NOTE: My statements are not necessarily my opinions. I often post point-counterpoint essays in which I strongly take one side of an issue and later counter that with antithetical views. This intellectual exercise helps me see the merit in opposing opinions and augments my creativity.

Strange dream leads to inventions

Before the dream unfolded, what set the stage for it: earlier in the night, after a full bladder woke me up, an idea popped into my head, giving me a nifty new way to exercise unlike anything I've seen before. In real life, over the past few years I developed several new exercise devices that I initially intended to sell to commercial gyms until they were crushed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which shifted my focus to innovations to mitigate the risk of germ transmission.

That pause in exercise inventions gave my subconscious brain — the inventive part — more time to ponder alternative methods, and recently I conceived various valuable new extensions of that concept. Last night, after the bladder alarm clock rang its bell, I generated a cool idea that will likely be very valuable because it enables people, even those with tiny apartments, to enjoy an effective and more interesting way to exercise with that single device providing more capabilities than a large gym filled with hundreds of thousands of dollars of exercise equipment.

Now, the dream: I'd met (I don't know how — the dream didn't fill in that blank) an early middle-aged (40-ish) heavily wrinkled but still adorably cute Black woman (I mentioned her race because it reminded me of another dream I had years ago) with an irresistible personality. We really hit it off. I loved the way she smiled constantly and was such a great talker; the only thing I worried about was that she might wear me out by talking too much. In any case, not deterred by that, I offered to let her live in a large guest house on my property, an extensive compound with several buildings purchased after becoming rich from some invention (the dream didn't specify which one).

However, I implored her that if she wanted to visit me in my house, that she should call for a ride from my driver, who could safely transport her there, protecting her from various wild and known-to-be-dangerous animals on the property. After she agreed, I departed, not following my own advice, walking instead of driving to my home, assuming I would be safe because I'd hired several armed guards specifically to protect from the animals. While in clear view of the second armed guard I spotted, a very large and vicious white dog approached as if he intended to maul me. I wondered why the guard didn't shoot, and as I puzzled over that, the dog attacked, forcing me to defend myself, initially with nothing but a split-second later with an idea that in real life could quickly stop attacks from dogs, bears, and other dangerous animals.

Frightened by the too-real dream, I instantly awakened and got out of bed, erasing my prior plans to stay there for a while, relishing the experience of sleeping in a new bed — that was my first night in it — I built from scratch to test another idea: in real life, I've also developed various bed/mattress innovations after being frustrated by the drawbacks of commercial alternatives. After bolting out of bed, I had yet another idea to stop animal attacks as well as another way to improve the current bed.

That productive night was likely made possible because yesterday I ate an unusual cereal with an unusual ingredient that evidently spiked creativity. Various spices (such as nutmeg, cloves, mace, and cinnamon) can do that. In sufficient doses, they can even be hallucinogenic; the key is to ingest just enough of them to spur creativity.

However, that cereal didn't include any of those spices, so it was likely something else. People and even most physicians don't sufficiently realize how foods and beverages affect cognition and mood, but extensive research (enough to fill a book) documents the nexus between substances in various foods and neurotransmission, which can be remarkably enhanced, affecting various facets of cognition. Besides creativity, that includes intelligence, memory, and mental focus both immediately and sustained enough to substantially boost productivity. Foods can also exacerbate anxiety (that is well-known) or substantially mitigate it, heighten self-confidence, and amplify pleasure.

The views expressed on this page may or may not reflect my current opinions, nor do they necessarily represent my past ones. After reading a slice of what I wrote in my various websites and books, you may conclude that I am a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican. Wrong; there is a better alternative. Just as the primary benefit from debate classes results when students present and defend opinions contrary to their own, I use a similar strategy as a creative writing tool to expand my brainpower—and yours. Mystified? Stay tuned for an explanation. PS: The wheels in your head are already turning a bit faster, aren't they?

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Reference: Imagining dialogue can boost critical thinking: Excerpt: “Examining an issue as a debate or dialogue between two sides helps people apply deeper, more sophisticated reasoning …”

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