Delivered on 7/10/17 in Stuart, FL
Whether you remember your dreams or not, everybody dreams. But nobody knows exactly why it happens. Seven thousand years ago, the ancient sumerians recorded their dreams on wax paper, and the Egyptians had a whole dream book full of dreams and their interpretations. Since then, we’ve continued to ask why we dream, and though we don’t have a definitive conclusion, we have many possible answers.
We dream to remember. Studies show we’re more likely to commit new knowledge to long-term memory after we sleep enough to dream. That’s why it’s not a good idea to cram all your study notes right before an exam, but it may be helpful to study the day before so you have a chance to dream and better remember what you studied.
We also dream to forget. There are many pieces of information we store in our brains, but much of it becomes useless (like what you had for dinner 3 days ago). To save space for more important memories, the brain sorts and dumps the ones not needed. Scientists speculate that dreaming is part of this process of forgetting.
We dream to fulfill our wishes. I can’t talk about dreams without mentioning Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis. In his book “The Interpretation of Dreams” he suggests that our dreams contain symbols, which are a way for our unconscious mind to communicate its fears and desires. So if you dream about your teeth falling out, it means you’re deeply insecure. If you dream about vehicles, like a car, it shows how much control you have over the changes in your life. And if you’ve ever dreamed about flying, it definitely means you’re sexually attracted to your parents. Well, at least according to Freud.
We dream to rehearse. Dreams are a safe space to train for life’s unexpected conflicts. When you dream, chemicals are sent to your spinal cord to paralyze your whole body. That way, you can experience the threat of being chased by zombies and the anxiety of being naked in front of a crowd without having to act out these scenarios. So maybe when you en
We also dream to heal. After traumatic events, some people experience nightmares. Research shows that people who for some reason can’t dream have a harder time dealing with trauma. So we suspect that the small re-exposure to the trauma in nightmares helps us cope with the psychological wound.
We dream to connect. Throughout our history, dreams have had strong ties to religion and the supernatural. In the Bible and other holy books, God comes to people in dreams. The oracle of the ancient Greeks took dreams as a way to predict the future. If anything, dreams are fantastic stories we can share with each other.
Dreams are an unsolved mystery that we all share.
When you have a dream, it feels so vivid, so real, and sometimes the stories in those dreams are interesting and captivating, and you want to share them. But have you ever tried to tell someone about the dream (or maybe you’ve been on the receiving end of this dream telling) and it comes out so boring, so inane, nobody wants to listen to this. Show of hands, who’s been there? Later in this meeting, I’ll tell you how to avoid this scenario. Speaking of which, let the meeting begin!
Earlier I told you I would show you way to tell dreams without being boring, without losing the excitement that’s in every dream’s story. I’ll give you 3 rules that apply to any story and aren’t limited to dreams.
Understand a story. Know WHY the story is so important to tell. This needs to be your starting point to keep you grounded.
Keep it brief. When you ramble on about your dream, or your story, you have strong emotions and images associated with the words you’re rambling. Your audience doesn’t. So use each word intentionally.
Tap into the feeling. Ultimately, you want your audience to feel what you felt when you lived through the story. Facts and figures usually don’t evoke emotions. Cut out anything that doesn’t contribute to building up the feelings.