Australians seem to have little interest in dreams. Maybe it’s because dreams “aren’t real” that we see no value in them — or perhaps it’s the apparent obscurity of some dreams that puts us off. Either way, the end result is that we tend to ignore our dreams — which is a shame, and a terrible waste, because some of our most inspired thinking is done in these unconscious states.
Famous examples abound. Paul McCartney heard Yesterday in a dream; he then picked it out on the piano upon waking. It went on to become one of the most played songs in history. Jack Nicklaus saw himself in a dream holding the golf club differently. In the nets, he corrected his grip according to the dream, and quickly returned to career-best form. On a plane flight, Stephen King had a dream about a woman who held a writer captive. He began work immediately on what would become the horror classic, Misery.
Perhaps the most famous dream of all is that of Mahatma Gandhi. After WWI, Britain cracked down on India’s growing independence movement, and in 1919 passed the Rowlatt Acts, a bill aimed at suppressing civil liberties. The night the bill was passed, Gandhi had a dream in which he called for a religious celebration in the streets. In the dream, he understood the celebration was disruptive to everyday business activity. He followed his dream. Within three decades, Gandhi’s “passive resistance” had ended British rule in India.
Now that you are inspired, here’s a suggested method to put your dreams to work for you:
Write down your problem in a short sentence and place it by your bed.
Review the problem for a few minutes before you go to sleep.
Tell yourself that want to dream about the problem as you drift towards sleep.
Keep a pen and paper beside your bed.
Make a habit of writing down anything you remember — big or small.
During sleep, your subconscious mind will work on the problem and hopefully provide the answer you need.
Sweet dreams and good luck!
 Deirdre Barrett, The Committee of Sleep, 2001