The Bizarro World Version of Dream Big, Dream Often

IMG_7127I have been thinking about something I wrote a week or so ago about an exercise a college professor had us do to gain perspective on a topic: argue the opposite of your belief.  So I thought I would write an article on why it is not necessary to do anything that relates to self-improvement or personal development.  I am also not going to edit this, it will be honest and freely associated.  I have no clue how this is going to turn out, but here goes anyway:

Too many people think it is necessary to continue to work on themselves.  Why can’t we just appreciate where we are, who we are and what we are in the moment.  So many people are focused on the future that they completely miss the present. What if, while planning this super awesome future, you died and missed out on life right here, right now?   I am reminded of the John Lennon line “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

Plus, shouldn’t we accept ourselves for who we are.  If I’m a little overweight and that’s the way I want to be, then so be it.  If I don’t make a lot of money, but I am content, then so be it.  If I don’t like or have no desire to exercise then so be it.  Life isn’t always about me trying to be a greater version of myself.  What if I like me for exactly who I am, exactly the way I am?

Companies are constantly attacking our self-confidence with advertising, inferring that we are not good enough, smart enough, happy enough, pretty enough until we buy their product.  Then we will be happy.  Then we will be pretty.  Then we will have tons of friends and be popular.

Then you have websites encouraging us to “Do These 5 Things in Order to Achieve Happiness.”  If I spent my time online reading all the advice on how to make me happy I would’ve missed out on my trip to the balloon festival.  Now that is living life.  I saw friends I haven’t seen in over a year, breathed in some incredible fall air and got to see hundreds of balloons in the air!

But back to the “me being me” talk.  Why is it necessary for me to change?  Why should I have to make more money?  Why do I need to listen to anyone that says I am not okay just the way I am?  Isn’t life going to happen regardless?  And I will change in time so why put so much effort into it?

Why do I have to have this elaborate plan?  Why do people keep telling me I have to have goals?  I don’t have to do anything.  What if I just want to work my job, hang out with my friends and be okay with that?

I have zero desire to conquer the world.  All I want to do is enjoy my little bit of peace and quiet on this little rock as it spins around the universe.  If people around me would just accept me for who I am it would make my life a whole lot less dramatic AND a whole lot easier.

I am okay with my spot in life.  I like my friends.  I like my job.  I like where I live.  So why can’t everyone else be okay with it also?

How would you counter this viewpoint if this was debate class?


31 thoughts on “The Bizarro World Version of Dream Big, Dream Often

  1. I think you did an outstanding job. Question “balloon festival” – do you go Albuquerque every year? Or a different festival? Or was it just an example reference?

  2. I can relate to this so much. 🙂 I live in Orange County “The OC” – southern California and everyone is the most beautiful, most in shape, most money, most sporty… everything is highly competitive, it gets tiring. I’m the mom that has to work and doesn’t make a lot, and can’t afford to dye my gray roots all the time and afford a gym membership nor want that effort any longer (been there, did that) – yes, I’m chubby (okay, fat now) or what they refer to as “frumpy.” At some point, I might embarrass my children as they advance into upper grades and no longer in elementary school.

    I’m only starting to pay attention to exercise and diet lately because my health requires it. I’m starting to become more sick and have issues due to my inactivity and eating habits. So, for that reason, I need to change. But, I will forever wear flip flops!


    Flip Flops everyday!
    visiting for the first time from Melanie’s blog.

    1. It is tough sometimes to see life from another’s perspective. That is why tried this exercise in arguing the other side of the debate. I am very driven, healthy (excluding my MS), eat healthy and want to conquer the world. It is important for people like me to understand that not everyone wants those things. That is why I wrote the “bizarro” world post. Thank you so much for stopping by!!

      1. When I want something, I’m driven, as well. I just don’t feel we have to do all that everyone else does- we don’t have to be the most “awesome” of awesomeness. We can just “be” and be happy doing that.

  3. Hi,
    If someone expressed the viewpoint you’ve described above then I would say:
    “Good luck to you. If you are truly happy being who you are right now (perhaps overweight and demotivated but secure in your own skin) then good for you. No one should feel pressured to be something they are not, or do not want to be.

    But the reality is that the adverts, or the online motivational posts speak to certain people and where they want to be. There are those of us who want more out of life, or want to feel fulfilled as a person… want to develop their potential because deep inside they know they are capable of more, deserve and want better.

    So if you are happy Sir/Madam being average, if you are happy to live a safe but dull existence, happy with the fact that you may just be contributing to ill-health/terminal disease somewhere in your future with your undisciplined eating habits then that is surely your prerogative and no one, absolutely no one should stand in your way!”

    1. This exercise of taking the opposite view of your personal beliefs is not as easy as I thought it would be. I had to spend a lot of time formulating my thoughts as they go so counter to my natural mindset. I appreciate you reading and for leaving your thoughts!

      1. Hi – yes I can appreciate it is not easy to present a viewpoint opposite to your own mindset. I can see you sought to bring a fair argument opposite to your true belief.
        Thank you for reading/responding to my contribution. 🙂
        Congratulations on what you’ve achieved so far.

  4. Great post and points! Happiness is different for each and every one of us – in our own ways. Your happiness is different than mine, and that’s ok. We all should find our own happiness, whatever that might be and doing whatever it is that makes us happy, period. We should not listen to others because they are not in our head or our hearts. You do what makes you happy. If at the end of the day you can honestly say that you are certifiably happy with yourself and your life, then you are doing it right. Doing it right for you. And, that’s great!! 🙂

      1. Thank you for the follow!

        Curt Cobain said something similar you might also enjoy:

        “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are”

        All my best to you.

      2. Thank you for the follow.

        Kurt Cobain said something similar you might enjoy: “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.”

        All my very best to you,

  5. Hi Danny,

    Really interesting post and a different way of thinking about happiness. Thank you for reblogging my recent post and I’m very appreciative of you for your support. Sorry I haven’t been on much; just busy. Thank you again

    1. I have received a lot of feedback on this post. It was an interesting exercise in seeing life from another viewpoint. I myself am very type A. I am goal oriented, always looking to better myself as a husband, driven, organized, etc. So to get my mind out of that gear and into the opposite was difficult but at the same time eye opening and insightful. It is an exercise that I recommend to everyone. Thank you for reading!!

  6. Interesting. I agree with what you wrote i.e. with what isn’t really your opinion. In my 20’s, I was very driven to “succeed” and all that, but my 30’s have been the complete opposite. I’m so much happier now. I still dream big, and go ahead and accomplish those dreams, but my dreams have nothing to do with money, weight, social status, work or pushing myself to do things. My dreams have to do with hedonistic comfort, experiencing things and travel. And I’ve acheived many of them – without feeling that I need to improve myself. I’m generally – and admittedly quite passively – against consumerism and work for me is just work. So even though I can identify with so much here on your blog, which I enjoy reading by the way, in this I’m the opposite. But as some have commented above, everyone’s happiness is different 🙂 I wonder what my ideals will turn out to be in my 40’s, who knows 🙂 Thanks for the thought-inspiring post, once again! Have a great weekend! 😀

  7. Hey Danny… I appreciate your engaging in this exercise.
    In my opinion, your ‘character’ makes both some good points (the danger of missing the present by focusing too much on future goals) and some that i might challenge (so what if i have no desire to exercise?).
    I think there is a vast middle continuum between constant type-A drivenness, and complete complacency. It seems to me neither extreme is entirely healthy and that foiks that find themselves to one side of the middle can always learn something from those on the other.
    It also seems to me that a certain amount of innate temperament does factor into how strong either tendency becomes as we interact with our life experiences over time.
    Might it be true that people who are already drawn to motivational websites already display the drive to make improvements that such sites advocate, and they enjoy contstant ‘pep talks’ more than, say, i do?
    Thanks again — this was a great idea of yours. Sorry to be so late to the discussion — i was busy achieving other goals… 😉

    1. I am not sure about the traffic to motivational websites. My experience with my page is I receive a mix of people, but the majority do seem to be those with the drive. I would say that I tend to visit pages that encourage me to push forward, remain positive and extend my experiences. On the other hand, the vast majority of emails I receive tend to come from those that lack drive asking how to develop themselves.

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