Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why daydreaming is good for you.

Thinking creatively. We all want to do it. We probably all think we already do. But I ran across a post on another blog today (Tribal Writer) that made me stop and really consider what it really means to “think creatively”.
I have been a chronic daydreamer all my life, and usually felt a little guilty about it. Time spent daydreaming, after all, is not productive time. Well, guilt be gone! Here is what I read this morning: when daydreaming….
Your mind is free to roam through all its memory banks, including places that your conscious mind can’t get to, and to pick up odd snippets and fragments. This is when you’re likely to make those unexpected connections or insights that will solve that problem you’ve been mulling over all week. A recent study at the University of British Columbia has demonstrated that, when daydreaming, the brain is actually recruiting complex regions of itself including the “executive network”, the command-and-control center of your mind that gathers all the streams of information coming in from various sources and evaluates and interprets them.
I suppose I knew this on some level. But don’t we love to hear that a study has come to the same conclusions we did on our own?
Another thing discussed in that post is brainstorming. Justine references a book called Think Better by Tim Hurson (which I confess I haven’t read). But in the book, she says Hurson claims that most people go about brainstorming the wrong way -
Most people will list some ideas, say “yes” or “no” to each idea as it gets jotted down, and then stop at the first idea that seems “right”.
Hmm. Sounds familiar. But what’s wrong with that?
Good brainstorming gets rid of the binary. Each idea isn’t met with a “yes” or a “no”…but a maybe.
Hurson says we should keep tossing the ideas on the table until we reach the ones that seem really “out there” – the point being that we can’t reach a really innovative solution to a problem until we’ve moved beyond the tired old ideas we’ve heard elsewhere, which will be the first ones presented in any brainstorming session. We have to push further, even if one of those tired old ideas “sounds right”. If nothing else we come up with is feasible, we can always come back to an early idea. But if we stop too soon, we’ll never reach our potential.
Livin’ on the edge, baby.


  1. This post validates my life. I day dream all the time...it's when my best ideas hit and how I hash out the things that make my life tick. It IS refreshing to hear someone else say that this "habit" is necessary.

    Great post.

  2. Isn't it amazing how things can change aspect so drastically just by looking at them from a different angle? I was impacted in the same way by this information!

  3. I love to daydream and spend a lot of time inside my own head planning projects and working through problems from rearranging furniture to how I'm going to approach a piece of art. It's nice to have it validated.

  4. Great information! As a kid, the sentence, "daydreams a lot" was often noted on my report cards as a negative. Thus, I always felt bad about it, as if I were wasting time. It's now nice to know that my "bad habit" helped to form my creative career! Thanks for sharing, LeeAnn.



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