In his recently released movie Inception, Christopher Nolan fabulously decorated the concept of dream and idea in a Hollywood blockbuster-style of depiction. The intriguing discussion and debates about dreams and ideas were celebrated through amusing scenes and heart-throbbing visual effects.
But, beyond the amusement part, I believe we have plenty to learn from this movie……….We should revisit our awareness about ideas and dreams.
Here’s a simple note about idea and dream we can learn from our experiences. Ideas are aspirations about creation, which sometimes sounds irrelevant and impossible. Dream is life-reality occurred in our unconscious brain activity, sometimes with an extreme audacity to leap beyond reason. Well, it is dream after all. Reason is not necessarily needed.
The realm of dream is the realm where anything is possible!
Let’s remind ourselves how ideas and dreams manifest in our life. Ideas and dreams are generic terms around human cognitive processes. Nevertheless, they exist in myriad forms within our lives. If we pay attention precisely to our activities, we can see ideas are everywhere. Our clothes, the cuisine on the dining table, the clock on our wall, the interior of our room; all of them representing ideas!
How about dreams? In a very simple explanation, dreams are invisible hopes which guide us toward what we want. They’re not really exist in material forms, but they are strong. Dream is one of few invisible things with incredible power in human lives (the others are beliefs, instincts and few more). It’s easy to find dreams in our surrounding! Let’s start with the formal ones. Corporate visions, country’s declaration of independence, or personal plans.
Other dreams are more subtle. We can find them in conversations over a cup of coffee in a cafe nearby. We can find them in storybook, or opera plays. We can find them in web-chat. They are all dreams we consciously aware of. They are declarations of what we want, not what we already have. And, sometimes they also convey things we believe impossible; things we longing for but don’t believe as realistic.
This is what I have to offer for our reflection: Ideas often relates with how to make things realistic. Dreams, on the contrary, are irrationality-driven ideas in the realm of ‘anything-is-possible’.
Now, taking what we got from Nolan’s Inception, we have this speculative idea: Plant a seed of specific idea into people’s dream, and the idea will grow exponentially through the power of possibility in the realm of dream. In other words, inception of the idea seed into the irrationality-driven dream can create an enormous power of possibility.
So, we should go to sleep first to actualize our ideas? Of course not (even though Nolan’s depiction in the movie is irresistible for exploration). I believe the place to plant idea seeds is on the more subtle layers of people’s conscious dream, such as daily chit-chat and emotional interactions.
Take a look at the current-Twitter waves! Through tweets, ideas are delivered, reframed, and multiplied in a massive pattern. Its microblogging nature creates a systemic network of discussions in a very high pace of ideas interchange. Some say the trending topics are results of celebrities activity. It’s true that most of these topics was initiated by celebrities or other public figures. But, we can’t say that only celebrities who can create a trend. In Indonesia, for example, the recent ‘keong racun’ phenomenon is not about celebrities and was not initiated by celebrities.
I think it’s not merely about who, but is more about how. The idea was transformed through people’s emotional affinity to the idea itself. The wave was more of emotionally drive than a cognitive one. If we pay attention closely, we can trace back this wave of viral ideas to the early era of blogging and wikipedia. These two are the revolution of conventional books and schools. They bring the era where ideas network are no longer monopolized by publisher of scholastic authorities.
In this new realm of idea network, people find new communities where everyone is free to share ideas without any conventional constraints, such as strict authorities or scholarly examinations. This particular freedom allows more emotional and less consciously cognitive interactions. Sounds a lot like dream, isn’t it?
What will turn out if we bring this to organizational change efforts? Or marketing efforts? Or even in education system? I believe there are possibilities ahead of us. This is only the point to begin with, or should we say the inception, of the simple but powerful idea: let’s share what we have in mind in dream-like ideas network!
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