The Value Of Daydreaming: Why Being in the Present Isn’t Always a Gift

daydreamLoosely translated the expression, “In the moment” means to give something (and/or someone) your complete and undivided attention.

It implies being firmly focused on the here and now; to be fully engaged in the task or situation at hand.

According to such experts as Professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Finding Flow, it is this kind of “Complete absorption in what one does that’s been shown to play a significant role in ones overall well-being.”

Cool.

But, “for the moment,” let’s suppose that you don’t like what you do.

For instance, what if from the hours of…oh let’s say, nine to five/five days a week you’re up to your earlobes in some mind-numbing soul-crushing life-sucking activity?     

What if what you do repeatedly puts you in a less than desirable position?

I.e., smack dab in the middle of a woebegone existence known as Dullsville.

Call me crazy but I’m pretty sure that under the given circumstances the last thing you’d wanna do is become completely absorbed in what you’re doin.

I’m bettin the last place you’d wanna be is…in the moment.

GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND THE HERE AND NOW

It’s long been suggested that any situation you’re currently in can be favorably affected by, “Transcendent Joy.”   

Better yet, it’s been proven to be true.

“I studied one surviving American officer who built a house in his head while imprisoned abroad. He began by formulating a blueprint in his mind. Next, he laid the foundation, built the frame, visualized every beam and every window, and he didn’t stop until he had imagined himself placing every room with the exact furniture.”

From Help Yourself, by Dave Pelzer

Now although this may be a rather grave portrayal it does demonstrate just how effective—just how powerful—removing oneself from the present moment and/or situation can be.

In The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, however, author Deepak Chopra takes a somewhat different position.

“Acceptance,” he declares, “Is accepting that this moment is as it should be. And when you struggle against this moment you’re actually struggling against the entire universe.”

“The entire universe?!” “Are you friggin kiddin me?”

Relax, no worries, because unless you’re some heavily armed super villain with a gargantuan chip on your shoulder there’s a damn good chance the cosmos have got your back.

Why?

Because as suggested in Mr. Pelzer’s example you’re not struggling against the moment, you’re simply removing yourself from it.

You’re stepping away, if you will, viewing it through a fresh set of eyes.

And like Deepak himself says, “Changing your perception can change your reality.”

A reality which for the majority of us I’m here to concur isn’t looming millions of miles away in some far off galaxy, but lurking right here, just outside our door.  

And that I would contend is the real struggle.  

That, I trust, in the hearts, minds, and unfulfilled dreams of all of us who grudgingly drag our rear ends outta bed each morning is what hits hardest and closest to home.

Do I get the whole acceptance thing?

I do.

Do I recognize the infinite advantages of staying physically, emotionally, and spiritually grounded in the moment?

Absolutely.  

But when where you are and where you wanna be are poles apart; when what you do and what you’d truly like to be doing are incessantly at odds with one another and as a result you’re being tugged, yanked, and jerked between the two, then take it from someone who knows; take it from a %*#&^ expert, a little transcendence can work wonders.

DAYDREAMS: THE GREAT EQUALIZER

“Daydreams,” explains author Amy Fries, “Are much more than wishful thinking or some time-squandering activity.”

“Visionaries of every sort, including Einstein, Mozart, and Walt Disney (who first came up with the idea for a theme park while idly watching his daughters ride by on a merry-go-round), credit daydreams for creating conditions ripe for moments of insight to blossom.”

“And the beauty of daydreaming,” she shrewdly reminds us, “is that it’s a process available to every one of us.”  

In other words, it’s user friendly.

Ironically, all it requires is a little attention.

And once again it’s Mr. Chopra himself who states, “Whatever you put your attention on will grow stronger in your life.”

So, that said, why hole up in Dullsville? Why dwell in the moment if the moment in question sucks?

Listen, I’m not suggesting turning a blind eye to every trying moment within the course of your day. Nor am I submitting that whenever the present isn’t presenting itself in quite the manner you’d like you go crying wolf.

Accept it, deal with it, face it head on the only way any responsible human being knows how: by pulling up your boot straps and shouldering through it.

Truth is you’ll probably wind up a better person for it.

But then, when opportunity knocks, allow yourself the liberty to check out.

To step back.

To move away.

Go ahead, take a moment and build yourself some castles in the sand.

Hoist that haggard head of yours high up in the clouds and begin to…imagine.

It was Bruce Springsteen who said, “Sometimes things from the outside make their way in.”

The trick of course is that you gotta be open to em.  

Maybe what you’re looking for right now is nothing more than a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy day.

If so, so be it.

I for one wish you eternal days of abundant brilliance.

Then again maybe, just maybe, you’re searching for something a little more substantial.

If that’s the case then daydreaming could very well be you’re knight in shining armor. 

Because again, when done with intention daydreaming is much more than some convenient diversion tactic or soothing mental retreat;

When done with intention daydreaming can…

  • Serendipitously pique your interest, calling to mind thoughts and feelings that might otherwise go entirely unnoticed.
  •  Awaken a renewed and unyielding sense of purpose
  • Trigger determinate action
  • Breed a desirable new behavior
  •  Ignite an irresistible anticipation for what’s next

If I recall correctly it was Albert Einstein who said, “Your imagination is the preview to life’s coming attractions.”

So…given the situation; granted the opportunity, take a moment to dream in the midst of your ongoing day with your eyes fully open.

Take a moment to…step away from it.

Feel free to disengage from the here and now every now and again.

After all, what better way to see (and/or seize) what’s possible?

What better way to get a true and definite sense of exactly what it is this great big beautiful universe has to offer? 

And of course, what better time…than the present?

Sweet daydreams,          

See ya April 1st, till then, keeep it up.   


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