The average daydream is approximately 14 seconds in length and we have about 2,000 of them each day. Those are statistics from Jonathan Gottschall in his book The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human. “In other words,” he writes, “we spend about half of our waking hours – one-third of our lives on earth – spinning fantasies.”
The thing about daydreams is that we can’t not have them. Daydreams are the result of what’s known as our brain’s “default mode network” being activated. This network links parts of the frontal cortex, the limbic system, and several other cortical areas involved in sensory experiences. While active, the default network turns itself on and generates its own stimulation. Evidence suggests that the default network is there to help us explore our inner experiences.
You won’t – and you shouldn’t – stop daydreaming. That’s the source of your creativity. But, here’s a question or maybe more of a challenge for you: How many of those daydreams will you act upon? What will you build with this third of your life?