Dreams vs. Fantasy

Last night I talked about the power of a dream. However – there is a gotcha that lurks in the middle of our aspirations. The Fantasy. You can see it on some of the faces of the contestants on American Idol when reality hits and they’re told they don’t have what it takes. Now, I know the story of Dr. Seuss, and the power of persistence. I also believe that we should never let someone steal our dreams. Having said that, we need to do a reality check.

About two years ago, I went to a coaching seminar and came away very disillusioned. Why? The woman presenting the class pumped up the 40 of us sitting in the room. She told us how she became a master coach and said we could all do the same. Not! In the room, about half of the attendees didn’t have the life experience, the personal skills, or the attitude needed to be a coach. I came away disillusioned because this woman, a master coach, was selling snake oil.

Yes, people can overcome handicaps to achieve a goal. Yes, there are many people who overcome great obstacles in their quest of their dream. However, the roadside is also littered with people who were led down the wrong path with no chance of achieving their dreams. A great example is the childhood dreams a boy has. Many of us men… perhaps all, dreamed at one point of being a superstar. You know… football great, basketball god, soccer hero, rock star or scientific genius. Whatever it was, most of us didn’t get there. I’m 5’6″ (5’7″ on a good day), can I be a professional basketball player? I know of ONE (which is better than none) professional basketball player who is 5’6″. So what are the odds of me becoming one? Near zero, if not really zero! So… fantasy vs. reality.

What does this mean to you? You need to dissect your dream. I know this doesn’t sound sexy or glamorous, but you have to do it. How do you do this? Here are some ideas…

  1. Research the skills needed to achieve your dreams and ask yourself if you have, or can realistically obtain, these skills.
  2. Do you have the time to pursue getting these skills?
  3. Can you provide for yourself and your family while pursuing these skills?
  4. Are you dedicated enough to make your dream come true?
  5. Can you control achieving your dream? (Winning the lottery should not be your dream!)
  6. Ask someone who is living your dream for an interview and get their opinion on your chances of success.

A little homework goes a long way in helping you determining the difference between a dream and a fantasy.

Two more bits of coaching advice here…. 1) Don’t give up too easily and 2) If you find you are living a fantasy, go get another dream. We all have a purpose in life, you just need to find yours. It’s out there.

All the best
All the time
JT