This past Sunday I found myself laying in Washington Park and letting my mind wander to wherever it felt compelled to go. Lately, this seems to be happening on a much more frequent basis. On the golf course, I would imagine there was a crystal clear ocean just beyond the tree line. While writing this article from the garden of my office building, I was imagining I was in a cosmopolitan oasis in the South of France far away from the 100 degree weather we have been experiencing in Portland. I feel as though my whole life I have been discouraged from dreaming in this way. Authority figures constantly reminding me to stay in the moment, because day dreaming won’t get you anywhere. It wasn’t until recently that I figured out that:
Day dreaming can be the most rapid way to induce change in your life
The more time spent thinking about faraway places and your desire to visit them, the more you will begin to realize these things are actually possible. For me personally, as I have become increasingly dissatisfied with my daily routine I’ve become more inspired to make the changes to turn these dreams in to reality. It isn’t necessarily a hard thing to do, but it does require a change in mindset. Instead of “day dreams” look at them more as “day plans”. Once you begin to disassociate your plans with the notion that they are unachievable, you will be amazed at how powerful a day dream can be.
What was once a vague notion of something that you want to do in the distant future, suddenly becomes a solid plan. Once you know it will be accomplished, making the plans to get there is the fun part. The more I find myself getting lost in my “plans” the more excited I get about future possibilities. However, in order for these dreams to turn into realities, you have to approach it in a structured manner. You must be willing to take the steps (however difficult they might be) to make it happen.
Start by making a list of all of your day dreams. As you find your mind wandering to places you want to go or things you want to be doing, write them down each time it happens. If you end up having a journal full of thoughts about scuba diving in Australia, you know where your priorities lie. While the rational side of you might look at this as an impossible goal, change your mindset to view it as an actionable plan, and make a series of small goals to get there.
If you are anything like me, money is your biggest barrier to making your lifestyle change (or at the very least, taking the trip you have always dreamed about). However, this shouldn’t stop you. I am constantly asking myself “If I spend the money to travel now, will I regret it later in life?” I have a feeling that the only thing I would regret is not taking the opportunity when it was presented to me.
So rather than stifle your creative life dreams, embrace them. Evaluate your current path and if that isn’t taking you in the right direction, change your path accordingly. Day dreaming is your mind telling you what you really are passionate about seeing and doing in this life. There is no better time to break out of the ordinary and start doing the things you really meant to do.
Photo by Muha