Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 232: How to NOT achieve your dreams

Tell yourself "It could be worse."

I tend to attract people who talk about their dreams. At work, at the café, at the bookstore—everywhere. People start telling me what they'd love to do with their lives. I get excited listening.

"Yes," I say. "Your dream about living in a trailer in the desert sounds fantastic." And it really does.

"Your dream about working in a big time advertising agency sounds great. It is great. Go do it," I say.

"You want to write a children's book about kazoos? Fantastic! Can I read it when it's ready?" I say. And I mean it. I want to read it and I think it's a great idea.

Then they say, "But..." followed by a bunch of "bla bla bla bla bla" about how they don't have the time, the resources, or how they are too tethered to their current life. Then they say,

"... but hey, it could be worse."


We tend to forget to mention that it really could be so much better.

I'm one to talk. I'm in a life that is really nice. All my needs are met and I'm getting on alright.

But it could be so much better.

I know what it takes to be so much better. And I know I stop myself. I know because I'm typing this in between writing ads instead of in between swims in the ocean or in between coffee shop visits or in between books I'm reading or writing. I'm writing what I really want to write in between what I don't really want to write. Still, the checks clear and I just need to grow some balls. I'm getting there.

In Los Angeles, we are privileged to see just how much better it can be. We run into athletes, actors, directors and musicians on a daily basis around town who are living inside their lives that are so much better. If we stay in LA long enough, we get invited to their parties and for swims in their swimming pools. We have brunches at their beach houses. We even have ball gowns at-the-ready for last minute invites to the Oscars and various highfalutin events. In fact, just today I bought black heels "just in case." And we are always riding around in each other's dream cars... except for mine, which is a fuel-efficient but rather commonplace Honda Civic. Still, it's good for zipping around.

Around the globe, people are dreaming their dreams. In LA, we are surrounded by people living them.

I think the difference between those of us that are dreaming their dreams and those that are living their dreams is that those living the dreams don't say, "It could be worse." They say:

"It could be so much better... watch and see."


  1. But in some respect shouldn't we also be making peace with what IS right now - and not thinking about how things could be better?

    Sometimes it's hard to have balls even when someone else offers to pay the bills. Go easy on yourself.

    Whoa - sidenote - my word verification was "worse." Ironic, no?

  2. You might want to mark this date on your calendar, but I actually agree with Mel. I think there's something to be said for being satisfied with what you have and where you are instead of not dissatisfied with what you don't and where you aren't. If you constantly think about how much better your situation could be, you lose the ability to experience any joy in the circumstance you are currently in. Things can always be better no matter what your station in life.. The idea of that goal is like the horizon in that you'll always see it and never reach it. Mel is right. Damn it, i said that twice.

  3. I feel for you Janice. I do. I agree with Jeff and Mel, it is satisfying to live in the moment and be satisfied...
    But when dreams invade the moment, its hard to focus on settling for just the moment.

    You are awesome.
    I love how you "recognize" yourself in all aspects. The good, the bad, and the beautiful (couldn't bring myself to say ugly....cause you're one of the prettiest) :)

    I think dreams coming true is like finding a great soulmate. When you stop trying so hard....wham! There it is!
    ....and I had to laugh at your comment about attracting people who feel the need to tell you their dreams because I seem to attract people who feel the need to tell me all their sad stories. (and that's BEFORE they catch wind of my profession).

    Chin up buttercup!
    Your wonderful life will always be wonderful!

  4. Jeff, are we gonna hug it out now?

  5. My Jedi instincts sense your disappointment. Alright Mel, if it means that much to you we can hug it out. But I'm not driving to Montrose to do it.


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