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Smart People Let Their Minds Wander


“Live in the moment.”  “Get your head out of the clouds and put your feet on the ground.”  “Just the facts, ma’am.”  “QUIT DAYDREAMING and get to work!”

I have a hard time living in the moment.  I seem to always be reliving the past or fantasizing about the things I want to do/say/be in the future.  But try as I might to sit and meditate and “be here now,” my mind continues to wander. This is a real challenge when there are so many things that I believe need to get done.  So I continue to try and whip myself into shape, get my head out of the clouds and do the work. 

But then, another metaphorical squirrel crosses my path or an idea that is worth chasing appears and I’m off once again, daydreaming about the “what if.” 

Imagine how happy I was when I learned that this mind-wandering or daydreaming that I seem to do so often is now being shown to be a good thing!

Scott Barry Kaufman, author of Ungifted:  Intelligence Redefined found that daydreaming is an undervalued sign of intelligence.  He thought it was unwise to label people who did not perform well on tests as less than smart.  So he decided to investigate more. 

He found that people who may not test well still had amazing abilities.  Often labeled as lazy or unfocused, these folks had some super-powers that are actually highly prized abilities.  (I love it when I find that I have more super-powers!)

Day dreamers are more spontaneous, more insightful and intuitive and can connect seemingly unconnected ideas to one another.  (All great skills for a leader, I would think.)  In other words, daydreamers are highly creative.  These creative ideas and insights lead to a plethora of other benefits such as future planning, entrepreneurship, compassion, and peace to name a few.  WOW!

So are you a person who can live in the moment or do you have a desire to lay back and let your mind wander?  I say (and so does the research) a bit of both, thank you.

Kaufman says, “The latest research on imagination and creativity shows that if we’re always in the moment, we’re going to miss out on important connections between our own inner mind-wandering thoughts and the outside world.  Creativity lies in that intersection between our outer world and our inner world. 

And we all know that creativity is that juicy (and lucrative and joyful and meaningful) place to live our life from!

Cheri is a speaker, trainer, coach and has authored two books.  She helps people and organizations break out of old mindsets so they can lead happy, motivated and fired up lives.  She blogs to ignite you and help you get unstuck!

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