Dare To Daydream

Do you daydream or do you take precautions and exert discipline to prevent daydreaming? Many disciplined people do the latter yet many successful visionaries’ visions came from daydreaming.  

            As an undergrad, I commuted every day to attend classes in downtown Chicago. My very first college professor gratuitously advised us to be disciplined, to do our homework on the L train and not waste the long daily rides back and forth just looking at the same thing pass by the train window.

            Since most of us had after-school jobs and extracurricular activities, his advice may well have made the difference between college success and a lost opportunity. However, implicit in his advice was that we not daydream.

            Daydreaming can be a key to being a visionary. It often opens one’s mind to what might be. The mind has the ability to manipulate the myriad of data, information and knowledge gathered recently and actually throughout your life. All of that becomes the basis of prediction: of opportunities and challenges, needs and resources.

            Daydreaming doesn’t only occur in a vacuum. Consider a few interviewees from my new book, Visionarie$ Are Made Not Born:

                        >Fred Smith’s daydreams occur while he’s reading books, almost always

                           applying what he reads to FedEx.

                        >Tony Terlato dreamed of an America with sophisticated wine tastes.

                        >Bill Terlato’s daydreams were more like “daynightmares” as he thought about

                           the company’s lack of vertical integration and control.

            My professor was right: Undisciplined passive daydreaming is a waste, but creative active, daydreaming is what makes great success and what makes successful business visionaries. I urge that both have their places in our lives. The key: the daydream avoidance discipline is most valuable when it includes allowing space for daydreaming. Learn more about this in Visionarie$ Are Made Not Born.

            Meanwhile, ask yourself: Are you biased against daydreaming? Do you consider daydreaming a wasteful expenditure of time? Can you conceive of daydreaming as an investment, not an expense?