Need to restore your attention? Start daydreaming.

David Graham May 7, 2024

Monthly Newsletter

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Learn how to turn frustration into fascination. You will learn more being fascinated by life than you will by being frustrated by it. - Jim Rohn

You may have heard it as a kid, “Pay attention, stop daydreaming!” Now that you are a full-grown adult, I highly encourage you to ignore this advice. Mind wandering is healthy for us because our brains need to take a break! The problem is, to combat stress or mental fatigue, many of us will automatically go to what some scientists call “hard fascination,” like social media or screen time. It’s absorbing and immediate, however, it leaves little space for contemplation.

On the other hand, time in nature is known as “soft fascination.” It allows our brains to focus on our surroundings while still leaving space for mental reflection. It might look like watching clouds, listening to the birds, or gazing at a body of water. This is part of Attention Restoration Theory (ART) which suggests that the ability to concentrate may be restored by exposure to natural environments. And from a leadership perspective, here’s what makes it important:

Time in nature can lead to better problem solving and accelerated decision making.

As you explore this concept, try playing with the type of activities in nature to discover what works for you. For example, walking along a well-marked trail may be more likely to encourage deep reflection than a goal-oriented activity such as rock climbing that requires a high level of attention. Sitting on a patch of grass and meditating, on the other hand, may leave you feeling grounded and self-assured.

So, the next time you are overwhelmed or unable to tackle the challenge, perhaps a good old daydream or a walk outdoors may be the answer.

I would love to hear about your experiments in nature, let me know what works for you.

Adventurously yours,



How to Enter the State of ‘Soft Fascination’ and Ultimate Healing

When we practice soft fascination in nature, we allow ourselves to pause, and by spending time in such a restorative environment, we unconsciously invite new ideas, opportunities, solutions, healing, and alignment with something much bigger than us.


Don’t Stop Daydreaming!

For years, people have thought daydreamers lack focus and have a poor work ethic. Well, daydreamers unite! New research shows that daydreaming in fact has a specific purpose, and it might even help with information processing.


David Graham

Dave coaches good leaders who want to be great leaders and he works with leaders to build high performing, super-focused teams. For transformational experiences, he takes teams out of the boardroom and into nature.