Daydream Your Way to Success
"If you can dream it, you can do it." ~Walt Disney
Has anyone ever told you that your head is in the clouds? Do your thoughts periodically wander back to past events or forward to the future? Do you often find yourself lost in thought as you stare off into space? Does your imagination sometimes run away with you? Do you fantasize about the kind of person you will someday become, or the kind of house you want to live in?
Daydreaming is a phenomenon in which a person spontaneously recalls or envisions real or imagined experiences. A daydream is generally a pleasant vision or wishful creation of the imagination, as opposed to worrying which refers to passing the time in fretting or anxious thoughts. In our society, daydreaming is discouraged as a useless distraction from the task at hand. Contrary to popular opinion, however, daydreams actually have many uses.
Daydreaming supports goal-setting, decision-making, strategic planning for future events, and rehearsing situations in advance. Daydreaming allows for reinterpreting past experiences and examining alternative actions. Daydreams promote creativity by generating ideas and providing inspiration for creative work. Daydreaming of success or praise from others may increase motivation to do something. Daydreams help regulate emotions and are a virtual means of practicing interpersonal skills.
Daydreams provide a break from reality. When you get back to business after a daydream your brain will be refreshed and alert, as if you just had a short nap.
Daydreams utilize the right side of your brain which is the creative side. For some great examples of creative daydreaming, take a look at Little Nemo's fantastic dreams in the early 20th century comic strip or Calvin's wildly adventurous daydreams in Calvin and Hobbes. In real life, some of the worlds most creative minds were well-known daydreamers:
Albert Einstein was considered "mentally slow, unsociable, and adrift forever in his foolish dreams." He was feeling drowsy when he developed his theory of relativity.
William Blake received poetic inspiration from his dreams.
Vincent van Gogh said, "Pictures come to me as in a dream."
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart literally dreamed up an entire musical composition while nodding off in a moving carriage.
Robert Frost was dropped from school for daydreaming.
Thomas Edison was said to be "addled" because of his excessive daydreaming in class.
Frank Lloyd Wright daydreamed so intensely that his uncle had to shout to wake him up.
Nikola Tesla "had such strong visualization abilities that he would imagine the workings of his inventions to great detail without putting anything on paper."
The key to tapping into your own creative talent is relaxing until you fall into a dreamlike state. This is when your mind is most creative.
When you're totally relaxed, your subconscious starts working and random thoughts start flowing. Daydreaming gets you in the habit of looking at things from a different perspective. The generation of fanciful possibilities can lead to the discovery of unique ideas or solutions that you didn't think of before. Daydreaming about one thing can also lead to daydreaming about something else that's only vaguely related, making it possible to stumble into a solution to another problem.
Creative ideas can come to mind at the most unusual times, such as in the shower, in the garden, on a beach, or lying in bed at night. (I get so many ideas in my head when I'm falling asleep that I have to keep a pencil and paper nearby.) These situations all have one thing in common. The mind is uncluttered, relaxed, open and free to daydream.
Journal-writing is a way of daydreaming on paper. Writing down your random inspirations, doodles, poems, confessions, rants, essays, and wishes will help release your creative potential and increase your insight just like daydreams do.
Boredom also stimulates daydreams. If you want a mind-stimulating experience, do something routine. It should be an activity that you don't have to think about, that gives your mind freedom to roam. Vacuum the floor, weed the garden, go for a walk, take a long drive. You're active, but not pressed, and the creative juices begin to flow. When boredom sets in, a good idea may come out. So the next time your child says "I'm bored," simply reply "That's nice!" Children's lives don't have to be filled with activities every minute of the day. You may be surprised at the creative ideas he or she comes up with instead. In a book entitled Gifted Children at Home, authors Janice Baker, Kathleen Julicher, and Maggie Hogan explain:
"As worthwhile as trips, classes, activities, clubs, etc. may be, it's also important to allow your child some time to be, well, a child. Time to plan, dream, reflect, remember, things adults forget they need! Do you remember dreaming? Do you still dream? Give your child the precious gift of a reasonable amount of spare time in this busy, overcommitted world of ours, for it is through remembering and dreaming that old ideas are examined and new ideas are born. These seeds may later bear fruit in wonderful new stories, inventions, or just deeper levels of understanding; building blocks for your child to grow on."
Whatever you want in life, you should daydream about. Some people know exactly what they're going to do by thinking every detail out beforehand. In your mind, you can imagine the business, the house, the career that you expect to be part of your life. After fantasizing, visualize how you would go about doing what you want to do. Then prioritize in order to get to that position in life and realize your dream.
Daydreaming in Humans and Machines: a Computer Model of the Stream of Thought, by Erik T. Mueller, 1990. (Artificial intelligence gives insight into human emotions and daydreams.)
The Daydream Workbook: Learning the Art of Decoding Your Daydreams by Robert Langs. (Learn to interpret and benefit from everyday daydreams.)
www.signiform.com/erik/pubs/ddcogsci.htm (A scientific study on daydreams.)
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