Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Fantasy: a Powerful Tool or a Debilitating Habit?

    Ever caught yourself delving too deep into a fantasy? For a second it feels so real that you catch yourself smiling and feeling warm and content. That feeling could last a whole day and the images can be burned into your head forever. But how could a mere visualization of something have such a dramatic and real effect on you? Sometimes we can get so caught up in fantasies that we let them get in the way of our actual life which could make us feel miserable to wake up and realize how far we are from this ideal. So what's the solution then? Forget fantasies then. Let's keep it real.

     But wait, what if I told you that you can harness that creative energy to make a real change in your future?

     What if you could imagine sitting as yourself with your other future awesome self having a conversation about life? What your future self say? What will he/she be wearing and how will he/she be sitting?

     What if you could imagine putting your children to sleep with a book and a song? Or your grandchildren coming to your home in the tens for a family dinner? What kind of mother or father will you be then? How will you greet your grandchildren in your home? What kind of party will you host?

     What if you could imagine that job you've always dreamed of. What if you could imagine waking up excited to give back to the world? What type of energy will you exude?

    What if you were stressed out from the pressures of this life and imagined yourself sitting on a beach alone somewhere or in a endless field. Better yet, you could picture being taken off this earth and watching the starts and other galaxies until you're up in the heavens. Suddenly, your problems seem smaller. 

     So, I believe that fantasy is a powerful tool yet using it to make our own lives less colorful can be truly maladaptive and debilitating. So have fun and explore that thinking space! The possibilities are endless!

On a side note, from "20 Life lessons That Took Me by Surprise":

"What do you catch yourself thinking about on a regular day? Whatever neurons are firing in our cognitive space are a reflection of what we've stored and what we find significant enough for recall. Even if it is a novel thought, the recollection of it repeatedly in our areas of awareness causes increased reinforcement of that image.  So when we choose to complain and judge ourselves harshly, we reinforce our ideas of incompetence and thus reflect it in our daily lives. On the contrary, when we choose to pump ourselves with praise to nurture our confidence, we feel more ready to take on the world positively. Even our deepest fantasies are a reflection of our realities. Are we fantasizing about probable events which we could shape ourselves? Or are we choosing to repaint our lives in our fantasies to an alternate universe where we are better looking, more clever and attractive for example? I believe that when we choose to shape our fantasies further away from reality or expected reality, we actually impede our shot at growth and thus it becomes counterproductive to do so. Think, I can be the person I fantasize about, and live to that fantasy. What we choose to bring up to our awareness if a true reflection of who we are because it is a private act which we only share with Allah."

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