Tag Archives: escaping reality

Going Big then Getting Real: The Lab Rats Blow Up Their Dreams (Part 1)

  • Someday Lesson: It’s good to reach for the sky, but without a link to the ground, dreams will fly away without you.

(There’s a lot to cover in this chapter, so I’ve divided it into two parts – this week we look at the progress for Lizzie and Alessio and next week Wendee and Horatio are up.)

.Larry Page on flickr.comI’ve talked before about keeping dreams realistic and if you’ve been following this blog for any length at time at all you know that I’m not a big fan of visualization (it encourages living in the future and discourages action in the moment) but in this chapter of the Someday My Ship Will Come In ebook, the Lab Rats got to dream and dream big.

I wanted to make sure that they were dreaming big enough before we get started on putting their dreams into action. Most people dream smaller than what’s actually possible. To discover our true passions, we need to push our dreams to the utmost and discover their limits. Then we need to turn around and look in the other direction and focus on the things in our lives that will hinder our dreams – our context, our reality.

For example, my Spanish dream included living in a perpetually sunny part of the country, but then I fell in love with a man who lived in the wet north so I had a choice of altering my dream or changing reality. I didn’t want to change reality (I’m thrilled to be in love) so I changed my dream and settled in northern Spain where I put up with the near constant winter rain.

Let’s take a look at the pushing-it-to-the-extreme dreams of the Lab Rats and follow up each extreme dream with a reality check.


Lizzie decided that the her dream didn’t need to change much (another indication that she’s close to achieving it) but that if she had the chance to do whatever she wanted, she’d add to the dream a better house with more space inside and out (for a music studio and horses), a part-time job as a faculty member at a university with clients twice a week in the city, and a self-help book published with lots of media attention. Plus she’d be fluent in five languages.

Blocking these added dreams are a commitment to staying put for the sake of her daughter (stability while growing up), a mother who is emotionally up and down a lot, an uncertainty as to how hard she wants to work to achieve the work goals and the publishing contract, and problems sleeping and therefore having lots of energy during the day to get everything done.

In terms of what she might change, she’s added sprucing up the house to get it ready to put on the market if she discovers her dream house, will make some contacts at the university and convert some websurfing time into Italian study time.


Instead of adding to his dreams, Alessio expanded the scope of them. Instead of just being a successful web designer, he would love to become an international renowned designer with a wildly successful blog and a popular results-driven web design course.

After looking at his life, he’s realized that he has no limitations. His family encourages him to pursue his dreams, his girlfriend will be finished her studies in a few years and is eager to travel as well. He’s building up the financial base to start his career as well as preparing himself mentally to accept the need for heavy startup investment. Plus he’s very healthy and has recently started (and fallen in love with) yoga.

In other words, there is nothing to stop Alessio from achieving exactly what he wants.

Measuring Progress

The further along we get in the ebook, the more Lizzie’s situation becomes clear that she mostly has what she wants and it’s just little things that hold her back from getting it all (like some weight loss and reestablishing the connections she needs to so that she can get back to working).

Earlier I noted that Alessio is making slow progress with no big breakthroughs, but I think this week we can safely say that he achieved that breakthrough. He’s on the right path and now just needs dedication and patience to continue.

And luckily for him, the last three chapters of the Someday My Ship Will Come In ebook focus on action and maintaining momentum they have both created.

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Picking a Goal and Pursuing It: Harrison McLeod Interview

I had a hard time writing this week’s intro. How do I introduce this man without gushing too much? I only know Harry through gmail chats, our work together on this blog (the amazing design is courtesy of Harry) and our shared writing on Escaping Reality, but I have a total friend crush on this man. He’s creative, thoughtful, considerate and super-awesome at what he does. In other words, just the sort of person you want as a friend or doing work for you. And now it’s your turn to learn a little bit more about him.

Who: Harrison McLeod from Men With Pens
Harry is a graphic designer/writer/all-around Renaissance Man who lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with his two cats and a monster motorcycle named Lucifer.

What variety of Someday Syndrome affected you the most? In what way?
The variety of Someday Syndrome that affects me most is “I’ll Get Around To It Someday”. I have a lot of ideas and things I’d like to do. Some of them are within reach; others, not so much. I try to keep my list realistic.

I think it all began with my high school yearbook. For my senior year, I wrote that I wanted to publish my fiction stories, attend art school and visit Alaska.

So far, the only one of those three I haven’t yet done is visit Alaska.

Other things I promised myself I would do one day included having own business and working from home, learning how to ride a motorcycle, learning archery, studying iaido, and finally getting a grip on my finances.

One by one, I’ve accomplished all of these.

How did it affect the rest of your life?
This Syndrome serves as a reminder that someday never comes. Either you do what you want or you don’t. Don’t just let your goals sit on the shelf collecting dust. Sure, you can put your goals on a list, but don’t ignore your list either.

You may not have the means or the motivation to take action right away, but part of the process is accomplishing all the small tasks you need to do in order to get to a point where you can cross your goal off the list.

How would you describe your happiness level at that time?
I can’t. Each milestone happened at a particular time in my life. Chances are that I wanted to do them because I was unhappy with an area of my life and wanted to make it better.

Did the other varieties of Someday Syndrome appear in your life as well?
Oh yes. I don’t think any of this is as cut and dried as choosing just one variety of Someday Syndrome. All of them affect our lives to varying degrees.

What changed? Was it gradual or did it come as an epiphany? Perhaps a mix the two?
Sometimes change is gradual and other times it’s like an ACME anvil falling from the sky. When it’s the latter, I’m usually tired of moping around wondering what’s wrong with me. It’s time for a change and time to take action.

I think I scare James when I get in that mode because I go after my goal with a vengeance. The change is fast and all encompassing. I feel that I astound everyone around me.

What dream are you in the process of realizing?
Right now, I’m working on realizing my dream of studying iaido, the art of Japanese swordsmanship. I’ve wanted to learn this for so long and now I have the opportunity to do so.

It’s hard, though. After being out of martial arts for 20 years, my body just doesn’t want to follow my mind. I am glad that I had previous training though – it helps.

How would you describe your happiness level now?
I’d say I’m pretty content. My trick is not to get too comfortable.

What that means is that I feel complacency leads to stagnation. Things feel good, I relax and then I slip into the Someday Syndrome all over again. Always challenge yourself, never stop.

What advice would you give someone in the position you were in before?
Just do it. Screw up your courage, buckle down and just do it.

Someday Lessons:

  • Dreams aren’t accomplished all at once or in a moment – they require work and focus.
  • When you achieve one dream, don’t stop and stagnate – find something new to pursue.
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