When I was young, my teachers’ comments on my report cards often read something along the lines of, “She’s a good student but she daydreams too much.” Or, “Spends too much time looking out the window.”

I loved learning but what was going on in my head or outside that window was often far more fascinating and inviting than whatever was happening in the classroom.

Why do we stop dreaming?

As we grow older, too often we stop dreaming. We are told, like I was, that dreaming is not something you should engage in. The work at hand has more importance.

But, when we fail to dream, it’s hard to set goals, or to set a course for your life.

If you never stop and just think for a while about what you want your life to look like, you’re in danger of drifting with the tide, like the rest of the flotsam.

One of the big reasons we stop dreaming is because we don’t give ourselves permission. We stop ourselves from staring into space or out the window and imagining a better life, happier surroundings, or future plans.

Life gets in the way.

It’s easy to imagine that it’s our situations that prevent us from dreaming—the job, the boss, the commute, the family. But the truth is, we stop ourselves. No one can control what goes on in your head. Your thoughts are totally up to you.

Here’s another thought: How can you dream if you never stop racing around long enough to simply sit and think?

We have probably all been told, “Don’t just sit there; do something!”

But, what if you turn it around? Don’t just do something; sit there. Sit still for a while and give yourself permission just to think.

If sitting and thinking makes you uncomfortable, give it a time limit. Set a timer for 15 minutes and do nothing but think.

Don’t hop up when you remember that you haven’t made a phone call, or that you need to write an email.

Here are a few tips to make your dreaming time more productive:

  • Keep a notebook and pen beside you so you can grab those wayward thoughts, and also those great ideas that occur when you allow your mind to wander.
  • Start by stating that you are now giving yourself permission to dream. This allows your mind to let go.
  • Think about your life—what makes you happy, what you don’t like, what you want to change.
  • Daydream about how you want your days to look, your weekends, or your job or work situation.
  • Do you have a dream trip you’ve always wanted to take? Close your eyes and imagine you are there.
  • Make a note of anything that comes up that you want to act upon.
  • And most of all, enjoy yourself!

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