Welcome to the August edition of your “Year of Personal Branding“, where I’ve broken down key branding concepts as part of a month-by-month guide to help you with each step of growing (and implementing) your personal brand.
As always, I invite you to use these monthly Year of Personal Branding posts as a map that will allow you to navigate all aspects of Personal Branding.
Lazy summer days are a great time to day-dream and this month is all about that – day-dreaming! Even if you’re not going away, day-dreaming can give our mind a much needed break and make room for inspiration for your personal brand.
For one, it’s a respite from devices, electronics and being at everyone else’s beck and call. This is your time with no pressure to be somewhere else or do something else. Daydreaming can be thought of a mini mind holiday, one with similar benefits to mindfulness. Watching the ocean, an aquarium or clouds float past or listening to music on your headphones while your mind wanders is extremely soothing and relaxing, and can allow for a “reset” from the day’s grind. And when you let go of the need to be productive, you may at the same time be improving your productivity, as experts have found.
Daydreaming “on demand” may feel a little unnatural, but you’ll soon find that you can drift off at will. Whilst many of us daydream countless times daily, allowing for a more structured time for reflective thinking, without distractions, can reap the most benefits. Great places to daydream include long train journeys, soaking in a hot bath or while you are sitting comfortably and listening to music. If sitting still isn’t your thing, you can also get into the day dreaming groove whilst you are walking, swimming or running. Darwin would have a stroll down a designated “thinking path” to contemplate his ideas, and Nietzsche retreated to nature walks for hours spent in deep thought.
This is when you can get swept away with fantasies about the future or musings on the plot of that novel you may one day write, or the business you’ve contemplated starting. Daydreaming can be more serious or emotional in content, or it could be hugely fun as you plan how you are going to spend your lottery millions. Even if your dreams are totally random, neurologists have found that this “brain brake” can boost your creativity, productivity and complex problem solving skills.
If that novel or business idea dominates our daydreams, then perhaps it’s time to do something about it. Daydreaming can point us towards potential personal branding “core attributes” such as passion, purpose and vision, or a cause that touches our heartstrings. Or perhaps it may guide our “outer brand”, pointing us to an alternative part of our self-image, such as a need to reveal our inner flamboyance. We can also use mind wandering to discover ways to enrich our lives, such as with recreation or relationships. We may be drawn to a particular film or book that keeps popping up in our minds, or even a person that we feel drawn to.
Regular daydreaming sessions will help your brain consolidate memories and create “non-linear” neural connections that allow exciting things to happen right there, in your mind. If you think about it, any great novel, work of art or piece of music probably began as a daydream…