I’m a man who’s always had lofty goals. And it’s my firm belief that you should constantly be envisioning a brighter future for yourself. But what separates me from the rest of the pack is that when I see something that I desire, I don’t hesitate for one second: I immediately lower my gaze and shoot for something much, much easier to achieve.
The fact is, when it comes right down to it, I’m a man who knows exactly what he wants and goes after something far more realistic.
The ability to recognize precisely what I desire and then instantaneously shrink away from the challenge of obtaining it is just part of my DNA. As far back as I can remember, I’ve had a long list in my head of all the dreams I wanted to achieve in my life and an even longer list of reasons why pursuing them would be a big hassle and, frankly, way too much effort for me to put in.
What can I say? I’m a guy who dreams big and has literally no intention of ever even beginning to lay the groundwork for making those dreams a reality. Always have been, always will be.
Take my career, for instance. I always pictured myself as a successful architect, designing gleaming modern buildings that bear my name. So when the opportunity came up to pursue the subject at college, study hard to get ahead in the notoriously tough field, and begin the long journey to prominence by interning at a local architecture firm, I didn’t think twice. Nope, I enrolled in communications instead because I heard it was easy and then coasted by with a 2.6 GPA.
Now look at me! By following my personal mantra, I’m now a faceless worker at a job I care nothing about instead of following that one perfect career I still think about all the time. And it wasn’t even that hard to get where I am—in fact, the straightforwardness and safety of aiming squarely for an uninteresting, middle-of-the-road outcome that I could accomplish without any significant exertion of energy is precisely why I chose to pursue it.
And believe me, this most mediocre level of success born of intense laziness and fears of failure doesn’t only apply to my career—not at all. Attending a top-tier university, traveling to exotic far-off locations, buying a beautiful home in a nice neighborhood—these are all things I truly want but quickly rationalize away as too difficult, time-consuming, or risky, because at my very core, I’m just the type of man who sees an obstacle in my way and backs off.
Say I’m at a bar and a beautiful woman happens to catch my eye. As soon as I see that desirable potential partner, there’s literally nothing that will stop me from telling myself there’s no use in even trying, immediately lowering my standards, and then walking right past her to hit on someone less attractive.
A lot, lot less attractive.
Frankly, the last thing I want to do is draw any sort of attention to myself by stepping out of my comfort zone or trying for something out of the mainstream that comes with a higher probability of failure. Putting yourself out there is uncomfortable, so I avoid it.
The key is to constantly remind yourself that it’s okay to focus on your dreams and then, without ever trying to muster up even a sliver of initiative, settle instead for the familiar, risk-free status quo.
So my advice is to just reflect on what brings you the most satisfaction in your life, set your sights on that goal, then identify something considerably more mundane that presents no resistance whatsoever and go with that.
Trust me, if you follow my lead, you can achieve blandly practical and unremarkable things too, while slowly allowing yourself to be eaten away by the perpetual realization that you don’t have anything that truly matters to you and you never even tried. And before you know it, you’ll be wholly blending in with the crowd and feebly limping toward that finish line with a firm sense of resignation, just like me. That’s my guarantee to you.