Friday, February 24, 2012

I am a daydream achiever

Throughout my undistinquished and limited scholastic career there was always one constant I can remember. Every report card I carted home to my disappointed mother always seemed to be annotated with this....."Edward could do much better but he spends too much time in class daydreaming". Lucky for me, as Mark Twain said...'I never let my schooling interfere with my education'.

My teachers were in full agreement that the only thing that seperated me from doing my mother proud was my lack of discipline and interest. I'm sure if they could of, they would have advised mom to lower her expectations with this child. But little did they know that while I was daydreaming about riding my bike or that pretty little thing across the aisle, I was actually developing my creative muscle. I was growing more neuron connections for future use.

"our brains are much more activated when we daydream"

That is the findings of a recent study published by the prestigous Academy of Sciences. They discovered that the activity of numerous regions of our brains increases as our minds wander. Previously they had believed that our brains went dormant or at least in some kind of slow motion when we daydream. The common belief was that mind-wandering was associated with laziness.....FOOLS!

"We spend almost half of our waking hours mind wandering" (unless you are me, in which case it can be much longer)

Isn't that amazing? Half of our waking hours the light is on but no one is home? This can be both good and bad. We can be worrying about the future or ruminating about the past. That's what I call..'Mind Wandering Trouble'. No good can come from this. As some wise guy once said...worry is using your imagination to make things worse.

The there is 'Mind Wandering Neutral'. This is when you are listening to music or watching the idiot box. You are letting an outside influence do the thinking for you.

So what's good about mind wandering you ask? Good question grasshopper and fortunately for you I have an answer. I call it 'Mind Wandering Fun'. This when you are conjuring up good ideas, day dreaming about a beautiful future or planning some venture.

So the good or the bad depends on what type of mind wandering your are doing. Most folks let the mind wander in which ever direction it chooses. But I got the idea that if the mind wanders almost half of our waking hours, why not try and direct and harness its powers to my advantage? Brilliant, huh?

A mini course in 'Mind Wandering Fun'

1. I have discovered that the best way to direct your wandering thoughts is to give your mind a question. The answers to which will be to your benefit. So for instance, I started out with the question...How can I use my mind wandering to my advantage?

2. Write your question out on an index card. This is really important because without a visual reminder your mind might lose its way and end up in mind wandering trouble.

3. Jot down on the back of the card all the ideas or answers that come to you.

4. Put the card where you will see it often. I put one in the car, another by my computer and another on the bathroom mirror. (my son see's them and thinks I'm nuts but oh well it works) Without the constant visual reminder your mind will lose its way. Maybe that's why people have told me in the've lost your mind Eduardo!

5. It's important that you take note of ALL your thoughts and ideas ASAP. It has been my experience that if you don't record ideas they are so easily forgotten. Also,  if don't immediately record your ideas you get cut off from the source they came from.

6. Stay with one question until you've either found what you were looking for or you get bored with it. If you get bored with it...change it to another question. You can always come back to the original question later with fresh eyes.

7. I sometimes end up with 4 or 5 cards full of ideas. I then review them to see which ideas I like the best (the evaluation step). However, most the time I'll come up with one idea that soars above the rest and I know it when I get it.

That's it 7 easy steps. I wrote my book using my simple 'Mind Wandering Fun' technique.  I wrote out the chapter name on a card and started collecting ideas for the chapter. From there it was easy to organize the thoughts and write the chapter.

I generate ideas for businesses using the same technique. It's fun, its easy and it works! I hope you try it because I wouldn't want you to let your mind wander....and lose it!

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