The Dreamer’s Dilemma is Dissatisfaction
Constant dissatisfaction sucks the life out of frustrated Dreamers. You can’t find energy and fulfillment and live in constant dissatisfaction.
You’re not a leader if nothing is ever good enough. You’re an unhappy tyrant or a defeated isolationist. It might sound like hearsay, but some things ARE good enough today. You can reach higher and go further tomorrow!
Constant dissatisfaction turns into nagging unhappiness and persistent frustration.
Focus a little more on things you CAN do today and a little less time dreaming.
A bucket full of dreams dilutes your potential. You’re doomed if you dream big about tomorrow but can’t execute today.
- We don’t have the funds.
- We don’t have the right team.
- If we only had …
Frustrated Dreamers live in the land of make believe.
5 tips for Dissatisfied Dreamers:
#1. Live a little more in the present.
Hang on to your big dream with your heart, but keep your feet and hands busy in the present.
#2. Focus a little more on the process and a little less on the goal.
Unfulfilled dreams suck the life out of you if you can’t see a path forward.
#3. Frustration with imperfection is a smokescreen for excuses.
You want to go all-in but imperfection blocks the way. Stop poo-pooing imperfect ideas and imperfect people.
I wonder sometimes if Dreamers might hide behind imperfection. Dissatisfied Dreamers excuse failure by blaming imperfect people, circumstances, and ideas. Nothing’s quite good enough for Dissatisfied Dreamers, so they spin their wheels.
#4. Try your big dream in small ways.
Half-hearted pursuit is wholly dissatisfying. Whole-hearted pursuit is possible if you run a pilot program.
#5. Say, “Thank you,” a lot more.
How might dreams prevent progress?
How might Dreamers deal with their dissatisfaction?
Dream Small and Accomplish More (Forbes)
Am I Dreaming too Big (Burchard)
Don’t Dream Big (Psychology Today)
I’m a perfectionist. Essentially, my “big dream” is to have things done perfectly. One of my mentors has two sayings that help me keep my “big dream” in check and provides perspective: “Were not trying to create a perfect world here, we’re trying to create a better world.” Also: “I’m just trying to move the needle on this.”
A very motivating post today, Dan, and thank you Justin for these two quotes. Very useful reminders to keep handy when progress feels stalled.
Thanks Susan. Have a great weekend.
Thanks Justin. The difference between perfection and creating a better world is huge. Love that way of looking at things.
“A bucket full of dreams dilutes your potential.” As a young business person it is easy to dream for the CEO chair or owning your own business, but that will never happen if today’s tasks and goals aren’t accomplished first. It really is a process.. and good things will come if you stick to it. Great read Dan.
Thanks Jeff. You nailed the idea I was trying to get across. It’s great to big as long as you execute on small things today.
Good perspective presentation. Oftentimes when we are elevated to positions of Leadership, we start approaching everything as a “Perfectionist” when is a lose lose mindset. With this mindset is can be challenging to look to tomorrow when it is difficult to get beyond the nuances of the moment. We may want to explore Dr. Cooperrider’s Appreciative Inquiry approach in Leadership where we intentionally focus on those elements of work or the work environment that are working and doing well and build on them in the present. By adopting this focus and building from this perspective the challenging areas tend to be reduced or minimized. Remember, as a Leader you posses knowledge and mental images of tomorrow, more than anyone else. But by appreciating the good that is taking place today we are building toward a better tomorrow each and every day.
Thanks Gregory. Your comments makes me think about navigating the tension between discontent and contentment. Appreciate progress and keep pressing forward at the same time. It’s an interesting tension that’s challenging to navigate. It’s easy to push too far in either direction.
Excellent gut check for me due to “Discontent” being a cornerstone of my business management phiosophy.
Thank you & have a good weekend
Thanks Scott. I’m a fan of discontent, but it can be like poison. Don’t be happy if you’re losing, but don’t forget to be grateful for progress. The trouble is, the amount of progress is never really enough when your a discontent dreamer.
You rarely miss the mark, but we need to point it out here/today/this one …
As the comments thus far indicate, this advice is far more appropriate for perfectionists and the patienceless … more “doers” are guilty of these faux pas than otherwise, and presentism is the catalyst for them … as in, “We need my results NOW!”
My experience has been that few dreamers are perfectionists (ANY progress is proof of the vision’s righteousness) and are thus inherently far more patient with incomplete results. If they have a dissatisfaction, it is usually with the concrete expression of their own vision, or their own expression of that vision.
The rather unique example of Steve Jobs, notwithstanding.
It’s just the label that’s misplaced, not the dynamic … otherwise your points are well integrated and useful. Thank you.
Thanks Rurbane. Something for me to think about. Perhaps Perfectionistic Dreamers sits better.
In the end, I’m more focused on the danger of persistent dissatisfaction without continued action and gratitude.
The other thing I didn’t mention is the danger of big dreams that crush us. A student might say, “I want to be governor of my state.” That’s great…now go be president of the student body.
It’s a pleasure.
It may be a step too far, but the issue is that of the chicken/egg, (Plato’s) exoteric/esoteric, without v. within …
Which is primary (first) … mind/Will or matter/Reality?
Though useful to discern our assumptions (unwind the dilemma so that we can resolve its inherent paradox), certainty about it one way or the other isn’t productive (It doesn’t ultimately “matter”) …
We have to be patient … time will school us in ways we can’t fully anticipate … excessive dissatisfaction with the present will only make things worse.
So this jumps out to me, “I wonder sometimes if Dreamers might hide behind imperfection. Dissatisfied Dreamers excuse failure by blaming imperfect people, circumstances, and ideas. Nothing’s quite good enough for Dissatisfied Dreamers, so they spin their wheels.” I believe it has to do with how fast the world runs and how fast collectively community pushes people. We are no longer satisfied to be patient with events, challenges and outcomes. When this occurs ones mind convinces oneself to be dissatisfied with pretty much all around one. I’ve always succeeded and been positive when I have patience. When I forget to be patient with myself, my work, the world around me and family I lose control and both my mind and body get out of joint. Too bad we aren’t as parents, as community by example teaching patience to the young.
(Posted for Rurbane) Spot, on, Roger!
It goes wrong when we lose patience with our dissatisfaction …
Thanks Roger. I feel authenticity in your comment. Brilliant reflection. It seems that patience takes self-awareness and courage. It’s the impatient leader that we admire. But impatience is a short-term strategy. You end up with health issues and strained relationships. It’s not worth it.
But, too much patience and you’re stuck.
Fantastic stuff today as always.
I preach to my children patience all the time, some things don’t happen instantly.
Take listening for ex. if we interrupt the speaker before they are finished often times the questions on our mind would be answered if we were just patient enough to let them finish.
Nothing worse than trying to get the first words before the last words, let them finish and speak.
The dissatisfaction can be manicured if we honestly dig deeper to the source and manage the issues.
There isn’t anything wrong with having dreams. As long as those dreams are grounded in reality. Some people simply have the type of personality that they will complain about anything and everything under the sun. These type of people will never change and this includes leaders and management in the workplace. Some people have a negative personality. That is just reality. I’m not a-let’s-look-at-the-bright-side type of person. I face reality and do my best to get the work done. I find it productive to focus on the task-at-hand.