that, because imagination is the third key to personal change and spiritual growth. 

Imagination. We all have it. It’s not just the province of artists and writers and creative people. We all use our imaginations every single day. And when we go on a path of change, the most important thing we can do, after honesty and willingness, is to imagine that change in ourselves, to see ourselves as the change we want to be. And that is where imagination comes in. 

There are two people in my life whose stories influenced me in the realm of imagination. The first was Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. And meeting Dr. Peale had an incredible impact on me, which I talk about in chapter three. 

The other person whose story I share with you in chapter three is the story by Millard Fuller. Maybe you don’t know that name. I didn’t either when I first came to Guideposts. But I heard about an incredible thing he did when he was a young man. He gave away all of his money. And not only that, it was a million dollars. 

And he started out on a new path. And he ended up founding a charity that I know you’ve heard of, and you maybe even participated in. His story is a tribute to a man using his imagination to change his life. 

Dr. Peale talked about a technique he called imaging. And really, that’s the dynamic use of your imagination to see the things in your life that you want to realize. For me, that was very, very hard at the point in the chapter that I pick up my story. I really couldn’t imagine my life any different than the way it was. And yet, I knew it had to be, because it couldn’t keep going the way it was. I reached out to a friend, Michael, and then I reached out to my family. And I think, at that moment, I was forced to think of my life in a different way, to imagine the future in an incredibly compelling and beautiful way. 

I remember a summer night sitting on a hill in Hoboken, New Jersey, across the river from New York, with my friend, Michael. The city was beautiful. The skyline glittered. Manhattan looked like an open treasure chest of jewels. My friend Michael spread his hand out and said, look at New York. You came all this way, Edward, from Michigan, to make a life for yourself and a future for yourself in New York. And what’s happened to you? 

It was a moment of clarity for me, because what had happened to me, and how could I change that? How could I see myself in the beautiful city of New York as something different than what I was? And at that critical moment of clarity, I tried to imagine something better for myself, something more than what I was getting out of life. That is when imagination clicked in. And it was another step on a journey of change. 


You can order my book by going to Check back next week, when I’ll share another inspiring Guideposts story from the next chapter of “The Promise of Hope.” And I’ll tell you a little bit more about my own story, as well. See you then. 


Share this story

Community Newsletter

Get More Inspiration Delivered to Your Inbox

Check out our collection of Guideposts videos and find exclusive celebrity interviews, inspirational stories of hope, and practical life advice.

Randall Liberty, who experienced PTSD following his military service in Iraq, offers tips for recognizing the disorder in friends and loved ones and advice on how to help them find healing.

Donate to change a life together
Scroll to Top