You Need The Discipline to Daydream

Wed, Mar 31, 2010

Blogs, Fearless Creativity

You Need The Discipline to Daydream

“They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”  ~Edgar Allan Poe

Ok, that’s it, you’re disrupting my musings, and this has got to stop, my creativity depends on it.  I need the discipline to waste time purposely daydreaming.

Not because I’m optimistically middle aged, but doing more than one thing at a time splits my attention to a point approaching failure.  Multi-tasking is something computer engineers invented so programs not requiring our attention can run in the background.  It was probably human ego or lust for profit that started this fallacy:  If a computer can do it, so can I; so can my employees.

My The brain simply doesn’t work that way.  It’s why you’ll turn down the car radio when closing in on an unfamiliar destination.  Hell, you can’t even listen and see divergent impulses at the same time.  Thankfully gum chewing enthusiasts are well practiced at their craft or world productivity may suffer.

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is the source of all true art and science.  He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” ~Albert Einstein

Without a doubt we can train to perform multiple tasks in chorus, but musicians will tell you that they must reduce instrumental complexity when singing: BB King stops playing altogether.  I didn’t fully realize the difficulty until first attempting to finger-pick guitar and sing – go ahead, try it – it’s hard.

Imagination requires dominant brain function, so it simply makes sense that those flaunting high multi-tasking capacity are relatively unimaginative.  Multiple complex tasks equate less imagination.  Only the most routine or well practiced actions synchronize with imagination: walking and thinking, holding a brush and pushing colors, rapping to simple beats, writing and holding a pen. Talking and driving is suddenly controversial but real time improvised guitar riffs while spontaneously singing new lyrics would be the perfect circus stage freak show.

At best multitasking involves allocating brain space to concurrent tasks, but when one involves slightly more than autonomic motor control, the brain suffers a denominator.  Nothing takes more brain power than imagination, it’s probably how daydreaming got its name; you’ve abandoned all else.  High demand creativity, such as writing to an abbreviated deadline, resembles a performance more than spontaneous imagination; it’s practiced or derivative.

That snappy comeback forms in your head minutes or hours after it ceases to be meaningful. Why is it so hard to be spontaneously creative in the moment than it is to be reflectively reactive to the moment or conceptually creative in planning. In the moment you were a little busy to let your imagination go.

“Creativity represents a miraculous coming together of the uninhibited energy of the child with its apparent opposite and enemy, the sense of order imposed on the disciplined adult intelligence.” ~Norman Podhoretz

Psychological distance gives creativity perspective and essential detachment.  Imagination by definition is abstract and realism independent. Creativity is imagination with accountability and consequence; it’s an act of imagination applied, and why it’s harder to be inventively creative in the moment than it is when we are at rest but fully focused.  Daydreaming needs the discipline of your full attention  ~  Bruce DeBoer

Manifesto Law #17:   Imagination accelerates in the abstract and slows with tangibility.  Daydream,  maintain vulnerability, innocence and a sense of wonder so that your creativity stays vigorous.

Creativity, Imagination

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