Too bad if all you remember of your dreams are witches and wizards chasing you or having “quality time” with the opposite sex. Many of the world’s great inventions that have earned individuals billions of dollars and benefited mankind were revealed in dreams. Check your dreams well; you could be headed for a world-famous breakthrough.
Google, known to many people as an internet search engine, but is really one of the world’s leading companies, was revealed to a 23-year-old student, Larry Page, who was born in 1973. Page had a net worth of $40.7 billion in November 2016 according to Bloomberg.
As a student, Larry Page had an irrational fear that he’d been accepted into Stamford University by mistake – which trigged an anxiety dream. He imagined that he could download the entire web onto some old computers lying around, so he got up in the middle of the night to do some mathematics of it and found that the dream was possible. Then he took two years out of studying to create what became Google.
Google is an American multinational technology company specializing in Internet-related services and products that include online advertising technologies, search, cloud computing, software and hardware.
The company was founded in 1996 by Larry Page and Sergy Brin while they were Ph.D students at Stanford University, California. Together, they own about 14 percent of its shares and control 56 percent of the stockholder voting power through super voting. They incorporated Google as a privately held company on September 4, 1998.
In August 2015, Google announced plans to reorganize its various interests as a conglomerate called Alphabet. Google, Alphabet’s leading subsidiary, will continue to be the umbrella company for Alphabet’s Internet interests. Upon completion of the restructure, Sundar Pichai became CEO of Google, replacing Larry Page, who became CEO of Alphabet.
Below are some more inventions and book ideas revealed in dreams:
The sewing machine needle
Elias Howe, inventor of the modern sewing machine, had been troubled by how to get the needle to work in his new invention. Having the eye at the base (as in handheld needles) was out of the question. Then, Popular Mechanics reported in 1905, he fell asleep:
“One night, he dreamed that he was building a sewing machine in a strange country for a savage king. The king had given him 24 hours to complete the machine and make it sew, but try as he would he could not make the needlework, and finally gave up in despair. At sunrise, he was taken out to be executed, and with the mechanical action of the mind in times of great crises he noted that the spears carried by the warriors were pierced near the head. Suddenly, he realized that here was the solution of the sewing machine needle. He begged for time—and while still begging, awoke. It was four o’clock. Hastily he dressed and went to his workshop—at nine o’clock the model of the needle with an eye at the point was finished.”
The shape and structure of DNA eluded scientists until 1953, when Dr. James Watson had a dream that made him consider the double helix. According to Dr. Watson’s alma mater, Indiana University, the dream was of two intertwined serpents with heads at opposite ends, though other accounts say the dream was of a double-sided staircase.
Insulin, treatment for diabetes
It came to Frederik Banting in a dream one night. The Nobel-prize winning idea of how to treat diabetes with insulin. With the help of Charles Best, he finally isolated the compound that has changed the lives of millions of diabetics ever since.
Thomas Edison’s naps
Mr. Edison received more than one thousand patents in his lifetime. Part of his creative process was napping. Edison did not nap the way most people sleep in the mid-afternoon. Edison sat on a chair. In his hands, he held a number of small steel balls. On the outside of the chair, steel pans were positioned carefully so that, if Edison’s hands relaxed and the balls fell out, they would hit the pans and sound an instantaneous alarm. “The noise would wake Edison up and very often he would emerge with an idea to continue the project.” Basically, Edison took short trips into the subconscious mind. There, he accessed ideas. Or perhaps, he bypassed the conscious mind and all its barriers to creativity (e.g. bias, expectation, and doubt.)
Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity
A young Albert Einstein conceived the theory of relativity in a dream. He dreamed that he was sledding down a steep mountainside, going faster and faster, approaching the speed of light, which caused the stars in his dream to change their appearance. Meditating upon that dream, Einstein eventually worked out his extraordinary scientific achievement, the principle of relativity. Einstein then had to go back, and while employing great intricacy and detail, studied the math he had been able to skip during college. It took eight years to accomplish this.
After years of working to figure out the general theory of relativity, the solution came to Einstein suddenly in a dream “like a giant die making an indelible impress, a huge map of the universe outlined itself in one clear vision.
The structure of the atom
In a dream, Niels Boher saw the nucleus of the atom with electrons spinning around it – like planets going around the sun. He had a gut feeling that it was accurate, so he dedicated his research to proving his theory. Low and behold, he was spot on and won the Nobel Prize for Physics for his breakthrough.
Yes, one of the most successful films in history was inspired by a fever dream. Director James Cameron imagined an explosion and coming out of it was a robot cut in half, clutching kitchen knives and crawling towards him. He sketched ‘The Terminator’ down when he woke up, and ultimately, actor Arnold Schwarzschnegger made the character his own.
Paul McCartney was just 22 when he “woke up with a lovely tune in my head” and thought, “That’s great, I wonder what that is?’” He got up and easily picked the tune out on the piano, but was convinced that it must have been something he heard years ago and subconsciously remembered. After further investigation revealed that it was a McCartney original, he jotted down some lyrics: “Scrambled eggs, oh, my baby, how I love your legs.” The real words came later, obviously.
Stephen King’s Misery
Misery, Stephen King has said, was originally a dream he had on an airplane. “I dreamt about a woman who held a writer prisoner and killed him, skinned him, fed the remains to her pig and bound his novel in human skin. His skin, the writer’s skin. I said to myself, ‘I have to write this story.’ Of course, the plot changed quite a bit in the telling. But I wrote the first forty or fifty pages right on the landing here, between the ground floor and the first floor of the hotel.”
Whether or not you’re a fan of angsty blood-suckers and pouty werewolves, you have to admit that Stephenie Meyer is definitely doing okay for herself. And she has one particularly vivid dream to thank. “It was two people in kind of a little circular meadow with really bright sunlight, and one of them was a beautiful, sparkly boy, and one was just a girl who was human and normal and they were having this conversation,” she told Oprah in 2009. “The boy was a vampire, which is so bizarre that I’d be dreaming about vampires, and he was trying to explain to her how much he cared about her and yet at the same time how much he wanted to kill her.”
Yep, that’s Twilight. Meyer wrote her dream down, she said, because it was so different from her every day, stay-at-home-mom life that she wanted to hold on to it. “I just wanted to remember it so badly. That’s why I started writing it down—not because I thought this would be a great story for a novel.”