I was inspired to read the following post from Seth Godin's blog, a "marketing" blog featuring what I feel is a lot of relevant life advice. An excerpt:
"Do you go with your instinct? Is your gut reaction to be trusted? After all, you've been right before. After all, you've been wrong before.
"The analysis, based on past events, certainly seems sound. But your instincts are the only way you're going to do something unsound.
"And unsound things become hits. Sound ones never do."
I so agree with this! And being open to the "unsound things" that we dream of widens our view of what is possible. This creates excitement and energy and momentum in our lives. It propels us forward. This energy is a huge component of success.
Even if we don't "succeed" as we'd hoped with our unsound ideas, we have grown and learned from our new actions, our movement into the unknown. Stagnancy doesn't produce results, and it's not fun.
I look at the way my pre-school son approaches his life. He learns by being "unsound" every day, for many moments of the day. He seems wired to approach life this way. Painting is never just painting — it is a driven exploration of every painting possibility. He starts with bristle and paint on paper, then he uses the non-bristle end of the brush to draw lines with the paint. He pours the "rinse water" into the watercolor palette, then pours that onto the paper, and exclaims excitedly, "It's covered!" Then he puts the brush aside, and watercolors become fingerpaints. His canvas expands beyond the paper, to the table, his chair, his cheeks and nose. He rubs the paint all over his hands and tells me, "I made mittens!" This all happens at lightening speed. He's completely gleeful.
I used to worry about paint getting everywhere, until I realized how crucial this process is to him. (There are groundrules: no throwing brushes and paint, no water on the floor because it's too slippery, and we clean up together in the end. I'm a former middle school teacher, and I know the importance of structure.)
And I believe he has to do this: he wouldn't develop into an excited, creative, inspired, interested human if he didn't have the opportunity to experiment like this.
I think brains regularly need these kinds of "stretching exercises." It keeps us mentally and emotionally limber and healthy.