Ever since I was young, my mother has always told me I have been a bit of a "dreamer". Whether it were my colossal dreams of being in the WNBA at the age of 6, my overzealous dreams at the age of 10 where I proclaimed I'd be the "next big thing" on Broadway, the ambition at age 15 where I just knew I'd go to law school and become the next Elle Woods, or now, the big dreams I have sitting in my small studio apartment wanting to travel the world and make a difference.
The idea of this post came to me this morning. Lately, I have had a bit of a weekend morning ritual that includes lying in bed for an extra hour and then getting up and making myself brunch. One of these items that I have been obsessing over the past two weeks are the "Kouigns Amann" croissants (learn more here!) and my goodness, they are delicious, especially paired with a little bit of jam (I digress). The thing about these fluffy, buttery, high in calories, pastries is the smell that comes from the oven when I bake them. If just for a second, I were to close my eyes, I would be brought back to a side street in Italy, with the sun shining and myself, sitting at a tiny table, with a tiny cup of espresso, eating a croissant in pure bliss.
While this may all sound rather ridiculous, it is these moments in my busy life, where I can sit and daydream a little, that I feel re-energized, committed and ready for my day and my week ahead. There has been much research that supports the benefits of daydreaming, from it enhancing creative problem solving to daydreaming helping children process information and exploring ideas.
We need to dream a little more and let our minds wander. It makes us more creative, increases our moods, maybe allows for a little self discovery and maybe even makes us little more empathetic (check out the health benefits of daydreaming here). I challenge you to take five minutes and let your mind wander. Think intensively what are your biggest goals? If no one was stopping you and you had no barriers, what would you accomplish? These guiding questions can take you into the depths of your mind and you can step out of your daydream feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on any task that is handed to you.
So while my daydreaming didn't turn into action for me to play in the WNBA (too short anyhow), to get on Broadway or I didn't become the next Elle Woods, it's certainly made me a creative individual with big dreams that have helped in goal setting, planning events, advising student groups and in my personal/professional life overall.