Not All Minds that Wander are Lost
Ever wonder how fantasies shape our reality?
At a yoga teacher training I attended in 2008, Baron Baptiste (the guru of modern yoga) told our class that the past is history and the future doesn’t exist yet, which allegedly leaves complete focus on the moment as the only remaining logical option. Unfortunately, this flawed reasoning fails to account for how the past shapes our present, our future, and our perception of both.
Without the past we would not be where we are today, which too will soon be history. It is therefore imperative to reflect on how we got to this point to begin with in order to make educated guesses about where we are going and how we will get there. Furthermore, thinking about the future allows us to set clear goals, without which a satisfying life is unlikely to materialize and fulfill us. Daydreams are where this magic that gets you closer to your real dreams happens.
Take for instance my goal of a achieving a satisfyingly sweet, savory, salty, texture-filled meal with a bacon component. Based on past experience I knew that a combination of all of these things would bring me true happiness, but for a long time I didn’t know how to achieve it. Then in the midst of a beautiful, bacon-filled daydream my thoughts wandered to the dark-haired Venezuelan woman who stole my heart. So, I entered Chef Kiki’s lair to disclose my deepest desires and just like that, seemingly out of thin-air, she produced heaven (i.e. Bacon-Wrapped Dates).
Whether your daydreams revolve around Bacon, 3-D printers, or epic ski lines, according to a recent article in Psychology Today, the quality and vividness of our daydreams are what separates the wolves from the sheep. In fact, contrary to popular belief, it is happy daydreamers who are the most fulfilled and professionally successful by modern societal standards. This is because through vivid imagery and fantasy, daydreams provide a space for reflection while at the same time allowing us to escape boredom, synthesize chunks of disparate information, plan for the future and generate original thought.
Daydreams are the place where we can safely test the hypotheses we generate about life. They give us a chance to place ourselves in different scenarios where we can then explore the possibilities and consequences associated with our actions. Additionally, by allowing us the chance to identify clear goals to focus on, daydreams also increase our ability to inhibit more fleeting, momentary desires (like sleeping in on a powder morning), making us more likely to achieve what we really want. Supporting research further shows that daydreamers score higher on scales of mindfulness and have better attentional control, cognitive inhibition, mental flexibility, and emotional regulation when compared to their non-daydreaming counterparts.
Check out the full article here: Dreams of Glory
Dream on friends and let your mind roam free…