New research indicates that fantasizing about your goals actually makes you less likely to achieve them. Why? Because it takes away the energy necessary to make those goals happen. As long as I can remember, we’ve been encouraged to fantasize about our dreams and goals. But this research appears to nix that concept. I think the answer is twofold:
1. As the study reveals, even positive fantasy robs people of the energy or determination to actually physically pursue your goals.
2. In my experience, fantasizing about your dream often gives you an inaccurate picture of the reality of that dream. In other words, fantasies are usually utopian, and rarely have obstacles or frustrations. But as we all know, that utopia doesn’t exist in the real world.
Bottom line? Dreaming is good. Thinking about your goals is good. But skip the time fantasizing about the future, and get to work making that future happen. In my experience in Hollywood, “idea people” are a dime a dozen. “Make it happen people” are the ones in demand.
(Source: Positive Fantasies About Idealized Futures Sap Energy, from the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (July).)