Dreams about Creativity, Emotions, and Success

The word “dream” often refers to creative goals that individuals are eager to accomplish that require great efforts to be achieved. For instance, we encourage children to dream of becoming astronauts, entrepreneurs, scientists, singers, dancers, and ball players. Businesses encourage employees at the workplace to have dreams (goals) of personal fulfillment, and to improve the competitive strength of the companies in the marketplace.

Thomas Edison, Mahatma Gandhi, President John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela all had dreams, and they showed that the world could become a better place through their materialization. Thomas Edison was successful in lighting up the world, Mahatma Gandhi worked toward ending the British rule of India, President Kennedy initiated the process whereby the human race became capable of walking on the moon, Dr. Martin Luther King was able to bring justice to a society plagued by racial inequality, and Nelson Mandela brought peace and racial equality to Africa. All successful scientists and leaders have dreams, and they encourage everyone else to have their own in order to challenge the status quo. Dreams allow individuals to think deeply and creatively, and to work hard to accomplish their goals.

In a way, a dream is like the setting of a goal in the subconscious mind so that the conscious mind can accomplish it. Every individual has a dream, and they can be materialized by formulating and implementing specific strategies through the use of the conscious mind. Businesses understand that an individual’s dream is the driving force for personal and professional growth. As a result, several businesses, including technology companies, have transformed the workplace into a campus-like environment, providing additional time and comfortable environments for employees to pursue their dreams. The businesses where employees have a chance to dream will be more creative in developing products and delivering services to their customers.

How Can a Dream be Materialized?

A dream is a goal based on positive emotions in the subconscious mind, and it can be accomplished by transposing the positive emotions into the conscious mind for the formulation of a practical strategy to materialize the dream. I believe everyone in their lives may have once thought of an idea to solve a problem or develop a product or service, and soon realized that somebody was already marketing that solution, product, or service on television or Internet. The reason an individual’s dream may not be materialized whereas someone else is able to market the same idea on television is because the individual did not put the right positive emotions into the strategy formulation and implementation to achieve the goals.

The above model suggests that to materialize a dream, you need to transpose the positive emotions into the strategy and its implementation. Otherwise, it will be a very different kind of dream, more like the one we have when sleeping. In other words, there is a difference between having a dream for the purposes of accomplishing something and dreaming while asleep.

Dreaming During Sleep

The dreams that occur during sleep are of random images, audio, video, and feelings related to what had occurred during the day, week, or months before the period of sleep. They are usually created by an individual’s imagination. For example, a child who watches a monster movie during the day may dream about the monster during sleep, along with any other event experience during the day. Such a dream is an imaginary experience, and it is not going to be materialized. It may be a random image or video from the past that was stored in the subconscious mind of the child, or it may be the result of the complicated processes of the imagination and emotions of the child who reconstructed a monster video during sleep.

The above model suggests that the dreaming process starts in the individual space in which images, audio, and videos are created. The triggering event leads to the activation of emotions, and the emotional energy is utilized based on the imagination for the construction (action) of the dream.

I believe in learning through interaction and observation. Based on such an approach in both the classroom and the workplace, I have learned that there are three types of emotions involved in the dreams we have during sleep about the workplace.

  1. Positive emotion
  2. Neutral emotion
  3. Negative emotion

Positive Emotional Energy:

An individual with positive emotions may leave work but is still emotionally attached to it because he or she is interested in advancing in the workplace. They may dream at random, and they often dream about the workplace.

Example of a Dream:

I had a dream that my company expanded their operations to China, and I was asked to lead the company’s Chinese operations starting in June. I was glad that the job was right after my graduation.

Neutral Emotional Energy:

An individual with neutral emotions in the workplace leaves work without thinking about it until he or she gets back. They may dream at random, but they rarely dream about work.

Example of a Dream:

I had a dream that the company was planning to spin off a wireless division and asked for volunteers from the fiber optics division to join the new venture. I thought that they already had enough volunteers, and I did not feel pressured to join the spin off division.

Negative Emotional Energy:

An individual with negative emotions leaves the workplace but is emotionally attached to the work because he or she is not happy with the occupational situation. They may dream at random, and they dream about work.

Example of a Dream:

I had a dream that I won the lottery, and I went back to work the next day. As soon as my supervisor started his same morning routine of complaining about my work, I told the manager that I was quitting, and I left the job.

These three examples of dreams while sleeping have no direct connection to reality because the experience is the result of the individual imagination, and such dreams are generally about something an individual is interested in doing. In the dream resulting from positive emotions, the individual was interested in professional growth opportunities and the managerial position. The individual with the neutral emotions was happy with the status quo and did not use a lot of imagination to construct the experience, having random images of the workplace in the dream and not bothering to recall anything more significant. The individual with negative emotions was not happy with the workplace and was interested in quitting the job, and the imagination led to the construction of a scenario where the lottery was won in order to facilitate quitting.

The lesson we need to remember both in our personal and professional lives is that dreams lead to creative ideas, and positive emotional energy is needed to materialize a dream. Dreams in sleep are the result of an individual’s imagination, and they are distinct from reality. The research and individual experience show that everyone dreams in sleep, few people remember the dreams; and few do not remember. Alcohol and drug users dream more often than average individuals.

© 2016 Mohammed R. Ahmed
Ahmed, M.R. (2016). Dreams about Creativity, Emotions, and Success (Working Paper No. 15).