Creating a delicious vision of the future is a really interesting, fun process; however I see so many clients who are struggling to find the thing that is "their thing". They wrestle with it, trying to force the answer into being. And yet, the answer continues to elude them. They cannot force it into being. Oh the frustration!
The reason for this is often that they have not allowed themselves the time and space to dream and muse, not for years. Decades even! Nose to the proverbial grindstone everything is reasoned out, planned, logicked into being. Which is all well and good, but it leaves little room for us to connect with that inner voice of truth and knowing that could provide a flash of inspiration on the way forward for our best life.
I got the bus home from town recently; it was packed and the sun was setting on a beautiful day. All you could see was the glow of a phone screen in front of each passenger. Everybody was texting or emailing. I was checking my Facebook* newsfeed. You could almost hear the crackle in the air of all the data that was downloading into our bus.
This got me thinking about all the bus journeys I used to take before the internet and mobile phones were invented. It got me wondering . . . what the hell did I do with my down time when I was travelling? What did we all do? Were we bored? How did we fill it without our phones?
When I thought about it, what I used to do was what is fast becoming a seriously endangered activity, soon to be put on the "extinct" list I fear. I daydreamed. Yes, I looked out of the window and let my mind wander. I dreamed and imagined as I watched the world go by.
How dull is that, right? What a waste of time when I could be connecting with the world. Getting stuff done. Well...yes and no. When I think about it, some of my best ideas and flashes of inspiration were reached in that daydream state as my mind wandered to possibilities and what could be. I distinctly remember that the decision to quit my job after nine successful years on the corporate ladder in London, to buy a rucksack and go travelling round the world, was reached in a flash of knowing as I watched the Devon countryside whistle past on the train back to Waterloo. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It came from a daydream and it changed my life for the better.
And that's the thing I think. Daydreaming is an activity. It's a thing in it's own right. It can be where our best ideas and our truest desires have the space and room to swim to the surface and make themselves known. Daydreaming is the productive earth from which inspiration can sprout.
Daydreaming is about getting information OUT from the depths of us, giving it the space and time to work its way to the surface. It can't be forced.
If we are constantly putting information IN - cramming every spare minute with incoming messages (text/call/email/Facebook/Twitter/internet) then we don't give our subconscious the time it needs to push its subtle but powerful messages OUT. The part of us that can guide us to our best lives and best choices gets literally no airtime. We choke it in the in-flow of information.
So, is daydreaming wasted time? Not really. It's the space our subconscious needs to breathe. It's often where our best ideas come from. Wasted time is actually that frantic busyness on activities and actions that are really not that important to us. Time that is truly wasted is spent on things that do not really bring us nearer to what our true life's purpose is.
That bus ride was a good reminder for me not to confuse activity with importance. To confuse the urgency of someone else's missive I am taking in to be more important than creating space for my own messages to surface.
Making time to daydream for me means leaving the iPod at home occasionally, going for a walk. Putting the book down for half an hour on the plane. Looking out of the window and daydreaming of what might be. To actively choose to leave some space for inspiration to bloom.
Give yourself permission to waste some time this week. It can be one of your most valuable high-impact activities if you allow that space for inspiration to blossom. You might surprise yourself with what you learn.