Do you daydream?
You know, where you spend time thinking about the things that could be, the words you could say, the actions you could take?
There are countless articles espousing the power of the daydream. Daydreams give us hope, they help us to visualize the things we are after. The power of daydreams in business are huge – they lend to creativity, which leads to innovation, which leads to potential monetary success.
Daydreaming also helps us to determine what kind of career we want, a vacation we want to go on, the house we want to buy, or the answers to Oprah’s questions when she invites you for an interview – don’t tell me I’m the only one who has gone there.
Daydreaming is harmless, provided you don’t mix it up with reality, or miss your destination – such as the pilots who flew 150 miles past their destination before they realized it.
My number one daydreaming time happens while I’m walking my dog. Because it is an activity that involves silence and movement. The two together create time for my brain to take a trip to daydream land and ideas start to stir.
This is the power of a good daydream – the ideas you can get from time spent there. In my humble opinion some of my best ideas happen with leash in one hand, bag’o’poo in the other. And you go – oh gross. But aside from the gross factor, the real problem with daydreaming with your hands full is that you can’t take notes of those great ideas.
While I am a lover of music I never take my headphones on a walk with me. I don’t want to disturb the opportunity to get inside my own brain. I can’t tell you this will work for everyone, but here is what I know:
- I daydream best when moving around – this isn’t meditation, doing simple physical activities without any noise gives your mind a break from the endless stimulation that comes in the form of smartphones, videos, tv, etc.
- “When you are daydreaming, your mind naturally cycles through different modes of thinking, and during this time the analytic and empathetic parts of your brain tend to turn each other off.” According to Anthony Jack, a cognitive scientist at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. This can be really important if you get stuck in either of these parts of your brain due to your working life.
- Although 96% of adults admit to engaging in at least one daydream each day, research indicates that we daydream less as we get older. Try and make an appointment with yourself to daydream, this will help you create goals for yourself, discover values that are important to you, or even come up with concepts for new products, books, etc.
- A mentor of mine once told me that she would plan thinking time into her day. It would be scheduled into her calendar to allow her time to think, plan, and conceive of new goals – in essence to daydream how we would reach out targets, inspire our team, and engage our customers.
- Sometimes when doing a business brainstorming session there is a lot of pressure to come up with new ideas. Allow for independent daydreaming time during that session, bringing in various unrelated items or facts, daydreaming can help people find synergies where they didn’t know they existed, causing greater creativity and ideas that are out of the box, sometimes out of this world…
- Don’t go overboard. I love a good daydream as much as anyone, but it’s important not to get lost in it. There is a real world we live in, and while daydreams can help us create goals, write books, and find hope, at the end of the day we need to do the work to make those dreams a reality, and the work happens in the real world.
While my latest daydream makes me wish my dog can take notes, I have instead ensured that I have my phone on me during our walks to record any great ideas that come from my time in my head, hands full or not.
Do you daydream? How does it help or hinder you in your personal and professional life? Comment below.
From January 13-27th the #GrowthZone has a contest to give away two copies of Natalie MacNeil’s “The Conquer Kit”. This book is how I plan my business, and is a fantastic resource to help you if you have a business or are thinking of starting one. There are two ways to enter:
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The draw for “The Conquer Kit” books will happen on January 28th. Thanks for hanging out in the #GrowthZone!