360 Degrees


In one of my lectures on ‘Managerial & Industrial Psychology’, I was asked a question by one of the participants, “what is the difference between ‘Vision and Imagination’?”

I am now documenting my answer to his question for the benefit of my readers. The picture above is my brainchild, it clicked my mind when the question was raised.

Everything is data for a kid until the age of 5 or 6 years. When s/he starts schooling s\he is disseminated with information until 12th grade, which develops in him/her and understanding of manipulating that information and converting it into knowledge.


From the picture above it is obvious that the information so disseminated helps in developing an understanding of the relations existing among various data. When s/he starts understanding patterns over time, s/he starts making sense out of the nonsense. Once s/he gets into his/her practical life, this knowledge remains the guiding principle for him/her to lead his/her life. At a very later stage in his/her life, one gets to the point, when s/he starts reflecting to understand the purpose of life, understands the underlying principles and comes up with his/her own principles out of that reflection, to understand the true meaning of life. That is the point when one starts getting close to wisdom.


The journey to understand life begins with imagination, which is the driving force to understand data, information, knowledge, and wisdom, that’s why half of the circle is imagination.

Everyone has his/her vision, that vision would be small if s/he is limiting himself or herself only to data, it grows with information, knowledge, and wisdom. The real vision is completed when the circle of life is completed after the completion of 360 degrees through imagination, that’s why Einstein said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world”.

Why is it that the life is always explained in a circle, maybe because all the universal bodies are circular in shape and our life is also explained in 3 dimensions X, Y and, Z which is encircled and bounded by Time as the fourth dimension.

For details on data, information, knowledge, and wisdom read a thesis by Russell Ackoff here

Sajjad Hussain

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