Fantasies about the future (e.g., your dream job) can be motivating if you use them the right way. It turns out there are two steps to using fantasies to your advantage.

First, you need to envision your future. That is generally the part we're good at; i.e., how much money you’d like to make, the exciting projects you’d work on, the recognition you’d receive, and the vacations you’d take.

Second, to turn your fantasy into motivational energy, you need to spend time comparing your fantasy to your reality. That comparison highlights the areas you need to work on to move from the present to the future and can make you more dissatisfied with the present.

That dissatisfaction is the key to motivation. When you are content with where you are right now, it's difficult to get motivated to move forward. But, when you create dissatisfaction with your current situation, you generate the energy to create change.

After you generate that motivational energy, you still need a plan that will help you engage that energy. So don’t just daydream about what would be nice to have, fantasize about how you would achieve it.


Inspired by: Fast Company - Daydreaming–You Are Doing It Wrong. How To Make Your Fantasies More Productive, by Art Markman