The Idea vs. The Reality

This is yet another thought exercise that I’ve been mulling over. Often in life we can get swept up in the idea of something. This can be being a champion, being rich, famous, married, etc. I find that it can be easy to think about the idealized existence. You standing up there on the podium, looking out at the ocean from your large vacation home, or being surrounded by adoring fans is an easy thing to dream about. But, life is reality, not just our dreams. This isn’t meant to keep people from trying to attain their dreams, but keep in mind that all things have a cost.

The reality.

In order to be rich you need to earn lots of money. Sounds simple, turns out not so much. This can take years of hard effort before you even start to accumulate any real wealth. If every get rich quick scheme worked think about how many other wealthy people you would know. People like the idea of being a champion, but the idea of having to train hard nearly every day, never skip a practice, and watch what you eat all the time quickly turns people off to the dream.

I bring this up since I see this with my athletes who want to be champions (at least on paper), but in reality don’t put in the work that is needed be great. My students who want to get all A’s, but don’t turn in their homework or study for the exams. I see this in myself with my own training. I like being strong, but I’m not willing to do certain things that I would need to if I wanted to be truly great in powerlifting (things like gaining weight (50lbs.+) and doing drugs (specifically steroids), and not allowing myself to be exposed to other stressors (like going to for walks and doing some forms of cardio)). Finally, how if I want to get back to where I once was, I will need to get shoulder surgery done which will recover a number of months of recovery. That cost, I’m willing to pay.

This is the blood pooling just two days after the injury.

Bring the two together

I try to meet my ideas of what I want to do in my life to the reality (and fail frequently on this too). It is important to understand that it is easy to get swept up in the idea of something, but not be prepared for the reality of what approaches. I think this is easiest to see in relationships, how many people like the idea of being married, having a pet, or being part of a social group, but when it comes time to deal with the fact that your cat just projectile vomited on his cat tower and hit every landing part of it, along with the wall, you might not like the idea of pets (sorry that was part of my past weekend).


Take a moment and be honest with yourself of do you truly want the reality of something or do you just like the idea of it? We only have so many hours in the day and the more time you have to spend on things naturally takes away from other things that you could be doing. Often the reality of situations can start to wear people down with time and that’s not the goal. Use this as a means to truly commit yourself to your goals, know how much time and energy that this will truly require and then set yourself in for the long haul.


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