Differentiating Between Dream and Reality?

Fine, dreams occur in sleep and reality happens in wake. But do dreams really occur only in sleep? And are dreams really just that, dreams?

I’ve had several experiences I’d like to share:

A few nights ago before I went to bed, I spent my drowsy moment playing a word game — Word Link. The game requires you to form words out of randomly dealt letters. I got stuck at one level and feel asleep, phone in hand.

While asleep, I saw myself playing the same game, and I was on the same stage which lured me to sleep. I thought, while in the dream, and I found the missing words. Waking up in the morning I saw my phone in hand, the Word Link tab still open. Guess, I just placed the letters as I saw them in my dream and behold, level cleared!

Even more curious and disturbing, another time in my dream I was thinking about a project I’m currently running. I took certain decisions and made certain moves within the context of the dream, which prove to be so amazingly smart and successful, that I woke up feeling like I was Tesla. But as I reviewed my dreamland actions in the real world, the same moves which propelled my project sounded rather absurd. But then, I thought there must be a way to achieve the same results in the real world as in dreamland. Maybe there was a little parameter or line of thought I had to modify or change to automatically transform or translate the moves I made in my dream, into the real world.

I could go on and on citing examples of how dream and reality interact in a way that would beat the understanding of most, but that may keep you here for too long. My whole point is,

maybe we should pay more attention to our dreams on the one hand, and pay more attention to our reality on the other hand.

Paying more attention to reality, AKA Mindfulness.

Forget the title of my article, I wrote this piece to stress on the importance of mindfulness. Simply put, mindfulness is about being in the moment. Most of the time when we think we’re focusing on something, could be at the job, with our kids or spouses, cooking or reading, we’re really not focusing. Many of such times, we’re merely dreaming. Not only dreaming, we’re dreaming un-constructively.

What do I mean by dreaming un-constructively?

Doing anything properly, whatever it is, or being creative and effective at performing tasks, requires both physical and spiritual input. When you perform any task with thoughts of other unrelated things polluting the moment, all you really do is dream, and you would perform the same task a lot better if you weren’t dreaming, if you were mindful. This kind of lucid dreaming is what is commonly known as daydreaming.

Three states of being: conscious, unconscious and mindful.

We’re all conscious, but not everyone pays much importance to mindfulness. In fact, few people do. Mindfulness is about being completely invested in each moment, and giving its own fair time and attention to each task. A person may multitask and be mindful, but that requires consistent practice and a higher degree of mindfulness, being mindful of the bigger picture.

For instance in my examples above, playing the game requires a certain degree of concentration or mindfulness, which permitted me to reproduce reality in my dream, and find applicable solutions in the real world.

In the case of my project, the same mindfulness permitted me to take it into dreamland and think out solutions to my hurdles which, even if not applicable in the real world, can stir thoughts the kind of which would permit me to find relevant solutions within the context of reality.

Bringing dreams to reality

Mindfulness in the real world permits a certain degree of coherence and consistency between dreams and reality, making life relatively easier, as you become and feel productive on a 24-hour clock, during sleep as while awake.

Such consistency between dreams and reality, hence mindfulness, is a necessary and important requirement for achievement of any kind. We each have just one mind, and it runs exclusively on pre-registered content, whether we’re asleep or we’re awake. If your dreams are totally unrelated to your reality, then there may be an urgent need for you to enhance your levels of mindfulness in order to better ensure the realization of your ambitions. What practicing mindfulness does, it brings the things that matter to you up to the surface of your subconscious mind, permitting you to work on these things and find solutions and ideas even while you’re sleeping, through dreams.

Having discovered a lot of things from the domestication of electricity to the light bulb, Nicola Tesla is one of the the greatest inventors the world has ever known. He enjoyed a harmonious relationship between his dreams and reality, as he often thought things out and even found solutions to several puzzles in his research, during his sleep. He was extremely mindful to the point of always going around buildings several times before entering them, or seeing numeric and artistic patterns in regular environments. Similar displays of disciplined mindfulness have been documented for persons like Leonardo Da Vinci, Charles Darwin and other prominent historic figures including Jesus Christ.

You would either be worried or rejoicing at this point depending on whether you think you’re mindful or you’re too vulnerable to distraction. There’s neuroplasticity to console you! Your brain can do anything you train it to do.

How to be mindful

  • Meditate. Set out a time in each day to relax your mind and think only about the things you want to see and achieve, as well as how you intend to achieve these. You will not find solutions immediately, but don’t stop carrying out the exercise. This will help bring about consistency between your dreams and reality.
  • Nurture your relationships. Free your conscience of every significant form of guilt and don’t keep grudges with anyone. When you disappoint anyone, don’t hesitate to apologize. When you get disappointed by anyone, don’t hesitate to forgive. That’s to your own advantage.
  • Don’t expect or feel entitled. Mindfulness is about keeping the mind free in order to let it do constructive work. Expectations unmet embitter the mind. Nothing belongs to you. You’re only renting everything you have while you have it. Losing should be normal to you. Life is an adventure, if you still have a brain then you’re in the game.
  • Have a plan. Most of us live for others and work for them, on their terms and conditions. What’s your own plan for your life? An unclear or doubtful answer to this question is the reason why a lot of people find it hard to concentrate on tasks. Know what you want, know how you intend to get it. At least that would give your subconscious mind something constructive to work on while you sleep.
  • Practice Gratitude. Gratitude is a very effective form of meditation. It relaxes the mind and makes you happier. When you recognize more reasons why you should be grateful, you begin to feel more and more comfortable with yourself and your environment, and it helps eliminate worry from the mind to permit concentration and mindfulness.
  • Finally, give more. Yes, give. The act of gifting has similar effects to that of gratitude. I will be publishing a book in the very near future which throws a lot of light on the profundity of these acts, giving and gratitude. It’s titled The Economy of Bliss: Core Values. You may get it at bookstores around you, or online for a pdf copy.
  • Contact a personal development coach like myself. Coaches can be extremely resourceful helpers in endeavors such as practicing mindfulness. If you can afford a coach, don’t hesitate to do so. In the meantime, I accept to coach un-affording clients for free. At least until I begin having hundreds of clients on my roster to disallow me from doing free jobs.

Differentiating between dreams and reality now becomes of little interest, as a mindful person knows little difference between the two!