How to Tell Pipe Dreams from Promising Ideas: The importance of conceiving a realistic idea, then planning it out, setting goals, meeting costs, focus and deadlines.
People always say “dream big”, but it is not that easy to put dreams into reality. Even more, sometimes it is quite difficult to tell whether it is a promising idea or just a mere pipe dream. Is it worth perusing? Or maybe it is a delusion that will just waste one’s time?
Do not worry; you do not have to be a philosophy writer working for a professional essay service to ask those questions. The fact is, these are quite practical issues every person deals with on one of another level.
Almost every significant personality you know and find inspirational was once a visionaire. The technologies that surround us every day seemed like a dream not so long ago. Of course, we do not yet have flying cars, but we have helicopters at least.
It means that many things that seem like a pipe dream can become promising ideas, goals, and ambitions. And it doesn’t have to be something that changes history, like the internet. Every business, like an IT startup, New York Times magazine, has been a vision before it was brought to life. You just need to know the difference between fantasy and real ambition. Here are the ways to tell this distinction.
How Realistic Is It?
Hear me out; every big vision looks unrealistic at first. But the level of reality we are talking about is different. Is it possible to achieve in general? For example, one might think about getting an Oscar in 20 years. It is a huge idea, but it is achievable with work and dedication. Another person might dream to create a revolutionary brain image scanner, which is also achievable.
But if you have a fantasy like “If I was born 20 years earlier I would have invested in Apple” or “If I was taller I could be a model” – it is a completely different thing. You cannot go back in time or become taller as an adult.
What About a Plan?
The main difference between a fantasy and a goal is a plan on how to achieve that. Fantasy can turn into an idea, an idea into a plan, and a plan into action. So to distinguish one from another just think about how you can bring it to reality.
For example, if you want to get an Oscar, you need a plan of action for the future that will bring you there. The same goes for fantasies like becoming an incredible court lawyer or starting your own business. All of that is possible when you plan what you have to do to get there.
If there is no plan and no action, it is a fantasy.
Goals Come With a Cost
Another distinctive factor is how much it will cost you. It is not about money; however, it can also be involved. For example, if you aspire to be the best heart surgeon, you’ll need a medical degree, which is quite expensive.
Ideas and goals come with the cost of effort and time you put into them. There is no way one can become the lead singer of National Opera overnight. This person pays with years of practice of their mastery. They dedicate all their efforts to this one thing they are passionate about.
Fantasies are free, they cost absolutely nothing. One can fantasize about being the lead singer of National Opera all day and night. But unless they put in time and sweat, it is not going to happen.
Be a Subject Not an Object
Ambitions are active. It is something you want to do to achieve your promising idea. Fantasies are passive and a lot like a fairy tale. Let’s take a simple example – a person wants to be rich. If they word it like “I want to earn 20 million dollars with my music” it is an ambition. But if they word it like “I want to win the lottery” or “I just wish money would come to me” – it is a fantasy.
If you want something to come true, you need to be the subject that makes the action, not the object that passively undergoes some changes. It is about wishing some magic will solve all the issues and wanting to be rewarded for your work.
Is There a Deadline?
When you turn something into a goal, it always has a deadline. For example, you might think “I want to start my business in 25 years” or “I want to travel the world in 5 years”. The deadline makes it more realistic and motivates us to take action. It also shows that there is a result to be expected, there is a finish line.
Fantasies do not have deadlines or results. They can go on forever. A person can have those pipe dreams that something will change all their life. The lack of deadline is what makes one think that they have so much time ahead, they can do it later, and there is no reason to do anything now. As a result, they do not do it at all.
Ideas Have Focus
All of the stated above makes the final distinction – a promising idea or goal has a focus. It has one thing at the core – something you want to achieve. It is also something manageable and realistic. There is a plan of action and a deadline. Everything is set and concentrated on one thing.
Pipe dreams are not focused. They are floating and ever-changing. You can dream about one thing today and another tomorrow, all of these fantasies are unrealistic or do not have a deadline or core. They are not specific.
The difference between a pipe dream and a goal is in what one makes of it. Almost any fantasy can become a reality with focus, effort, and dedication. Be specific in your aspirations, create a plan of action, set a deadline, and find ways to bring it to life.