Strategic Dreaming® is the intentional pursuit of a cherished, greatly desired aspiration. It’s a theoretical concept, but also an actionable method. Whether you want to throw in Quantum Physics, the Law of Attraction, Behavioral Psychology, or other scientific models, there is serious research around this topic, yet we mainly base this approach on practical evidence called life experience. So, what does it take to intentionally pursue a cherished, greatly desired aspiration? Let’s look at three key ingredients:
It begins with intensely imagining the outcome – the dream you desire to manifest. Visualize it, sense it, feel it. Over and over again. This activates your brain’s default mode network. Its “constructive” function helps create and predict the imagined outcome, whereas the “evaluative” function assesses whether that newly constructed outcome is positive or negative. Two aspects matter in this process: vividness and valence. Vividness is the degree to which the image that comes to mind has a lot of details as opposed to being vague. Valence is an emotional evaluation about how much you want something to happen. Every child is born with the innate ability to imagine, yet the older we grow the more we unlearn to use our imagination. This is a critical skill to revive and strengthen if we want to manifest our dreams.
Think of manifestation as a mental push from thought to action. However, there is a bridge you might have to cross in-between, because more often than not you will encounter obstacles, naysayers or pushbacks. Overcoming these hurdles takes willpower, which in turn requires focus, a great deal of discipline and patience. The good news is that willpower is like a muscle and muscles get stronger when exercised. While it may not be everybody’s favorite pastime to resist temptation, the ability to delay gratification is one way to train willpower and self-control. Deliberately thinking of something else is a simple strategy you can adopt when temptation is high. Avoiding places or situations that will tax your willpower is another coping mechanism. If you can’t avoid temptation, make a plan in advance for what you are going to do instead of succumbing.
In his book, “Human Action,” noted economist and philosopher Ludwig von Mises posits that three requirements must be met for individuals to take action:
- unease or dissatisfaction with the present state of affairs, (= the aspiration/desire)
- a vision of a better state, (= your imagination)
- and a belief that the better state can be reached. (= unwavering willpower)
How to nurture that belief? Well, maybe there is more to the art of taking action than meets the eye. What about setting realistic and manageable goals and pursuing them in small steps? What about PMA? After all, a Positive Mental Attitude is a choice and it’s all yours. Not to mention qualities like determination, resilience and perseverance. If you struggle with it, there is a lot you can do to improve your own action taking. In the end, the simple formula we’re after is: Thought + Action = Accomplishment.
Leaders are supposed to inspire followership. A meaningful way of doing that is by demonstrating how to turn a vision into reality. Strategic Dreaming is a way to do just that. If you want to learn how to develop, strengthen or improve your imagination, willpower or capacity to take action, reach out to us. We can take you a lot deeper into the secret of Strategic Dreaming.
Authored by Martina Mangelsdorf, Chief Strategic Dreamer at GAIA Insights.