If you are afraid to dream, please think twice before shutting down this huge creative potential strength inside you. At The New School of Creativity, we encourage everyone to dream more. For us, dreaming is one of the best ways to expand our imagination and our cognitive capacities.
The more we look at the personal stories of great artists, scientists and inventors, the more we discover how the habit of dreaming played an important role in their discoveries and inventions. When you embrace the unknown with great curiosity and an open mind, you prepare yourself to see what others don't see yet. Being creative means to make the invisible visible but to do so, you first have to see it yourself.
We have no excuses since we know the power of mental models. As Charles Duhigg explains in his best-seller, Smarter, Faster, Better, the superstars shared a particular behavior almost an intellectual and conversational tic:
1. They love to generate theories — lots of theories about all kinds of topics.
2. They are constantly telling stories about what they had seen and heard.
In other words, they are much more prone to generate mental models. Becoming a champion in imagining future scenarios and having conversations about them is an excellent practice to make breakthroughs and achieve your dreams.
What is the very first step? To use some mind tricks to develop this new creative habit.
GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION
Think of a new habit that will encourage you to dream more and imagine new scenarios that would have been impossible for you to think of. If you are willing to try this, I have the perfect exercise for you... and it's fun to do:
Take a 'Dreaming Walk' once a week.
Go alone for a walk in a park or a place that inspires you. Imagine something you've never thought of before, never done, never tried or never learnt... imagine as many scenarios as possible about only this one thing. Go wild. You can imagine anything. This is not for real.
Bring a small notebook to write all your thoughts while walking or record your voice with an app such as Dragon Dictation.
Once you get back, revise your notes to make sure you don't forget your best thoughts and then forget about it for a while. The week after choosing another topic and redo the same exercise. At the end of the month, after four Dreaming Walks (you can do it for two months if you feel you still have topics that you would like to explore), one topic may become a call for action. If you find yourself thinking more about a specific topic, and you are becoming increasingly more curious about it, you should design an action plan to see what you will come up with.
And remember, it's never too late to change or improve your life. Furthermore, the entire world is going through a deep transition period as important as it was with the arrival of electricity. Nowadays, learning many new skills has become a way of life. Who is not eager to learn and grow?
In her book, Mindshift, Barbara Oakley interviewed Patrick Tay, a member of Singapore's Parliament who explained to her how his country approaches learning and lifestyle career resilience. She wrote:
"Singapore is a career bellwether for what is happening in much of the developed world. Emphasis on education has led to a workforce weighted toward professionals, managers, and executives. As general demographics have skewed older, so, too, has the labor force. Looming continuously in the spectre of job obsolescence. Hard-won techniques, technologies, and even relationship skills can gradually lose their value. People must master new software, different equipment, novel management methods, and even different ways of interaction with others. Traditionally, careers, have been stepping-stones where you lingered at each step. Modern careers, however, are more like conveyor belts. You have to keep moving a learning no matter what stage you're at."
It is quite interesting to see how a country can plan the future, trying to anticipate many scenarios. I love to look at Singaporean examples since they seem, in many fields, to focus now on getting ready for the fast and deep transition the entire world will have to take.
In Montreal, last week, the founder of nuTonomy, and the principal research scientist at MIT, Karl Iagnemma, presented innovative software for the driverless car... and guess where this experiment is more advanced? In Singapore.
We are in a transformative moment said the founder of nuTonomy. Indeed we are. It was also fascinating to listen to Rob Lloyd, the CEO of Hyperloop who made us dream that this new method of transportation will revolutionise everything.
The world is changing fast. It is paramount to develop mental models to help us to anticipate the future which means learning new skills all the time. The Singapore government found a way to encourage as many Singaporeans as possible to act now for tomorrow.
The "T" versus "𝝅" Approach to Career Building.
"Patrick Tay, explained Barbara Oakley, "has championed a "𝛑" approach to career building—two areas of deep knowledge, balanced by a modicum of knowledge, and ability in other areas. Also known as "second-skilling," this approach to careers builds in resiliency and flexibility in the face of society's rapid growth and change."
"Traditionally, career development in Singapore, as elsewhere, has been thought of as a "T" shaped trajectory, with one "deep" area of expertise, and many lesser areas of knowledge and interest."
As Barbara Oakley said: "Patrick realized, that in a modern economy, "second-skilling" is necessary for career resiliency—it gives you options and flexibility."
So, even if it looks strange to imagine what you would do if you had many lives, it's an excellent practice to expand your imagination and your life.
NOW YOU DREAM!
Download your interactive postcard.
Many studies show that we are more creative while walking. So let's go!
I would love to hear from you. How was it? Did you appreciate your first Dreaming Walk? Did you have some strange ideas that you never thought you'd have? I would love to hear from you. Please, leave me a comment below.
Sylvie's Best Books
Barbara Oakley, Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential