From Merriam-Webster: DREAM
1. a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep
2. an experience of waking life having the characteristics of a dream: as
a : a visionary creation of the imagination : daydream
b : a state of mind marked by abstraction or release from reality : reverie
c : an object seen in a dreamlike state : vision
3. something notable for its beauty, excellence, or enjoyable quality
4. a : a strongly desired goal or purpose
b : something that fully satisfies a wish : ideal
Inspiration can come from anywhere. It can spring from a book, conversation, a movie or TV show ... or a dream. I am often inspired by an email or a blog post. Sometimes I jump on the idea and act on it immediately. Sometimes I don’t.
I recently read an article from my favorite blog Heart of Innovation entitled “How to Attract A Big AHA!” It talked about how many “geniuses” received creative breakthroughs for their discoveries or great works in a Dream. (The #1 or #2b kind of Dream.) There are those, too, who have achieved their goals via a DayDream. (See #2. a,b,c and/or #4.a.)
A memory popped into my head that some years back I addressed this very subject in a writer’s workshop I presented. So, I began looking everywhere for the material and it was nowhere to be found. So the idea went onto the shelf.
Then a few days ago I saw a news piece online quoting Lady Gaga and again I thought about writing an article about the creative power of dreams. I didn’t write down the quote at that very moment, and I when I went back to look for it I couldn’t find it. Now I had two things I couldn’t find.
Yesterday, I opened up one of my notebooks filled with writings and reference materials, and lo and behold, there was my workshop with the information about dreams.
Now if that wasn’t enough to motivate me, I opened an email today and guess what? There was the Lady Gaga quote. (How strange is that?)
So now the message was so loud and clear, I could no longer deny it. So here I am writing about the relationship between Creativity and Dreams.
The critical factor here is that these AHAs or “sudden” breakthroughs usually “happen only after intense periods of intention, immersion, struggle -- even madness. It is sustained and focused effort towards a specific goal -- not luck, wishing, or caffeine -- that ultimately prepares the ground for creative insight.”
Rene Descartes, the "father of modern science," and Elias Howe, the inventor of the lock stitch sewing machine are two examples of creative breakthroughs coming during sleep.
Rudyard Kipling is an example of someone guided by an inner voice. He said, "When your Daemon (guardian spirit) is in charge, do not try to think consciously. Drift, wait, and obey."
Tchiakovsky said, "Generally, the germ of a future composition comes suddenly and unexpectedly. It takes root with extraordinary force and rapidity, shoots up through the earth, puts forth branches and leaves, and finally blossoms ..."
And then there’s Mozart, always in the receptive state of mind. “When I am, as it were, completely myself, entirely alone, and of good cheer -- say traveling in a carriage or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly. Whence and how they come, I know not, nor can I force them ... What a delight I cannot tell! All this inventing, this producing, takes place in a pleasing lively dream."
So, back to Lady Gaga. She is a perfect examples of #4a.Those who set their sights on a particular goal and achieve success also follow the same basic path described earlier … “sustained and focused effort towards a specific goal …”
“Five years ago I was still waiting tables in New York City.
Don’t ever give up on your dream!”
- - Lady Gaga
The basic message here is you never know when the breakthrough will occur. Most people “try” and don’t succeed. As Yoda said, “Try. No try. Do or don’t do.”
You just never know. The breakthrough could be right around the corner or waiting for you when you go to sleep tonight.
Quoted sections attributed to Mitch Ditkoff of Idea Champions
©Susan Schanerman 2012