Hollywood producer/director Stephen Spielberg said, “My imagination won’t turn off. I wake up excited.”
Is imagination an active part of your life? Do you wake up excited about your day?
A client recently told me she grew up dreaming. Like me, she grew up in a small town. Books were her window to a fascinating world somewhere “out there” beyond the confines of her isolated mountain valley. She always knew she wanted to be an author when she grew up, and that’s exactly what’s happened.
Yet, she’s a single mom these days and her time is filled with taking care of her two kids and dealing with school activities, sports, music lessons, homework, chores, financial concerns and everything that goes along with being a solo parent/provider. She writes when her kids are at school and sometimes after they go to bed … if she can stay awake.
She has a contract for her next book, but the ideas aren’t coming. She told me, “I’m too exhausted to think. I have so much to do, I don’t have any energy left to be creative.”
I told her, “Do you know we have mind time when we go to bed? Mind time is the 5-50 minutes we have to think before we fall to sleep. Whether you wake up exhausted or excited depends a lot on whether you’re putting your mind time to work for you or against you.'”
I asked her, “What do you usually think about when you go to bed?’
She laughed and said, “I debrief the day, what happened with the kids. what didn’t happen with my book. The next thing I know, the alarm goes off and it’s time to get up.”
I suggested, “From now on, put that mind time to work for you. Instead of mentally regurgitating that day, picture what you want to happen the next day. Imagine the kids getting along at breakfast and getting off to school on time. Imagine sitting down at your desk and the words coming so fast your fingers can hardly keep up. Imagine wrapping up for the day and feeling satisfied with your progress. I call that ‘forward focus.’ It’s a better use of your brain because you’re giving it a road map to follow.”
At our next session she said, “Sam, that concept of mind time has made a huge difference for me. You’re right. I’m going to be laying in bed anyway. I might as well focus on what I do want instead of what I don’t.”
How about you? What do you think about when you go to bed? I’ve found many of us spend our mind time worrying, regretting or resenting. No wonder we wake up exhausted.
From now on, spend your mind time imagining what you do want instead of what you don’t. Debrief the day if you wish; just make it purposeful. What worked? What was meaningful, productive, satisfying? How can you do more of that tomorrow?
What didn’t work? What was frustrating, ineffective? How will you do that differently tomorrow? Picture what you prefer in your mind’s eye. Envision it unfolding just the way you imagined it. Put your brain to work for you instead of against you.
Want your dreams to come true? Imagination + action = ImaginACTION.
Promise yourself, tonight – and every night – you’ll use your mind time to focus forward and envision what you do want so you wake up excited and raring to go.
Add some inspiration to your ImaginACTION by picking a favorite quote from the ones below. Then post it where it will stay in sight- in mind to remind you of the power of using your mind time – for good.
1. “A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities.” – J. R. R. Tolkein
2. “Live out of your imagination, not your history.” – Stephen Covey
3. “Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman
4. “Imagination is the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not; it is the foundation of all invention and innovation.” – novelist J. K. Rowling
5. “Dreamers are mocked as impractical. The truth is they are the most practical, as their innovations lead to progress and a better way of life for all of us.” – Robin S. Sharma
6. “Look closely at the present you’re constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming.” – Alice Walker
7 “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love.” – actress Sophia Loren
8. “When I am completely myself, entirely alone during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly.” – Mozart
9. Each man should frame life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet.” – Victor Hugo
10. “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” – Christopher Reeves
11. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
When Lupito Nyong’o won her Academy Award, she looked straight into the camera and into the eyes of millions of people in the television audience and said, “No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.”
Not only are dreams valid, they’re -oh-so-valuable in turning what you see into reality. Summon what you want when you go to sleep so your dreams become inevitable.
Want more ways to put your mind to work for you?
Check out my books ConZentrate, What’s Holding You Back?, POP!, Got Your Attention? and IDEAPRENEUR. Hope you find them intriguing, inspiring and useful.