Dream (noun) — a succession of images, thoughts or emotions passing through the mind during sleep. Daydream (noun) — a visionary fantasy, especially one of happy, pleasant thoughts, hopes or ambitions, imagined as coming to pass and experienced while awake. After reading the two definitions above I asked myself, how can you follow your dreams? You see, I’m the least literal person you will meet. So, when my editor said the theme of this issue was “follow your dream” it got me dreaming, uh, I mean thinking … According to dream experts, (yep, dream experts actually exist) anger and fear are the two most common emotions people experience in their dream state. Isn’t that wonderful, it’s not like we get enough of those two emotions when we’re awake, but they have to go to bed with us too? Those same experts claim we forget 90 percent of our dreams 10 minutes after waking up and that in a typical lifetime we dream for a total of six years. So I ask, why do we want to follow six years of anger and fear that we’ll end up forgetting about after a few minutes anyway? Let’s face it, it’s not really dreams we follow, it’s our daydreams. If we end up dreaming a total of six years during our lives, I’m betting we blow past the six years in a heartbeat when it comes to daydreaming. Even now, as I am writing this column, I keep catching myself looking out the window, wondering what I’m fixing for dinner tonight. In a 2009 study done on daydreaming conducted by the University of British Colombia, (those dream experts I mentioned earlier) it was discovered that our brains are more active when we daydream then when we perform routine tasks. For all my past teachers that used to scold me for looking out the window during school time — ha! My brain was far more active than all those other kids who were actually doing their school work. You only have to look back at other famous daydreamers to know you’re in good company. Albert Einstein, Leonardo DaVinci, Beethoven and Walt Disney can all attribute some, or all of, their success to the art of daydreaming. The dream experts have also learned that when you snore, you don’t dream. So the next time your spouse complains about your snoring, tell him (or her) you just didn’t want to waste your time dreaming — you need to save your energy for daydreams.
Pete Ruffing is the Sales Director at M3 Group in downtown Lansing. He and his wife of 14 years Brenda live in Okemos.