Why do we think that the best things in life are ‘too good to be true’?

dreams and wishes. 62/365

(Photo credit: nicole.pierce.photography ♥)

Optimists are a dying breed today. Everyone and his mother is a pessimist. The opposite of pessimism is no longer optimism, it’s idealism.

Idealists are taunted and dismissed as childish because they seem to live with their heads in the clouds. Because they are too busy thinking of victory to give cognizance to the roadblocks and hurdles in their path, even though these are staring them in the face.

Wikipedia describes idealists as follows:

Idealists are understood to represent the world as it might or should be, unlike pragmatics, who focus on the world as it presently is.

Many of my closest friends tell me I come from another planet. I think they say this because my  plans are so big that they seem impossible. I seem to have a penchant for assuming I can do things that normally would seem unachievable.

But have you ever faced seemingly insurmountable odds and found a way to beat them? Yes you have.Remember that time when you had to reach someplace to help a close friend, and you managed to get there even though you didn’t have a car/ a plane ticket/ directions? If you think back, there WERE times when you challenged fate, or common sense, or the beaten path. How were those times different?

Could it possibly be because you knew then that you had to do it, that no matter what, there was no room for failure?

That’s the kind of energy I harness when I dream. Every nerve, every fibre of my being knows that I’m going to succeed. When I visualize victory, I don’t do it consciously; I simply KNOW I’m going to get there. There is simply no other way. And although there have been one or two times when things didn’t go my way, making me cry bitterly at the site of my dashed hopes, the hundreds of instances when I’ve succeeded far outnumber the failed attempts.

Things that seem too good to be true are the whispers of your heart, audible only when the rational part of your mind is away on vacation. It’s the voice of the superego, the voice of the self-actualised self, and it seeks to connect with the goodness and the possibility deep within you. It wants to transcend the pragmatic realist that life has made you, it wants you to soar above your immature id and your pessimistic ego, upwards, onwards towards belief in yourself and faith in the supreme possibility of the universe.

The beauty about dreams is that they make you YOU. Fold your dreams away in the name of pragmatism and you become just another face in the crowd, a member of the living dead. They say that only when you have something, anything, that you devote your life to, will you be truly alive.

How often have you longed to stand up for a cause but convinced yourself that it was destined to fail? How many dreams do you quash everyday, thinking them too improbable? How many times have you silenced the longings of your heart, telling yourself that the possibility is too good to be true?

I remember reading somewhere that one way out was to rerecord the tape in your head. So instead of thinking “I want to quit complaining about the sorry state of the economy and start doing what I love, but I don’t have the capital,” try saying “I want to quit complaining about the sorry state of the economy and start doing what I love, AND I don’t have the capital.” Yes, one word might be the difference between ‘too good to be true’ and ‘might just come true’, between resigning yourself to fate and making your own luck.

The words of this old number by Peter o’Toole put it far more succinctly than I can:

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star.

Inspired by a quote by Chris Guillebeau, who wrote that “sometimes things that seem too good to be true actually turn out to be true, and that “if you’re skeptical by nature, you might miss out on some of them.”

Head over to this fantastic piece on optimism and cluelessness by ‘Kathy’: The Clueless Manifesto.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. geheimeswildeskind
    Oct 14, 2012 @ 08:40:20

    Michelle, I love this blog. I can relate to it so well in terms of nothing is impossible as long as you know what you want, take small baby steps towards it & keep thinking positive all along the way to your goal

    Reply

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