Why do We Value the Daydreams and not the Night Dreams?

Daydreams often provide more inspiration than night dreams. Why?

Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst

Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

This quote by Emerson has perhaps encouraged many people to pursue their dreams.  In America, it is quite the fad to do so, the idea being that pursuing one’s dream is what will give your life purpose and direction.  Often, to most Americans, this approach means pursuing some idea or ideal job that is a product of fantasy or a daydream.  This daydream is often fed by other desirable things that may come along with the perfect job such as a great salary, benefits and real power.  One imagines the perfect job, gets trained to prepare for that job, and then goes about looking for such a job.

However, few people actually pursue a job, not to mention a career, they have literally dreamed about at night. Whenever I tell people I have had seven major careers based on night dreams I have dreamed about at night  raises people’s highbrows, as if to say, “Who would ever do such a thing?”  Or, “That makes for a lot of change in life!” or “That’s not practical!”

It also raises the question of what we mean by following a dream.   On one hand, we are encouraged to follow daydreams but not the nitty-gritty night dreams that often contain great power.  This example seems to reflect the great value put on daydreams in this country but not on the night dreams.  I leave it to my readers to provide the deeper answers why this is so.

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