I just got back from my daughter’s graduation at Virginia Tech, and she sent a text message during one of the many speeches joking that a lot of her fellow grads were probably busy daydreaming right now. And I’m sure they were daydreaming about a lot of things—where they were going to party later that night, what they might wear, and how they were going to find a job in one of the most challenging economies.
If you want to work at something you love, don’t ignore the spontaneous thoughts and images that come to you when you imagine yourself at work. Okay, you might not be a rock star, but you could work in event promotion. You might not be an actress, but you might be happy in sales, advertising, or PR.
Start by describing your various job-related daydreams. Do you picture yourself as being busy all the time or do you see yourself sitting in a fancy corner office? Do you imagine yourself working independently or as part of a group? In your daydreams are you traveling? Working inside or outside? What kind of images come to you when you’re daydreaming about different careers? What appeals to you about that particular image or fantasy? Do you fantasize about money, fame, power, talent, skill, helping others? What's the goal behind the goal?
Daydreaming lets you experiment with different lives and different roles—that’s one of their many benefits. Daydreams may not show you exactly what you really want to do, but they usually capture the essence of what you want—to be of service, to be powerful, to live a life of adventure, to be financially secure . . . Whatever it is, don't feel bad about daydreaming. It's your vehicle for exploration.
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