Do You Dream in the Past, Present, Or Future?

Many psychologists believe that dreams are all about a coalescing of the day’s events, moving the information from short-term to long-term memory in a defragging information sort of way. Whereas, it appears to be true that some of the dreams we have are about that, I would submit to you that some are forward thinking. In fact, I would say that dreams are without time; past, present, and future.

However as I say that, I can tell you that there are people who disagree with me, including some very famous professors, theorists, and famous dead white men whose names we must memorize if we are to study psychology. If you have a few moments I’d like to discuss this with you. The reason I say that dreams are in the past, present, and future is through actual observations. We know that if you are sleeping, and there are events going on around you while you are sleeping, fragments will end up in your dreams.

This is simply because the auditory part of the brain is always on. Perhaps it was a survival tool that survived the evolutionary process. After all, when humans are sleeping they might be attacked by a vicious animal, but if they heard the animal coming, they would wake up and could defend themselves. That’s a theory as well. Thus, dreams can be set forth in the present, and involve what’s going on in real-time.

In 1983 A. Phillips stated that “Dreams are always in the past,” but that seems rather absolute, how can we know that for sure, in fact, I think I disagree, rather strongly actually. Not only for the reasons I cited above, and I will give Phillips some credit, because dreams do include the past, but they are not “always” in the past.

Further, it is possible to dream into the future, it may not be the actual future that occurs later, but the mind has an interesting way willing events to occur, using Inherent tools perhaps similar to psycho-cybernetics, which is what athletes use to envision victory before the sporting event. Lastly, dreams seem to be no different at a subconscious level, then at the conscious level with regards to time. Just as we cannot live in the future, we can set ourselves up and project ourselves into that future, just as we can in dreams.

We can also use our memory of the past to relive the past in our conscious mind and in our thoughts. Just as we do in our dreams. Now then, I ask you this simple question, and before you answer to yourself, I’d like you to please consider this; do you dream in the past, present, or future? Please think on it.

How to Buy a Present

The telephone lines were burning up, whispered rendezvous planned and money was being collected. All for my fortieth birthday. My wife mentioned to our daughter that I had to sell my old reel to reel tape recorder and was pining for a new cassette recorder but didn’t have the money for the one I wanted. Every night I would lay in bed, mooning over the fancy tape recorders in the catalogs along with their fancy prices. I wasn’t so foolish to ever consider spending so much money on a hobby like quartet singing. I’d just have to do with old borrowed equipment and Dictaphones found in the trash, unless I won the lottery (I never played) or came into some money.

On the day of my birthday, just before we were to leave for the restaurant, my wife, my daughter and her fiance, my mother and sisters presented me with a single gift wrapped box. Wondering where the rest of the birthday gifts were hiding, I opened it to find a radio/tape recorder of the make I had been drooling over. Not only that, but I instantly recognized it as the very top-or-the-line ultra expensive model! Advertised as incorporating the latest in technology and the no-expense-spared components, the price was equivalent of a good used car. My loved ones had all chipped in to get me my heart’s desire and then some.

Now, thirty-five years later, the recordings made by this machine still amaze listeners with its just-like-you-are-there sound, the clarity and power of the speakers and the professional results it attained. It would be ten years until a similar product would hit the markets – popularly known as a boom box. But no boom box ever made could touch this one in quality. Just like the wonderful people that sacrificed to get it for me.

7 Negotiation Killers

Negotiations fail, stall or breakdown for various reasons. Don’t let these seven high frequency negotiation killers strike down your strategic alliance opportunity, stall your long range planning, or budgeting process.

The good news is that just like most aspects of business, particularly if it’s market facing, the actions during a negotiation are easy to recognize and categorize if you know what to look for.

I wanted to expand the conversation beyond my business development and financial planning experiences so I consulted with those that are shoulder deep in it day-in and day-out (all by choice because they love it). The number one negotiation lockup was unanimous, one party chooses not to negotiate. They take a stance that is non-negotiable in their mind and then just decide not to negotiate at all.

Sound all to familiar? It should if you have, or have had, young children. The classic example that I refer to when describing this phenomenon is that of you trying to get them to share a toy. In a two year old’s mind once something is out of their grasp it will never come back and the value (fun) has been lost. Their hand grasps the toy tight and 100% of their focus is on making you stop. Despite facing a significantly less than desirable, or available, outcome they cannot get beyond ‘toy must be in hand’. What they are unable to recognize is that by sharing it provides an opportunity to focus on other toys (value substitution) and include someone that might make playing even more fun (incremental value).

Think about it, when you don’t engage the other side there is no negotiation, just standoff.

The 7 Kill Zones
Want other reasons why negotiations stall? Here are six other most common reasons:

  1. one party chooses not to negotiate
  2. Misunderstanding the others’ points of view, not hearing what’s being said.
  3. One or both sides do not understand the problem and try to resolve the conflict by resolving the wrong problem. This without fail leads to arguments.
  4. One or both parties don’t plan out what they need or even know what they need. That leads to false signals, misunderstandings, weak arguments, confusion.
  5. Negotiating with a person who is not a decision maker, or the subject matter is “out of bounds”.
  6. One party just haggles on one issue; price, time, etc. This is not a negotiation and it may lead to both sides being disappointed by just having a bit of what they really want.
  7. Neither party makes a proposal.

Be True to Self

How can you avoid this dilemma? Answer the following questions before you engage the other party.

  • Why do I want what I want?
  • Do we both have something to gain?
  • If the negotiations end without agreement what’s the cost?
  • Will it help to give them convincing arguments as to why my proposal is fair for them?
  • Am I likely to be defensive or antagonistic with this person?

And lastly, remember that you have two ears and eyes while you only have one mouth. Listen and observe twice as much as you speak. Actively and empathetically digest whatever they say.