"Ben, I'm sorry, I drifted off then, into a daydream"
And he looked a little guilty and ashamed.
My very first reaction was 'was I that boring?', but that was quickly displaced by a wonder of what he'd been daydreaming about.
So I questioned him and together we explored what the daydream was about, and then talked more generally about daydreams and what can be gained.
And then I realised that all too often I drift off, and in my shame of not being totally present, I throw the daydream out with the bathwater as quickly as possible like a dirty little secret. Why is that? I realise I'm not in your head to hear what goes on, but out of a straw poll of two last week, 100% of us daydreamed a lot. Which suggests, even if we're outliers, most people will daydream to some degree or another.
Yet how often do we talk about our daydream? How often do we even admit to ourselves, let alone anybody else, that we daydream? How many truly amazing ideas have been lost due to them occurring at an inappropriate moment at a dinner party, when you realise everybody else is amazed you aren't laughing, and your idea of how to fuel the UK for a million years has just disappeared behind the proverbial sofa.
So I think I want to leave you with two questions, or challenges:
1) Do you keep track of your daydreams, and use it as a way into another area of your creative side, or do you let it happen and then whisper into the ether as quietly as it came?
2) what would it be like to name out loud not only that you're daydreaming, but also what you're daydreaming about?
The latter one strikes me as particularly challenging, as it potentially opens us up to being judged - if we're thinking about cake or sex or something that certain aspects of society would deem 'bad'. After finishing with my client, I was reflecting on the train, and realised that rather than his being bored, his admission was a good sign of our growing relationship....