(8.4) Daydreaming is a form of mental dissipation while imagination is a form of constructive thought, which precedes all constructive action.
Daydreaming is synonymous with rumination; both describe a mental state in which will has surrendered power.
Will is the ability to consciously direct our attention. This takes initiative. Without initiative, our attention is directed by biological drives and psychological forces reacting to conditions we experience in life.
By slowing down and observing our tendencies to react, behavioural patterns emerge. We rely on these unconscious scripts anytime we refuse to direct our attention toward thoughts and activities that support the greatest version of who we aspire to be. This “greatest version” is our ideal state.
Achieving our ideal state does not happen overnight. We must demonstrate an ongoing interest in discovering our unconscious scripts and a willingness to discard or update the belief systems that provide us with value and meaning.
Taking initiative to direct our attention (constructive thought) is reflected in what we say and do (constructive action).
Scripts develop as a result of learned habitual behaviour, defence mechanisms, and social conditioning.
Most public speakers intentionally rely on scripts because they are effective in generating desired results. Scripts also protect us from becoming vulnerable or exposing ourselves to potential failure.
Ultimately, mind is doing its best to protect us, which explains why we rely on scripts as a default. Until the individual has developed an ability to consistently generate value and meaning independently of scripts, it would be hazardous to attempt to navigate life without these defaults in place. Scripts may be a crutch, but unless the individual is capable of walking on their own, removing the crutch only ensures they won’t be able to move forward.
Our scripts reveal our belief systems. Becoming conscious of the unconscious demands a willingness to become aware of the belief systems that motivate us. These include beliefs about ourselves and the world. This ongoing process can be painful, humbling, and destabilizing. Many people avoid taking the initiative to be introspective, especially if they have a belief system that suggests they are incapable of dealing with anything that infringes upon their comfort.
Avoidance, inevitably, leads to an event that forces the individual to confront their unwillingness to face challenges that are important for them to proceed.
Nature is consistently prompting itself onward. This is demonstrated in the individual through consciousness. Historically, consciousness has evolved most dramatically in response to chaos and tragedy.
Critical thought is the ability to examine our belief systems without bias. If you seek mercy for yourself and justice for others, you have a bias.
Imagination is directed attention that supports our ideal state.
“Thinking” silently often results in the constant distraction of rumination. Language spoken mindfully engages Will because effort requires attention.
Catch yourself when you are speaking your scripts. Slow down. Start over. Think as you’re talking.