Daydreaming: The hidden gains

Are you familiar with the saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again but expecting different results”?

Whether or not these words resonate true, many of us do exactly this; we continue in our lives and work doing the same things and wondering why we aren’t getting better outcomes. 

The good news is, you can fix this.

Solution lies in taking a step back and letting your mind wander… 

Daydreaming is the act of disconnecting from the chaos of the world around you, and letting your mind travel, reflect, and piece together information in new ways.

For years, daydreaming has been criticized. For example, students learn early that focus is the key to success in school, the workplace, and beyond.

Yet, research suggests that the process of mind wandering is a critical aspect of creativity. It allows us to produce and communicate original ideas that lead to new invention, strategy, and theory. Thus, daydreaming is actually beneficial to societal advancement and progress.

Truth is, we all do it! Most of us are proud and committed daydreamers!

Harvard psychologists found that on average, a person daydreams ~47% of waking hours. This is because boredom triggers our minds to naturally wander. Thus, daydreaming is actually the brains way of making use out of time that’s unproductive or unfulfilling.

Further, research suggests that daydreaming is also one of the best ways to learn about yourself. It allows time for introspection that can help you grow — both professionally and personally, to enrich your life by leaps and bounds.

When you daydream, you view things without limits. And, to become successful and happier in life, it’s important to think beyond fears, worries, and tribulations and imagine what could be possible. In other words, daydreaming allows for goals and dreams to come alive, offering very personal rewards such as increased self-awareness, future planning, and meaning making.

Of course, daydreaming can be costly when it comes to the wrong time— like the middle of a board meeting or your kid’s dance recital. The importance of being able to control your attention when the task at hand requires it should not be overlooked.

Yet, when considering that many goals lie in the future, and require aspirations and dreams that are personally meaningful, the benefits of daydreaming become hard to resist.

Sometimes it’s important to have a way out of the present chaos, to re-discover a new way towards success…

So, if you’re feeling stuck in a routine that’s far from energizing, it may be time to let your mind wander. Letting yourself disconnect and dream for a bit may offer just the creative kick for your next big accomplishment.