Purposeful dreaming

If the word dreaming conjures up words like frivolous, idle and useless, think again

business man with personal goals on the wall: family - car and a house

Most of us consider daydreaming, as a frivolous, if not downright worthless, activity. In fact, daydreaming has a notorious reputation of being the ultimate enemy of productivity. Even schoolchildren are not spared – they are often asked to stop daydreaming and concentrate on studies.

But, according to new research, far from being futile, daydreaming may actually be essential to us. In fact scientists now are beginning to take daydreams seriously, many of them concluding that it may be fundamental for fostering creativity.

Scientists may be discovering the power of dreams recently but if you ask me, this reputation has always been unfair. Daydreams are not only not worthless, they are extremely potent. Of course, the potency of daydreaming differs from one individual to another. If you daydream a lot and yet dismiss it as just idle fantasy, then daydreaming will produce little more than mental relaxation [which, by the way, is not entirely worthless].

But, there are those among us who instinctively know that their daydreams are more than merely unbounded hopes and fantasies. Such individuals understand that their dreams are potent and therefore, not only do they dream a lot, they work to make them a reality. I call these individuals purposeful dreamers.

What separates purposeful dreamers from the rest is that they have figured out how to use power of dreams to improve their lives and the lives of others. As the term suggests, these people dream with a purpose. However crazy their dream may seem, they take them seriously. Their dreams act as a vision statement of their life’s blueprint. Many of them write down the dreams. Others visualise their dreams as vividly as they can. Still others allow their minds to conjure up hitherto unimagined ideas.

There are many examples of purposeful dreamers from across the globe and across ages. Albert Einstein’s “wandering mind” did wonders. Founder of the Reliance Group, Dhirubhai Ambani too daydreamed about creating one of the biggest business empires in India when he had nothing. But, he took his daydreams seriously. He was on a purposeful dream. Film star Shah Rukh Khan’s now famous declaration to his lone friend that he will “rule Mumbai city one day” could have been dismissed as a daydream by many. But he took his daydream seriously and manifested it into reality.

If you are one of those have who always felt that there is more to dreaming than mere fantasising, it might be worthwhile to explore the idea of purposeful dreaming. I have only one suggestion: whenever you decide to dream on purpose, dream big!

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Manoj Khatri
Manoj Khatri has spent the last two decades learning, teaching and writing about wellbeing and mindful living. He has contributed over 1500 articles for several newspapers and magazines including The Times of India, The Economic Times, The Statesman, Mid-Day, Bombay Times, Femina, and more. He is a counseling therapist and the author of What a thought!, a critically acclaimed best-selling book on self-transformation. An award-winning editor, Manoj runs Complete Wellbeing and believes that "peace begins with me".


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