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Are you the type of person whose mind moves really fast? Do you skip around, from subject to subject, happily wondering, or imagining? Perhaps you work with someone like this, or are partnered with someone like this.
I look for these folks in my life—the questioners, the dreamers, the wanderers who wonder. I ask them to dream, more often, and more intensely. It’s fascinating to watch someone dream, manufacturing pictures, images, and colors in their minds. These folks see faces in their mind's eye, and they react emotionally to these theoretical future states. In some cases, they have so much experience in their field that they can describe in significant amounts of detail, a brave, new world that looks very different from the way things are today.
As with most strengths, there are some shadows to this type of thinking. A shadow of a highly creative, idea-generating, wonder-filled person is that they struggle to complete projects. Why? Because, to them, these feelings, emotions, and dreams, are ever-evolving. They are never the same as they were when the dream was first dreamed. Today’s dream can be additive, or as some people might see it, disruptive, to yesterday’s artifact. Dreamers don’t get energy from finishing projects, because it is their gift to see everything as incomplete until it is truly complete. Which is a very, very nuanced process. And the closer that creativity comes to “art,” the closer it is to feeling “good.”
It can be exhausting to dream, as it often comes with cycles of excitement and disappointment, forcing the creative process to produce an increasingly simple artifact. To me, it feels like a creative's work is to never settle. To always ask one more time—is there something we can take away? Simplify, or reduce? To make this experience of life just a bit more pragmatic, or energetically whole and restful.
Sometimes it's challenging to articulate the things we dream about. How many individuals unapologetically voice their uncensored thoughts amid the pressures of social media and societal expectations? I wonder how different it was in the past when communication was limited to handwritten letters, scratches from natives on cave walls, reaching only a few within close-knit communities, and shielded from relentless scrutiny. It is a rare luxury to not care about others' judgments: to freely speak one's mind without the visibility of a social feedback loop, fear of lost income, or social group alienation, that perpetually causes self-editing.
If we seek to have an impact, though, we must discover ways to communicate without subjecting ourselves to social pressures that stifle our voices. In my view, humanity's evolution will accelerate when people feel free to speak their minds.