The world of the warrior, the real man, the entrepreneur, the hero, whatever moniker you want to use it matters little, is one of unrealistic expectations and effort. Their ideas, their goals, and even the hours they work are what the average and the majority would coin as “unrealistic” if they were ever asked to do the same. It’s these unrealistic men that shape the world, innovate, create, and conquer.
Realism, of course, is a subjective term. To some, it’s unrealistic to rise from poverty so an attempt isn’t made to do so at all, while to others it’s one’s duty to attempt to rise above our current reality because to do otherwise is to fail before we begin, to sacrifice the gifts and opportunities we’ve all been given and to die without ever feeling the exhilaration of attempting what we don’t know we can do.
Others feel it’s unrealistic to work 15 hour days 7 days a week, and yet that’s what those entrepreneurs whose passion can’t be confined by time or energy do routinely when they’re trying to get a venture off the ground, a venture that typically employs hundreds of those souls who feel that such long hours are unjust and unrealistic. Our history books are riddled with men who did what others would deem as unrealistic simply because they didn’t care to place those boundaries on their minds or their actions. The same books, however, are largely missing the exploits of men who may have been kind and hard working and maybe even honorable and good, but who were bit with that terrible bug called realism.
What’s more is that what’s unlikely is often being seen as impossible, and what’s incredibly difficult is simply not worth our time. Effort is the enemy, persistence the villain, the impossible, something for someone else to tackle, someone with more time, more energy, more money, more talent. We pass the buck not because of the truth but because of our limited perception of the truth.
What’s realistic isn’t determined by a starting point, to see it as such is to relinquish the power over your life to someone else, it’s the mindset of a sedated, broken soul who chooses to see darkness when he could see light. Where you end up in life isn’t where you begin unless you choose it to be.
If you want something to be more realistic, if you want to stack the odds in your favor, work harder.
If you want something to be your life, your reality, your realism, then do more, be more, work more, risk more, give more, and live more.
Before we can ever venture into a list of things you have to do to live an unrealistic life you have to come to the fundamental understanding, the truth, that realism isn’t at all realism, but a subjective perception and a biased worldview. It’s an idea that small people feed to others to keep them small and to give them company in the zombie-like state of a realistic life.
The boundaries your teachers placed on you growing up aren’t real, they’re their own boundaries, their own beliefs, but they have nothing to do with the truth. How your parents confined your dreams when you were growing up, albeit with good intentions, aren’t real. You can be more. You can do more.
The single thing holding most people back from an unrealistic life, before we get into the list, is the difficulty of living such a life, the work it requires, the hustle, the risk, the pain, the focus, and the solitude. So, before you continue reading ask yourself if this is something you really want. Ask yourself if you really want to live your dreams and to leave your indelible finger prints on this planet and this species. If you don’t want to work harder, I won’t think lesser of you, but you revoke the right to ask for more than where you are and what you have. If you truly don’t believe that poverty is something you can rise above, seeing difficulty and impossibility in the same light, you don’t have to read further, this article isn’t for you.
However, if you have a nagging in your soul, a thirst for something greater, a bigger role, a purpose, a grand adventure gnawing at your heart begging you to act upon it no matter how unrealistic the rest of the world deems it, keep reading.
5 Ways to Live an Unrealistic Life
1. Follow your soul not your mind.
Steven Pressfield looks at ambition as more than the desire for success or wealth or status, but much more, he sees it, and I hold this same outlook, as your soul calling to you telling you what to do and how to live. So many of us crush this voice, our voice, because it’s calling for us to do something that isn’t realistic, something that’s difficult and takes a lot of work.
Even as I write this I’m quelling that voice inside of me that’s been telling me to write a book for over a year now. My mind tells me to focus on the site and the business but that voice that wants me to write something bigger, grander, with more value and controversy and much more blood, sweat and tears, can’t be quieted.
Listen to that voice, as I have to. Listen to that call that screams for something greater, no matter what that thing is. Don’t temper it, feed it, allow it to grow.
Ambition, I have come to believe, is the most primal and sacred fundament of our being. To feel ambition and to act upon it is to embrace the unique calling of our souls. Not to act upon that ambition is to turn our backs on ourselves and on the reason for our existence. ~ Steven Pressfield
2. Identify your truth.
Difficult and impossible are not the same thing no matter how many times they’re morphed together in the english language. They’re very different.
The flip side to that coin is that what you believe is really all that matters. If you choose to see possibility rather than odds, then that’s your truth. If you choose to think that you’re not meant for great things, then that’s your truth. You can see whatever truth you want. Some will look at odds that are 99 to 1 and rejoice because that means that they have a chance. Others will see the 99 and think they have no chance. The choice remains yours. You hold the power to choose as well as the power to act.
3. Find something to fight and to fight for.
Men fight better when we’re fighting for something greater than our own gains but also when we’re fighting a great enemy. No matter what you want to accomplish or do with your life, identify your enemy and fight.
Your enemy could be internal, it could be your weak beliefs, that cowardly voice telling you not to try or work hard to fight. Your enemy could be your surroundings, your environment from which you want to rise above. You could have people telling you that you’re meant to live a small life, prove them wrong.
Find something to fight and to fight for. Don’t make your life merely about you but about a cause and a battle worth waging for the remainder of your days.
4. Do something stupid.
You are the star of your own story, make it one worth reading. I love that line. Thinking about your life as if it were a movie or a book, would it be a page turner or one of those books you read before you go to bed because you know it’s going to make you fall asleep.
Men are not made for monotony. From an early age we crave adventures, we do stupid things simply because we wanted to know if we’d get caught, we dressed up as heroes and let our imaginations run wild. Then, somewhere down the line we were forced to conform. We were forced (and yes, forced is the perfect word) to sit, be quiet, and listen. We had our masculinity, our rage, our fire, our passion, ripped from our DNA in the name of emasculation, ugh, I mean education.
Re-connect with that wild side again and do something unrealistic and maybe even stupid. Do like I did and book a 3 month trip to a far away land with no plan just the expectation of adventure, and adventure you will find. Risk something, anything, knowing that you will work your way back up if you fail.
5. Live in fear.
Fear is a terrible thing, it can keep us small and insignificant, walking in a life that’s only a fraction of the one we could be living in. But there is good fear, like the fear of mediocrity, the fear that what you’re doing can be improved and made better. The fear that you’re not doing enough and that you could do more.
Can this fear drive you nuts? Yes. But it can also lead to an epic, legendary, unrealistic life if you learn how to use it and control it. If you have an underlying worry that you’re not doing enough or working enough it can propel you to do more and be more. It can lead you to live an unrealistic life.
Now, this last point, and a few others, may get some flack, and I welcome it, but fear can be a powerful tool as well as a powerful enemy. If something more is what you want in life, whether it’s more adventure or success or even meaning, you’re going to have to use every tool in the kit to keep moving forward long after the initial excitement wears off.
In the end, it’s persistence and consistency, the two least sexy words in the world, that will lead you to live a life that even right now you probably see as unrealistic, and unrealistic stories of adventure and daring and greatness not only inspire others, but are the only stories worth reading. Make sure you live to tell one epic story or die in a glorious attempt in doing so.