Life coaching: The flip side of reality

I'm all in favor of reality. I believe in gravity and I subject myself to its laws. However, when we use reality as an excuse, we are selling ourselves short.

ben goldfarb 88 (photo credit: )
ben goldfarb 88
(photo credit: )
Many of us are familiar with reality-challenged individuals. Some of them are waiting for alien aircraft to take them for a ride. Other reality-challenged folks are camping out in Central Park waiting for the Beatles reunion concert. There is another category of people who look "normal" on the outside, but whose inner world is almost as challenging as the above individuals. These "normal" reality-challenged people generally fit into one of four categories: "Comfort Zone Dwellers" "Comfort Zone Dwellers" are people who are happy to remain in their comfort zone, even though they aren't enjoying it. Their comfort zone is a safe reality, but it is as effective as walking up the "down" escalator. "Fuzzy Goal Setters" "Fuzzy Goal Setters" have no defined dreams, hopes or aspirations, and if they do, their goals are as compelling and exciting as a three hour lecture on dental floss. "Reality Mantra Mongers" "Reality mantra mongers" might have powerful and compelling dreams and goals but feel they are unrealistic and therefore not attainable. They repeat the mantra "I'm just being realistic" over and over as a way of convincing themselves that there's no point in trying. "Reality mantra mongers" usually take little action to transform their dreams into reality. "False Prophets" Although prophecy ended around two thousand years ago, false prophets love to peer into the future and predict worse case scenarios. Until prophesy returns, which will be any day now, it's a good idea for the "false prophets" among us to visualize positive, or at least neutral, scenarios in their future. Don't get me wrong. I'm all in favor of reality. I believe in gravity and I subject myself to its laws. I think it's a good idea to eat, sleep, and even breathe on occasion. However, when we use reality as an excuse, we are selling ourselves short. If we want to create an exceptional life and make a significant contribution to society, we have to expand our understanding of what reality is and how we can transform it with some ingenuity, hard work, and effective spam filters. We often create our own limitations and then live within these restricted parameters. When we are open to creating a better reality, then we will we push ourselves to the limit. "Reality" as many of us define it is a copout. There are countless examples of people throughout history who decided to not accept reality as it was and then created a new vision of it. For example, Jonas Salk created a new reality in immunology. It is counter-intuitive to inject live polio virus into a person to help her. However, our understanding of reality changed when we learned that this process stimulates the body to produce its own anti-bodies, thus protecting the body from polio in the future. Keep in mind that there's a fine line between powerful goals and self-delusion. While our goals should be challenging, they should be within the realm of possible, or the not yet possible. Run your idea by an expert for a reality check. However, make sure this expert is a visionary thinker, and grounded without being a dream-stealer. For instance, we have broken the sound barrier, but breaking the speed of light seems like an impossible task. As we learned in our high school physics class, as we approach the speed of light, time slows down and matter turns into energy. This poses a serious challenge to traveling at the speed of light. Being transformed into complete energy can make it difficult to shower and get to work on time. Will we address these challenges and someday travel at the speed of light? I don't know. Ask an expert. Find out what challenges have to be overcome in order to make this goal a new reality and if we will need to wait several generations until this becomes possible. Reality is to a certain extent subjective. When you take the bold step of not using "reality" as an excuse, you will begin to feel the satisfaction of living in constantly improving realities that you helped create. Since you have a degree of free will in shaping your reality, make sure you design a good one. Ben Goldfarb was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He moved to Israel in 1988. He is the founder and director of Paradigm Shift Communications. He has given seminars and training sessions at Israel Aircraft Industry and Philips Medical Systems. His book, "Double Feature: A Nostalgic Peek into the Future" will be published in the summer. He lives with his wife and children in Jerusalem. For more information about his coaching practice, visit the Paradigm Shift Communications website, or send an email to [email protected] © Copyright 2008 by Ben Goldfarb