Where on earth do I find the ‘real world’?

Where is the 'real world'?

The real world. You know the place. Where we’re told we need to be anytime we try to do something outside the ordinary, the average or the unremarkable.

We’ve all heard it: ‘You’re not living in the real world’ or ‘That’s nice, but it’s not the real world’.

What does that mean? It’s usually intended as a sarcastic jibe about something we’ve said or are trying to do. It also goes with: ‘Nice idea, but it just doesn’t work that way’.

These are the things that people say when they want to marginalise us. Other negative adjectives are ‘idealistic’, ‘naïve’, and ‘admirable’. There is usually a ‘but’ close at hand and then you know that someone is about to tell you their interpretation of the ‘real world.’

I used to hear this a lot. Then I stopped sharing my goals and dreams with all but a few close confidants; people who didn’t have a vested interest in my failure. Let me explain this further. This is how the real world works from the perspective of people who have a vested interest in your failure:

Remaining true to our ideals is nice to a point, but we must compromise in order to be just the same as everyone else. If everyone else is mediocre, why should you be any different?

No one should have too much of anything. If you’re successful then you must have had a lucky break. If you’ve got more, then I must have less. There isn’t enough success to go around.

If you’re happy, you can’t relate to regular people; if you’re rich, you don’t understand how the rest of the world lives.

It’s somehow spiritual to be poor; it’s our destiny to struggle and it’s noble to be an average, everyday working family.

I can’t subscribe to this lack mentality.

This mode of thinking isn’t based on facts. It’s determined by the collective perception of unremarkable, average people. Their lives are graded on a bell curve where the majority fall within the average range.

The real danger comes from people close to you telling you something is ‘unrealistic’. They’ll say it in a sincere and caring way, and you might not notice they just diminished you and your idea.

Sadly, some people are so fearful they’ll try to pull you back in the box, rather than follow you out.

What is most surprising is the assumption that the baseline of life is hardship and struggle. Quite frankly it’s easier for many people to live this way. Life is less stressful; it’s more comfortable to do what everyone else does, and there is the illusion of being safe in the middle of the herd.

It took many years for me to have the confidence and self-belief to rise above the naysayers. But as I did, the results began to flow. Even today I’m criticised for what I have and what I’ve achieved. It has no impact on me. I have a super group of likeminded close friends and we love to encourage and motivate each other and, most importantly, celebrate our wins. Who’s in your mastermind group?

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