I've spent most of the day thinking about and studying my goals for 2013 - both personal and business goals and subsequently I've spent most of the last few hours in a feature length daydream.
This post was originally written in January 2012, but I thought it was relevant so I'm posting it again here...
I’d say about 50% of my memories from primary school involve playing the Power Rangers game with friends (I was always the Yellow one), collecting Beanie Babies and running away from boys. The other 50% mainly consists of being told to stop staring out of the window and get on with my work.
From a very young age, I was diagnosed as a serial daydreamer. It’s a very serious condition that largely goes unrecognised today. Every Parent's Evening at School would come with the same comments. “Hayley’s work is good when she’s concentrating.” or “She needs to focus more.” I remember one year a teacher told my Mum that every time she looked at me, she felt as though I was somewhere else. And guess what? I was.
Who wants to be doing long division when you could be daydreaming about something you really care about? When I was younger this usually involved puppies and pink unicorns that could talk, but as I got older, the daydreams grew with me (I have the puppies but I still want a pink unicorn please!)
I remember last year, I was sat in my room daydreaming about my business ideas when my partner came in and asked me what I was doing. “Wouldn’t it be amazing if I had my things in a real life shop?” I said. “You know, like Selfridges or Harrods. You know you’ve made it when you’ve done that.”
2 weeks later I got an email from a buyer at Selfridges that I had met at a party. She wanted to stock my handmade jewellery in the world's most famous department store. My daydream had become a reality.
Daydreaming has often been seen as a lazy hobby for people who didn’t want to face reality, and in the 1950′s it was even considered by educational psychologists as dangerous to a child’s mental health, but to me, daydreaming is for people who know what they want but haven’t figured out a way to get it yet.
Wikipedia tells me that according to therapist Dan Jones, daydreaming has been linked to the success of great people like Richard Branson, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci and, my favourite, Walt Disney. All of these great men had one thing in common; they all spent time daydreaming about their area of success.
Afterall, daydreaming is just having an idea, a vision, and thinking about it just makes that vision grow. It makes it seem real. Imagining what great things might happen if you’re vision were to come true can’t be a bad thing. All great things come from one tiny idea, and as the man himself once said…
“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” —Walt Disney
So I say ignore everyone who tells you to keep your head out of the clouds and keep dreaming. Dream big and don’t ever let go because all great things come from one person’s wish.
Go on, close your eyes and let your imagination run free. It's what Walt would have wanted.