Wednesday, August 26, 2020

The strategy that turns daydreams into reality

 Psychologists have found a single habit that sabotages most goals – and the way to correct it.

By David Robson

How often do you find yourself lost in a fantasy, imagining just how wonderful your life would be if you trained for a marathon, learnt a new language, founded your own start-up or wrote a novel? It’s natural to daydream about the things we want – but contrary to the positive-thinking literature, simply visualising a brighter future won’t make it any more likely to happen.

Instead, psychological research shows that we should start making pragmatic plans to accomplish our goals instead of simply dancing in daydreams. This means comparing  those rosy visions with our current reality, identifying the obstacles and finding the best way to overcome them.

Psychologists call this process “mental contrasting”. Their research shows that most people fail to effectively engage the strategy in their daily lives – meaning that our good intentions remain wishful thinking, and we never reach our dreams. Learning how to mentally contrast effectively can improve our problem solving, motivation and self-control – all of which can bring huge benefits to our personal and professional lives.  Read more >>