Living in Fantasyland

No, I’m not talking about Disneyland. I think we can all agree that would be freaking amazing and there is no point in discussing the cons on that “pros and cons” list. I’m talking about living in your mind rather than in the world. Is it alright to daydream about a better future? Is there any danger in that? Well, a soft “yes” to both, but let me explain further.

The thing about fantasizing or romanticizing your thoughts is that, even in the most harmless of ways, it only¬†serves to make you discontent with the life you actually have.¬†Even thoughts like “What if I was rich? What if I had a bigger house? What if I had a better job? What if I was married to someone different? What if I was more attractive?” are only going to make you unhappy with what you already have.

Don’t get me wrong — there’s a difference between fantasizing in an unhealthy way, to an unhealthy degree, and thinking/dreaming about the future. The latter will inspire you to get off your butt and make a better life for yourself, but the former will do nothing good for you. I repeat: nothing. At the end of the day, after you’ve wasted so much time thinking about all of the things you “could” have, you will still be at the same place you were when you woke up. You will have the same house, the same job, the same spouse, the same bank account, the same body/face. The only thing that will change is that, little by little, you will be less and less satisfied with those things.

Fantasizing is just as much of a trap as porn. Some would argue (and I may agree) that porn is a more dangerous trap, but fantasizing is right up there on the list of things that can destroy your life. It is addictive. As you become less happy with the things you have and the stage of life you are in, you will become more dependent on fantasizing in order to feel pleasure, not just sexually but pleasure in any form. Real life won’t be as exciting as your dreams, so you’ll continue to live in your mind, and that will continue to propel you further into discontentment.

Want to be happy with the life you have? Choose to be happy with the life you have. Choose to be grateful for your house and your money and your job. Choose to love your spouse. Choose to love yourself. Get your head out of the clouds and focus on reality. Humanize your fantasies — think about how unrealistic they are. Better yet, think about all the ways you would still complain if you had a bigger house, different spouse, better job, etc. “Ugh, now I have this huge yard to take care of everyday.” “I miss having an apartment with a landlord who could take care of plumbing problems.” “Sure I have more money with this better job, but I’m also working twice as hard and have less time with my family.” “Oh hey… apparently this person isn’t actually perfect and has just as many flaws as my last husband/wife. Imagine that.”

Wake up to the danger of these romanticized, unrealistic, destructive thoughts! Live the life you have and choose to be grateful and joyful for the hand you’ve been dealt. And if you want something better, go get something better. Why waste time sitting on your butt thinking about how great it would be? Get up, wake up, open your eyes, and live.