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Be Realistic

Mount Washington and the Southern Presidential Mountain Range
Mount Washington and the Southern Presidential Mountain Range

A well meaning friend advised me to be realistic about something the other day. The gist of his advice was that things will unfold over time and I should just ease off and let it happen without pushing so hard.

But that phrase “Be Realistic” really startled me. I hate it when people say that to me.

I am not realistic and I don’t want to be. I aim high, and even when I fall short of my goal, I usually get a lot further than anyone else.

If I suffer a setback, I’ll take a step back and regroup. I’m extraordinarily resilient. One way or another, I usually get there. It often requires a lot of work and a relaxation of the criteria for success, but I’m willing to work hard on things for a long time to get what I need to get done.

I will qualify and say that I’ve learned not to force my will on others and be a bully about things, especially at work and at home. That’s why the outdoors is such a great outlet for me. It lets me vent my need to achieve the difficult or impossible in a positive way. It’s so satisfying too.

But outdoors, in my personal life, and at work, I do not want to be realistic. No sir. I hike long trails and climb high mountains and I’m not going to stop.

3 comments

  1. I totally agree. Good for you. Let the rest of the world be realistic. Dream big. Work hard. Relish the adventure.

  2. Thumbs up! honestly I think most of the people we interact with have small dreams, and that hampers their ability to see opportunities!!!

  3. This reminds me of my family when I was a boy. I was curious about everything, a thinker, tinkerer, and questioner. In response to my busy mind, they would always scold, "Don't worry about it!" Hearing that used to fry me to the core, but when I was young, I didn't know why. Only later, while putting myself through college, did I figure it out. They were telling me, "Don't think. Don't rock the boat. Don't go further than we've gone. Just relax. It's much easier that way."

    Of course, today they're still stuck in the tooleyweeds without good jobs while I have a college education, a great career in high tech, and lots of interesting friends and experiences to my credit. So glad I never listened to them.

    I agree that you have to let other people do it their own way — or no way at all, if they choose — but you don't have to stop climbing higher on their account.

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