Ever since I discovered that immersive daydreaming is a real thing, I’ve been looking for ways of using it to my benefit. One of my more successful experiments in harnessing the power of immersive daydreaming has been the creation of my parallel world.
I created my parallel world as a thought experiment into how my life would have turned out if the cosmic dice had fallen in my favour every time. So I took my real birth, into my real family, as a starting point and then worked through what my life could have been if nothing had ever gone wrong – if I’d never made a bad decision, if no-one had ever let me down, if I’d never been the victim of bad luck.
One of the first things I learned from my parallel world is that perfect is over-rated. Once I’d finished outlining every detail of my perfect life, I realised that I didn’t have a plot, I had a scene. There wasn’t a storyline to play out, because nothing ever happened. Think about it – in every great novel or every great movie, the main character typically has to overcome some kind of adversity, and it’s that journey through the bad stuff that makes for a good story. If everything was perfect all the time, life would get boring very quickly. And if everything was perfect all the time, we’d have no motivation for personal growth; we’d never become the best version of ourselves.
So I had to throw my alter ego a couple of challenges, and my parallel world does now have a bit more substance to it. But it’s still my vision of my perfect life, and it’s affecting my real life in some very significant ways.
Here are three ways my parallel world has changed the way I live in the real world:
It helps me manage difficult situations
If I have an argument with someone in real life, or I’ve messed something up and don’t know how to put it right, I’ll go and talk it through with my daydream partner. It’s empowering to be able to talk to someone who won’t judge me, won’t try to fix things for me and won’t say anything to me that I can’t handle in that moment. Someone who is always on my side, always available for a hug, and who gives me a safe space to process my emotions. Sometimes he’ll even help me to see things from a different perspective, which is pretty awesome considering he only exists in my head.
It gives me a place to escape to
Real life can get overwhelming at times. Balancing the demands of family, work and studying means my life is busy. Sometimes it’s nice to just spend five minutes checking in with a world where things are simpler, and the pace isn’t quite so frantic. I struggle to relax in real life, because I never get to the end of my to-do list, so being able to spend five minutes relaxing on my virtual patio with a glass of wine, watching the sun set (regardless of whether it’s cold and raining in real life) is priceless.
It shows me what real life could be like
In my parallel world, my alter ego is living my dream. She got there quicker than I’ve done, because she didn’t have to contend with quite so many setbacks, but she’s still me. She still has my doubts and insecurities, but she’s learned to overcome them. I have her strength and inner wisdom; I just need to learn how to connect with them. Our worlds are separated by a few tweaks to our external circumstances, but what really affects whether we fail or succeed in life is how we use our own internal resources. And my alter ego and I are fundamentally the same person, we share the same inner resources. I know I have what it takes to succeed, because she’s already done it. Sometimes all we need to move forward in life is the knowledge that we cannot fail. I don’t think it matters that my confidence comes from a fantasy life that only exists in my head. I don’t think it matters that I’m deriving my motivation from something that isn’t real. What matters is that I’m taking action to pursue my dreams in the real world, and I’m loving every minute of the journey.