Why Do We Fantasize?

Written by
Michael Wells

Why Do We Fantasize?

And Is It Good for Us?

Written by
Michael Wells

Why Do We Fantasize?

And Is It Good for Us?

Written by
Michael Wells
SERIES

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QUESTION
“Is it "normal" for an adult to have an active fantasy life apart from their real life?”

What makes us human anyway?

How, exactly, are we different from our nearest primate-cousins?

Physically, we look like we bathe in Nair daily, compared to an average gorilla. We’re also a bit taller, and have a lot less strength.

Emotionally, most of us have better self-control, on a good day.

Intellectually, we can do math, abstract thinking, and other cool stuff, but there is one key difference that changed everything for us...

Imagination.

What is Imagination?

Imagination is the ability to visualize something in our mind that doesn’t exist, as though it did.

And, our emotions, react to that imagined thing just as strongly as they would if that thing were right in front of us.

  • Every time you’ve ever felt panic, before going on stage… you’ve experienced this.
  • Every time you’ve gotten excited before a first date… you’ve experienced this.
  • Every time you’ve imagined a great meal, and then gone and made it… you’ve experienced this.

All of our creativity is based on our ability to imagine.

It’s why we live in castles, and fly through the air, while chimps stand in the rain.

Sorry, chimps.

The Cost of Imagination

Unfortunately... there's no such thing as a free lunch.

It sounds like you’ve hit upon a downside of this superpower. Just like superman keeps melting his Ray-Ban’s, our superpower has downsides too.

Our imagination triggers emotions like excitement, desire, and fear. When we find ourselves fixating on something we’ve imagined, and we keep thinking about it, we call this fantasy.

If we don’t control our imagination, it soon controls us.

So, the answer to “is it normal” is absolutely yes.

But if you asked “is it healthy”, well that depends.

It depends on whether you’re taking action.

Make Imagination Useful

Imagination is hugely beneficial as long as it’s driving change. Are you using those great ideas to improve your world? Awesome.

But if not, what’s the point exactly?

Constant imagination without action, is a waste of your creative energy.

Use it for something great.

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First published on 
. Last updated on 
August 29, 2021

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      Addendum

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasy_(psychology)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasy_prone_personality

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absorption_(psychology)