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Discussion Starter #1
I've been doing it since I was in high-school. I just can't stop portraying imaginary situations in my head, of all sorts.

I try to stop. I think it's not 'the norm' and it's wasted energy. Plus, I get emotionally affected by what I imagine.

Is it a useless behaviour ? I mean, it has nothing to do with reality
 

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I mean, it has nothing to do with reality
It doesn't? Well we have different daydreaming styles then.

For me daydream is absolutely useful. It's the place where I play out my analogies and metaphors to get to understand the "real life" in a deeper way. I explore the psyches of people, archetypes, situations that happen in my "real life", and a bunch of other things. Which means that makes me better equipped to deal with "real life" once I engage with it, because I understand it better deep down.
If the "real world" throws me something I didn't expect, I resort to not only normal mental analysis, but also daydreaming to break down what happened and play out characters and situations that help me dissect and understand how the new information applies to the scheme of life.
Daydreaming is also the place where I play out my ideal self, and so then in "the real world" I am confident to be my best self, because I already rehearsed it in my mind.
It's also the place where I play out my ideal life, which is crucial for goal setting. I know where I'm going in life because I have goals to accomplish, and these goals came out of my daydreams.

So daydreams and "reality" fuel each other, they're in a symbiotic relationship (mutualism in my case).
 

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I'm biased because I've used it as a coping mechanism and it's gone out of control / become something negative. It's useful insofar it doesn't compete with other aspects of your life. Otherwise it's innocuous. It can be relaxing/pleasant, so it doesn't have to be useless.

I do feel that, like you, it's wasted energy. One day I realized how instead of doing things I thought worthy to be imagined and desired, I did nothing except imagine them. So now I'd just rather try to do things instead, even if they're not that great, they're better than doing 'nothing'.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Daydreaming is also the place where I play out my ideal self, and so then in "the real world" I am confident to be my best self, because I already rehearsed it in my mind.
It's also the place where I play out my ideal life, which is crucial for goal setting. I know where I'm going in life because I have goals to accomplish, and these goals came out of my daydreams.
Well I'd say you have a pretty healthy daydreaming style then :)
 

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Just because it has nothing to do with "reality," doesn't make something useless. Why do you think you feel compelled to do it in the first place? Why does it make you emotional? Emotional in a negative way or a positive way? I don't think suppressing it is the answer. But understanding why you do it in the first place can be helpful.
 

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Is it a useless behaviour ?
Nothing that engages an activity repeatedly is useless... the more you do something, the better you become and the more you get out of it.

Just look at what you said there - I get emotionally affect by what I imagine. The activity is strengthening your being in-tune with yourself, even the bad things, facing those head-on and fully even if it negatively affects you emotionally. That's something not everyone would want to do because it's imposing to voluntarily confront the bad things. So they sweep it under the rug... until it shows itself later down the road in one big, explosive event.

Since you're doing that all the time, it's strengthening being in-tune with yourself, of what's around you, etc. So it's not useless. If you're an INFP, you would be doing what an INFP is inclined to do - which is this.

It's just like how baby lions play fight with each other and pretend they're sneaking up on each other from behind the scenes, to then pounce on them. It's not useless - since they're hunters, this behavior goes toward helping them do that.

Likewise, since an INFP is an emotion-based type... this behavior is going to be happening, and goes towards maintaining what is the main trait.
 

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Discussion Starter #8


Just look at what you said there - I get emotionally affect by what I imagine. The activity is strengthening your being in-tune with yourself, even the bad things, facing those head-on and fully even if it negatively affects you emotionally. That's something not everyone would want to do because it's imposing to voluntarily confront the bad things. So they sweep it under the rug... until it shows itself later down the road in one big, explosive event.

Since you're doing that all the time, it's strengthening being in-tune with yourself, of what's around you, etc. So it's not useless. If you're an INFP, you would be doing what an INFP is inclined to do - which is this.

You are 100% right, thanks for your positive insight. If this is 'what INFPs do' , which is constantly checking and validating all possibilities in the world, I think it can also be dangerous and paralyzing. We have to learn when to STOP and TAKE ACTION.
 

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I've found that my brain functions at its best if I let it daydream on occasion. If I don't let myself do that, I get stressed and stop to function properly.
If your brain needs certain things you really need to listen to it. Don't fight it just because other people's brains work differently. An ESFP needs to move around to think, you don't. That means you just have different needs. That's normal. Accept it and work with your brain instead of against it.
 

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Daydreaming is creativity and imagination in action.
It's the working out of theoretical ideas and an essential tool for writers, physicists, inventors...

"Einstein is believed to have begun his theory of relativity while he daydreamed about riding or running beside a sunbeam to the edge of the universe." - need I say more?
 
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Daydreaming is visualization at its finest. I mean sure, I have the occasional unrealistic daydreams, one of my favorites is meeting people I've never met before and the different ways it could play out. Gosh, I love doing that. Never gonna happen either. LOL. It's also a great way to remind myself of what I need to do in the near future, and playing it as vividly as possible in my head until it becomes a memory that kicks in once I reach that point in reality. A lot of my productive daydreams begin with me walking in the door from work and doing something different in my winding down routine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
one of my favorites is meeting people I've never met before and the different ways it could play out.

HAHA I do it all the time !!!


It's also a great way to remind myself of what I need to do in the near future, and playing it as vividly as possible in my head until it becomes a memory that kicks in once I reach that point in reality. A lot of my productive daydreams begin with me walking in the door from work and doing something different in my winding down routine.
That's just hilarious, I'd call it 'detailed daydreaming' !

Well, I have imaginary conversations with people and TRY (lol) different options and outcomings.
Maybe we should just become writers and accept it hehe
 

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Daydreamers make the most incredible writers! Just start jotting down your "visions".... see what unfolds ;)
 

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Daydreaming is fine and even useful. Excessive daydreaming is a problem. There's actually a term for it: maladaptive daydreaming.
 

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Nah definitely not in the moment:happy: Daydreams are my fuel, my daily shower of motivation....washing away the dirt of reality and leaving me feeling refreshed and excited.
Maybe in the long-run, I realize I spent quite a lot of time with my daydreams and I could have instead been “more productive” but consider it a hobby of sorts.
 

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I wouldn't say so.

For me, it's been a coping mechanism, but even more than that, it's given me some excellent ideas for fiction novels and short stories. It also helps me to analyze the various ways a scenario can play out, opening my mind to different perspectives. It can be a great way to pass the time if you're bored. Also, it helps you to envision how you would like your life to be. In saying that, it can serve as motivation and remind of your goals.

Daydreaming can quite literally be a way to hold on to your dreams.
 

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Ernst Bloch: The Principle of Hope (1938–1947)

Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? What are we waiting for? What awaits us? Many only feel confused. The ground shakes, they do not know why and with what. Theirs is a state of anxiety; if it becomes more definite, then it is fear. Once a man travelled far and wide to learn fear. In the time that has just passed, it came easier and closer, the art was mastered in a terrible fashion. But now that the creators of fear have been dealt with, a feeling that suits us better is overdue.

It is a question of learning hope. Its work does not renounce, it is in love with success rather than failure. Hope, superior to fear, is neither passive like the latter, nor locked into nothingness. The emotion of hope goes out of itself, makes people broad instead of confining them, cannot know nearly enough of what it is that makes them inwardly aimed, of what may be allied to them outwardly. The work of this emotion requires people who throw themselves actively into what is becoming, to which they themselves belong. It will not tolerate a dog’s life which feels itself only passively thrown into What Is, which is not seen through, even wretchedly recognized. The work against anxiety about life and the machinations of fear is that against its creators, who are for the most part easy to identify, and it looks in the world itself for what can help the world; this can be found. How richly people have always dreamed of this, dreamed of the better life that might be possible.

Everybody’s life is pervaded by daydreams: one part of this is just stale, even enervating escapism, even booty for swindlers, but another part is provocative, is not content just to accept the bad which exists, does not accept renunciation. This other part has hoping at its core, and is teachable. It can be extricated from the unregulated daydream and from its sly misuse, can be activated undimmed. Nobody has ever lived without daydreams, but it is a question of knowing them deeper and deeper and in this way keeping them trained unerringly, usefully, on what is right.

Let the daydreams grow even fuller, since this means they are enriching themselves around the sober glance; not in the sense of clogging, but of becoming clear. Not in the sense of merely contemplative reason which takes things as they are and as they stand, but of participating reason which takes them as they go, and therefore also as they could go better. Then let the daydreams grow really fuller, that is, clearer, less random, more familiar, more clearly understood and more mediated with the course of things. So that the wheat which is trying to ripen can be encouraged to grow and be harvested.

Thinking means venturing beyond. But in such a way that what already exists is not kept under or skated over. Not in its deprivation, let alone in moving out of it. Not in the causes of deprivation, let alone in the first signs of the change which is ripening within it. That is why real venturing beyond never goes into the mere vacuum of an In-Front-of-Us, merely fanatically, merely visualizing abstractions. Instead, it grasps the New as something that is mediated in what exists and is in motion, although to be revealed the New demands the most extreme effort of will. Real venturing beyond knows and activates the tendency which is inherent in history and which proceeds dialectically.

Primarily, everybody lives in the future, because they strive, past things only come later, and as yet genuine present is almost never there at all. The future dimension contains what is feared or what is hoped for; as regards human intention, that is, when it is not thwarted, it contains only what is hoped for. (S)




Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Hope

Bloch‘s The Principle of Hope is certainly not only the most radical attempt to build a critical political philosophy on a highly unorthodox theory of hope, it also constitutes a decisive break with standard analyses of hope found in the philosophical tradition.

Regarding the nature of hope, Bloch argues that it has both an affective component (as the opposite of fear) and a cognitive component (being the opposite of remembrance) through which it anticipates a state of affairs that not only does not yet exist, but that also is not yet cognitively completely available to the subject. On the affective side, Bloch describe affects as a subclass of drives which are the basic material of his (psychoanalytically inspired) psychology. In contrast to basic drives, affects are self-reflexive in two ways: when agents become conscious of their affects this can add to the motivating power of the latter; and through the consciousness of its affects, the subject becomes also capable of reflecting upon itself. Among the affects, we can distinguish between “filled” emotions (which have as their object something which is already completely available in the lifeworld of the agent) and “expectant emotions” (Erwartungsaffekte) that relate to something not yet available, among them hope and fear. In this schema, hope is a positive expectant emotion, and in contrast to the negative affects, to which we are subject involuntarily, it is something in regard to which we have a degree of freedom. Bloch therefore claims that, as a free, future-directed form of anticipation, hope is the most human of all affects.

In regard to the cognitive component, Bloch describes hope as providing new forms of access to reality in a way that defies short summary. In general, however, one can say that hope is always related to the “not-yet-conscious” that in turn reflects “objective possibilities”. The terms “not-yet conscious” and “preconscious” are part of an oppositional reading of classic psychoanalysis that, according to Bloch, understands the unconscious predominantly as encompassing thoughts which are no longer conscious or repressed (ibid.), but neglects the possibility that some unconscious thoughts are not yet capable of being conscious. This also leads Bloch to introduce a future-directed counterpart to the concept of repression. Whereas repressed memories are repressed by forces within the subject, resistance to not-yet conscious thought is to found in the very material or content of that thought, namely objective, future possibilities—events or outcomes that are, by definition, not yet achieved and habitualized and thus not available in the lifeworld for the subject’s conceptualization. This resistance to conscious reflection is also always partly due to socio-economic causes; not all projects are equally achievable in all historical moments and thus their becoming fully available to consciousness is blocked by their (present) impossibility.

The content or material of the not-yet-conscious is defined by what Bloch calls the “Front”. This concept is related to Bloch’s processual metaphysics according to which objective tendencies and possibilities in reality interact with “closed” matters of fact, such that the moment of potentiality surpassing into actuality always opens up opportunities for the interventions of active decision-making. The right way to relate to these “Front” opportunities is, according to Bloch, “militant optimism”, i.e., not a mere assumption that things will develop in a desirable direction, but an active relation to real tendencies with the goal to realize them.

Arguing from these premises, Bloch develops an integrated theory in which hope is not merely a subjective combination of desires and beliefs about probabilities or facts, but rather a reflection of metaphysical possibilities in the world and part of a range of human capacities that make it possible to relate to that which is not yet, but which is already prefigured in the objective potentials of reality. In the Principle of Hope, Bloch offers a wide-ranging overview of historical and current forms in which hope, optimism and utopia have been and are captured by visions of potential states of affairs—the list of topics discussed ranges from medial representation of desires, social and geographic utopias to literary and artistic ways in which the possible can be captured and philosophical theories of the goods.

The theoretical framework in which these analyses are embedded and in the service of which they are employed, is a revised form of Marxism. Bloch’s Marxism relies on a dialectical materialism which has two aspects that Bloch calls the “cold” and the “warm stream”: the first designates the materialist insight that all historical developments are conditioned and constrained by concrete, existing material conditions, “strict determinations that cannot be skipped over”, whereas the second acknowledges the processual constitution of reality which is adequately captured by hope and expectation. On this version of Marxism, hope becomes a central element of the stance of the social theorist and critic. In particular, Bloch understands Marx’s account of a unity between theory and practice in the Theses on Feuerbach to suggest a social theory that occupies the “horizon of the future” and a materialism which centrally integrates hope. This materialism, Bloch argues in the final pages of The Principle of Hope, can overcome the division between powerless fantasy and a mechanical determinism which underlies mere predictions of the future and guide political action that is directed towards a real, material, objective possibility—classless society—which is, at the same time, still acknowledged to be dependent on human decision. (S)


Leon Wieseltier: Under the Spell

Ernst Bloch’s ''Principle of Hope'' is a masterwork of the ancient religion known as Marxism. The vast three volumes constitute the most extravagant argument for Marxism ever assembled. A philosophy of history, nature and culture; a logic, an epistemology, a politics, a theology; a practical technique of action and a prophetic plan for the end of days - all this, and more, is Marxism in the mind of Bloch.

It was a mind under the spell of paradise. For all its mercilessly dense system of theory, Bloch's book is an intellectual's tribute to a millenarian thrill. For all its solidarity with the masses, it is the lonely communication of a vision, a sober and anti-Romantic exercise in dialectical materialism that culminates in an intoxicated and Romantic dream of the healing of all contradictions and the last wholeness of nature and history, matter and spirit. Bloch's Marxism even includes an obscure assurance about overcoming death. …

(Source)
 

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I don't think it's useless. When daydreaming you can sometimes come up with good ideas or new realizations, you can mentally experiment with 'what if questions' that you wouldn't be able to actively experiment with and refine your beliefs and understanding of things. Like @entheos said daydreaming can also help you see where you want to go in the future, or mentally practice what you want to be like. And Personally I think daydreaming plays an important part in creating your mood or outlook on life in that, while what you imagine may have less impact than real events, you are still experiencing them to some degree. If you mentally dwell on positive scenes it can help make your overall experience of life more positive. It's also a nice way to kill time when there isn't anything else to be doing at the time, and it's better than brooding over negatives like replaying someone's negative comment or kicking yourself over and over for some mistake.
 

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Daydreaming, preparing for things, worry, and creating are all separated by a very thin line. Daydreaming about things that could or could not happen can get you thinking about reality and how you would deal with things that might actually occur. If your daydreaming leads to positive action to prepare for something, it's a good thing; if it leads to fretting or worry without resolution, it's not.

Example: thinking about what would happen if someone sitting next to you at a restaurant starts choking to death on a piece of food. If daydreaming about that scenario leads you to say in the present, "Hey, I need to empower myself to help people in such emergency situations, so I'm going to go out and learn the Heimlich and CPR," it's a great thing. On the other hand, if daydreaming just makes you constantly fret about the safety of the people around you without leading to any positive action (when necessary), you're letting it run way with you and become a negative thing.

Another example of daydreaming being a positive thing is how it can lead to creating things. Very often, inspiration for creating things comes from seeing a need, looking at others' creations, and/or daydreaming about possibilities. This can creativity can lead to solutions to problems, creating art, and creating any number of things.

If daydreaming is leading you to emotionally-charged, unrealistic pretend encounters with people in your head, or traumatizing situations that effect your outlook on life, relationships with people, and healthy functionality, it's time to adjust your thinking and practice putting on the brakes, either by distracting yourself from your thoughts with a project, or redirecting the daydream into resolutions with positive outcomes.

If, your emotionally-charged daydreams develop into worries that actually have a possibility or even probability of happening (the death of a close loved one, for example) and you find that you're having a hard time getting out of your head, try to redirect yourself into thinking about what you could do to lessen the emotional impact of such an event, such as going especially out of your way in real life to show/tell that person how much you love them, thinking about what you would do for an emotional support system in the event something should happen, making peace with them if you've had an argument, or even having an actual conversation about the impact such an event would have on you with the person in question. I've found that these options are more effective long term for controlling runaway imaginary scenarios that could actually happen.
 
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