As a writer, I live in fantasy. When I pick up my pen for my Bamboo Spark or turn on my typewriter or open Evernote, I’m opening a portal of fantasy. 90% of writing is pre-writing, pre-dreaming, and pre-thinking about what to do, how to do it, and what happens next. In essence, I live hours of my life in worlds that don’t begin to exist until I create them and that required vast amounts of fantasy, even in books that aren’t a true fantasy project.
As children, we spent hours playing pretend and making up words, worlds, and just saying whatever we came up with in our heads. As we grow older we are told to get rid of those skills and ground ourselves firmly in reality. That is important for overall development and learning to be adults but we should never complete squash the fantastic spark that we are born with and that runs free in our young minds. When we think about the future and consider what next steps to take we are engaging in the best type of pure creative fantasy.
Now I’m sure you’re thinking, “I work in (non-writing related field) so how will fantasy help me?” It might even seem like a complete waste of time. The practical among us might resist the idea of contemplating nothing for ours and thinking up things that haven’t happened yet or are not real. I’m here to report, that as someone who lives a double life in fantasy as a fiction writer and in reality as a commentator on life and the news, that fantasy is vitally important to helping me navigate both of those areas of life. It can help you too and in ways you might not suspect right away.
Here are 5 ways fantasy can help you in your everyday life.
No matter what you are doing, but especially if you are creating your own brand or your own business, storytelling is important. Creating thoughts, feelings, and desires around your business and brand is a process of storytelling. Before I can tell you a fascinating story I first must sit down and fantasize. Where does it take place? Why is the motivation? What is going on? How do people change over time? This same process can be helpful to you as you create your brand story. Even in the process of writing this article, I had to imagine what I wanted to say and what I wanted my reader to experience. It might not be obvious but at a certain level you can tell a writer who has taken the time to tell you a story and someone who just typed some words for a page view. Your customers know this as well. In your brand storytelling you have to answer these questions: Why should people be interested in following your journey of discovery? What do you want them to experience and why should they give you money and their attention for that? Creating a powerful story that gets people excited about your process opens both minds and wallets. That starts with a strong imagination that generates fantasy.
2. Fantasy is pure creation
This is the fun part. When we fantasize and think about the best things that can happen (as well as a few of the worse) we get to create our reality and it is the purest form of creation. In my spiritual experience we have a little saying, “Thoughts are things.” If your thoughts are scattered, lack order, or simply are just not there, then it is hard to create the very special world that you want. When we create a fantasy/story/narrative it starts to manifest itself in our lives. That means that through fantasy we can shift that narrative to something more positive and we can create something that we really want. As a writer, I spend many hours teasing out plot lines and trying things out with characters. I’m trying to decide if something works for them and what might happen in the snapshot of their lives that is the novel I’m writing. As the author of your life, you are afforded the same creative privilege.
3. It helps you check in with yourself
A healthy life of fantasy helps you realize what is and is not working for you. I’ve found in my life that I find myself in situations that I don’t quite understand or what to be in and if I don’t check in with myself I end up going along with things that I don’t really want to do or agree with but I would rather follow along the path or with a partnership just because I feel like I have to because I started it. That is no way to live! The only way to discover what my true feelings are is to go within during my times of meditation (which I do with journaling and other methods) and be very honest with myself about why I’m doing what I’m doing and if I should continue doing it or make a change. The only way you’re going to get the clarifying power of fantasy is to take the time within yourself to think and evaluate your own emotions. Listening to your gut is important and the only way you’ll know what your gut is saying is with an expansive inner life.
4. It’s a great planning tool
Need to figure some things out? Need to problem solve? Just need to think? A little fantasizing can help with that. Many of the answers of our problems are within us. Our sub-conscious knows that we want and often, how to get there, all we have to do is access it. Before that important meeting or client review, take some time to think about how you want it to go. When you decide in advance how you want things to go you can be more prepared with different scenarios, information you might need to gather or simply just having a command of the language you want to use. Taking that preparation time to get calm, get prepared, and get ready will make for many more successes in all areas of your life. It’s a true secret to infectious confidence that everyone admires.
5. It keeps your mind sharp
In the hustle and bustle of everyday life it is easy to let our minds get clogged with all manner of distractions and problems. From endless social media updates to political coverage and our personal relationships, it is easy for a sharp mind to get a bit dull with constant use on mundane topics. You can sharpen things back up with a healthy dose of introspective fantasy. By letting your mind wander you can use more parts of your brain and your mind. Oftentimes the best ideas come along during this time because everything begins and ends in the imagination. If we can’t imagine it, we can’t pursue it and manifest it into the material world. Many of the best thought leaders read regularly. This is because reading allows for a certain amount of fantasy and the theatre of the mind creates the content book in your consciousness. Exposing yourself to new thoughts and idea is a powerful tool to help you solve problems that are around. Even family drama can become clear thanks to a book, fiction or otherwise.
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