Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Be Unrealistic

What does "realistic" mean? Why does everyone tell us to be realistic? Realistic is whatever we say... not what others tell us it is. Realistic is just another way of saying safe, it creates fear, and eliminates risk-taking. Those who tell us to be realistic are afraid of dreaming big, thinking big, and becoming more than average. 

"You want to attend what college? Cmon, be realistic."
"You want to make how much money? Cmon, be realistic."
" You're going to start what kind of business? If it was a good idea, someone else would've thought of it first. Cmon, be realistic."

Crap, pure crap! 

Don't ever be realistic, be UNREALISTIC! Be that type of person who shocks others, who makes them think you're a fool for trying, who looks for the impossible... the unrealistic. I was recently working with a high school student of mine who was trying to convince me that being realistic is the way we should live, because it keeps us from failing, and from feeling the pain that's attached to failing. Ohhhhh baby, did we have words!!! Failing is the key to success. The more you fail, the closer you get to your desired outcome. How you handle failure is what will ultimately separate you from the pack. Do you quit, or do you look for another, better way to achieve your goal? 

She wanted me to believe that safety equals success, because playing it safe will make us risk the minimum, and guarantee our goal will be reached. As I wrote that last sentence, I vomited in my mouth just a little! That type of thinking drives me crazy because it ultimately leads to mediocrity. Our youth has been brought up to believe that risk taking is dangerous, and should be avoided as much as possible. "Be realistic..." "Have a backup plan..."  

NOOO! Be unrealistic, be a risk-taker, and don't make a backup plan. Have the guts to attempt what others will never attempt. 

Realistic?? What the hell does that mean?! 


Erica said...

But sometimes isn't it necessary to stay grounded? If you always have your head in the clouds, then it's hard to stay level headed and "finish the game." Being realistic isn't always a terrible thing because if I was to say "I want to drop out of school to pursue a career in stripping" someone would most certainly tell me that that is certainly not the most wise life choice for me at this stage. Or if i was to say "I want to drop out of school to become a doctor." Isn't it relatively essential to stay in school to become a doctor? Otherwise surely no one will visit your practice. Being realistic is comparable to "playing the game" as you always say. But once the preliminary required courses of action are taken, then that's when one can chose to dream big. Go after your dreams, but I think there IS such thing as being overly ambitious.

Dayne Gingrich said...

The definition of realistic is different for everyone. It is what you say it is, not what I say it is. If you said you wanted to drop out of school to become a stripper, it may not be the brightest thing you ever did (in MY opinion), but who's to say it's not your reality... your realistic path for the journey you're on.

You're defining "having your head in the clouds" as making decisions w/out deep thought of one's future and happiness, and that's just not true. As we've talked about before, Blue Skying is extremely important in finding what it is we truly love, and may pursue in the future. Isn't that similar to having heads in clouds?

In high school, you have to do certain things now, in order to do what you want to do later, but why is being over ambitious a bad thing, and when does it become "overly" ambitious? Is it wrong to want to be TOO SKILLED? TOO STRONG? TOO WEALTHY?

Erica said...

What I'm ultimately getting at is the fact that I think other people can influence our realities. I don't think that each reality is entirely our own decisions because there are outside forces that can act on us and I think that some are completely out of our control and some of these forces can prevent us from living a completely self-governed life.

Being overly ambitious isn't necessarily bad, in some cases it can lead to a desired destination or career choice. But in some cases I think that being over zealous can stimulate too much hope in maybe an unrealistic (the real kind of scientific impossibility) result. Being overly ambitious sometimes disillusions us from what is actually going on.

If one was to see a situation clearly and have all the enthusiasm in the world.. then okay. But sometimes I think being overly ambitious can lead to seeing things as they are in ones own mind. If you want to see something bad enough, you will see it everywhere. But if you don't want to see something we as humans will subconsciously ignore it for self preservation's sake. As long as we face the facts, and then wonder outside the boundaries then okay, as long as we continue to know which way is up.

Dayne Gingrich said...

Others can definitely INFLUENCE our lives, but not how we choose to react to the outcomes they've influenced. Our lives are always self-governed, Erica... no one can make you act, feel, communicate in a way that you don't want.

"Stimulate too much hope...???" Is there even such thing as too much hope?! I know you may be playing devil's advocate, but it really sounds like you can't help but to put a ceiling on top of your life, and the decisions you make -- this is what I'm talking about when I say, "be unrealistic." You talk like those who are afraid to step out of their normal, safe comfort zones... you're making excuses why it's not (or shouldn't be) possible and/or correct.

"Seeing things in one's own mind" is exactly what I want for you. I WANT you to see things that other don't, can't, or choose not to. I want you to fail as you try those things that are too risky for others to try. Forget "self preservation..." begin living for self-exploration!!!

Forget "the facts!" WHAT facts?! The facts that others make you believe are true? Make your OWN facts. Sure, humans can't jump off of roofs and fly without the proper equipment - that may be a scientific fact... but try not to mistake scientific facts with self-made "facts" and barriers.

Good post, Erica!

******* said...

you must be my brother cause I could not agree more with you about the idea of being realistic-'s just a sugar-coated way of saying don't push yourself, don't be a self-starter and chase your dreams (no matter what they are, no matter who thinks they're crazy- they're your dreams and it's up to you and only you to make them come alive)don't take chances and be afraid of failure. Love you!

Erica said...

I'm not saying that someone can pull the strings on your life. I'm saying that sometimes we don't have as much control as we would like to believe sometimes. Things happen all the time that we have no control over.

I could be in LOVE with a dude.. but maybe he doesn't feel the same. I have zero control over creating a relationship even though maybe it's everything I hope for.. In which case hope is kind of lost here, and maybe I should invest my time in someone else. But if that's what I love, why would I want to give it up?

Or let's say I'm ten, my parents are still together.. I could hope and pray all I wanted that thy would fix their marriage and that one day I could live with one single, whole family. But that hope is also wasted because it was simply not meant to be between them.

Essentially, sometimes how we feel about a certain thing has next to no meaning about how a certain situation will turn out no matter how much you hope, no matter how much you whine and beg. Sometimes you're forced to deal with things you don't want to.. and some hope goes to waste.

No matter how many times I imagine me and my prince charming together, doesn't mean it's going to happen. No matter how many times I wish my parents would even talk to each other.. it's not going to happen. Sometimes we let delusions carry us away. So what I'm saying is not to be overly rational, I'm saying stay somewhat grounded.

Think outside the box, and dream big, day dream all you want... and I'll be the first to tell you if I'm staring off into space, I most likely have my head in the clouds... But sometimes we can't control the things we want most in life. Sometimes we try and fail, and try again, and fail again.. There comes a certain time, I think, when maybe ya better think of a new idea or a new dream.

Dayne Gingrich said...

The things you're talking about - having him love you back and your parents staying together are all completely out of your control. You're right, no matter how badly you want those things to happen, you'll never be able to control the outcome. Does that mean you stop falling in love with (X) type of guy? Absolutely not... you try again, and again if necessary. How you REACT to the outcome is all you've got, and is all you'll ever have. Your parents' situation is the same... totally out of your hands. How do you choose to live, what decisions do you make, what did you learn (if anything) that you won't repeat in your own marriage?

You'll never be able to control any outcome, no matter what you choose to risk in life... but you can always influence it by the decisions you make along the way.

Of course there may be a time where you attempt another direction because of short term roadblocks, but that's the whole point of taking your life to another level- a level where most can't or won't... WILL YOU KEEP TRYING, NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU FAIL? REMEMBER, ERICA:


Erica said...

Okay.. But now you see where I'm coming from, there are some dreams and hopes that ARE bigger than me emotinoally and no matter how hard I wish/hope/ dream try... whatever you wanna call it... no matterr what not everything is within our realm of possibility. Mainly emotional truths and things that are based on emotions. Cause work, school, future jobs, I can for sure influence the outcomes better than making someone fall in love with me. That's all I was trying to say ha

Dayne Gingrich said...

The way you "influence" (X) guy who eventually falls in love with you is by falling in love with yourself first. I know that sounds cheesie... but until you become at peace with yourself, no one else will want to be at peace WITH you!

The second I stopped trying to always be with someone, and only focused on my own inner happiness... LIANE ENTERED MY LIFE -

Erica said...

how do you focus on inner happiness?

Dayne Gingrich said...

I think there are many factors that play a role. First, simply growing up, maturing, and realizing what's REALLY important in life will begin to happen naturally, Erica. When we're young, we allow emotions, hormones, and insecurities to dictate the decisions we make.

As we've talked about in the past, you personally need to focus on "taking the lead" in your life, rather than always trying to make others happy, and thinking that you're responsible for their happiness. Being a pleaser is a wonderful characteristic, but it can also be a personal challenge, as it sometimes means putting others first when it's YOU who may need the attention.

Your first goal: Pay more attention to those things that make YOU happy, and surround yourself with friends who want the same thing(s).

Second goal: Find quiet time for yourself, and learn to love it. Let yourself (your unconscious) figure it out. You asked HOW to focus on your own happiness... it comes from within, so you first must begin listening to what it's telling you.


Erica said...

You would be proud of me recently then, I've been doing things that make me happy.. But I dunno cause doing things for other people makes me happy. Soooo where's the line where others peoples happiness making me happy and my own happiness are in the balance?
When opportunities come that are like my dreams come true... I don't pass them up. Buttt if its something I'm not in love with then I don't see the point in freaking out about something small. Might as well just go for it and make some one else's day

Dayne Gingrich said...

Doing for others is awesome, Erica, and is what makes you so special! But there IS a fine line. Learning what and where that line is becomes the challenge, doesn't it?

Example: You and Bubba have been dating since you were a freshman in college, but are getting ready to graduate. Doing the math, that puts you at 4 whole years... this is THE guy! You've talked about marriage, and all that "adult stuff." 3 months before graduation day, you get an incredible job offer on the east coast. Unfortunately, Bubba has a job ready for him on the west coast, and wants you to stay w/ him.

What to do??

Erica Cano said...

depends on if you are a love or dedicated-to-work type of person. if i truly found THE one.. i would stay. but there are a lot of questions that need to be asked in that situation.

you are right though, there is a certain balance that needs to be maintained. it all depends on the situation and how badly you want something.. cost vs. benefit and everything.. we should have this conversation again in person.

Midnight Whisperer said...

*waves from the very back of the line*

So, I'm trying to catch up on your blog... I did not find it until recently and want to read each and every post. So please excuse this belated comment (I am a few months behind).

I agree with you completely Dayne. Go for it, regardless of how "unrealistic" others may make you believe your dreams are. At one time, flying in an airplane was unrealistic, venturing into space and walking on the moon were unrealistic... Someone has to be the first, and that person is not going to be someone who said "I'm not going to try because I might fail."
Impossibilies only exist when we 'Fail' to make them possible.
And as far as back up plans go - If you create a back up plan, you have already decided that your are going to fail in your original conquest.
Excellent post Dayne, I look forward to reading more of your insightful words.