We live in an optimistic age. Every self-help expert and motivator in this world are bringing the same message. To dream high and think big.
Moreover, since Mark Zuckerberg being a world sensation with his Facebook, many college students wanted to drop out their college and try to build something they dreamed.
Do you have a dream to change the world too? Yes? Well, making a dent in the universe are amazing. But you have to think about it once again.
Are you sure that you are not delusional?
So, what do I mean by being delusional?
1. When you dream high but you never do anything about it.
A person like this is usually enjoying their dream too much. In fact, they forget to wake up and take action.
If you have a dream but you never take the first step, you are delusional.
Yes, you may not agree with me, but I am pretty sure that if you are only dreaming high but you are not doing anything, you are not serious about your dream.
You are only dreaming that because you think it’s cool to have one.
Your dream does not mean anything if you are only thinking about it, your dream only matters when you are working on it. Every single day.
You have to make progress towards it.
Let’s say you wanted to be a successful entrepreneur. You want to build your empire of business. But, what you do every day is watching anime for 3 hours nonstop, spending your free time on youtube watching people playing games. You are pretty much only fantasizing about your dream.
2. When you are trying to solve a problem, but the problem doesn’t even exist in the first place
This delusion usually happened in the startup industry. I admit that I also have been stuck in this delusional too.
Most of the startup founder that wanted to create a startup started from the ideas of the product will eventually trap in this kind of delusion.
You think you did something remarkable for the society. You create the app, you push it to the market. But the market doesn’t respond to your product. The market doesn’t even care about it.
And then you are asking why. You believe that it is the best solution for the problem. But you don’t realize the problem itself doesn’t even exist in the first place.
You are only creating the problem with your mind to fit the product you wanted to create. The problem does not happen on the actual condition, the real problem is your ego.
For example, you want to create a platform to help people donate their book to the child in a rural area.
You assume that the problem is people in the rural area need books to read, and the donator in the city have unused books, but they do not know how to donate it.
You develop the prototype. You add some feature that you think it’s cool. And then you launch it. You believe that it’s going to work that you don’t even need your idea.
The result? Nobody cares on what you create.
First, what people in the rural area needs is not books. They need education. You know the difference right?
Second, the book that gathered is usually a textbook for high school students. But the target for the donation is children under age 4. How can a toddler even understand to read about algebra?
Your dream is delusional because the problem you are trying to solve is only in your mind.
3. When you think you can do everything by yourself, but you never being honest with yourself.
Doing everything by yourself is one of the problems of a perfectionist. The problem is you are actually good at everything. That makes you cannot trust anyone to do your work.
You know, when you think that you can do everything, you are not honest with yourself.
You do realize that your skill is limited, but you won’t ever admit it. You never wanted to ask for help because you think it will make you weak.
I know so much about being a perfectionist because I used to be one. Now, I’m not. I compromise on a lot of stuff and trust more people that I’ve ever been before.
Is it right or wrong for me? I don’t know. Let’s the result speak itself.
Believing that you can do everything on your own is a delusion. Even if you really can, you don’t have time for that. You only make yourself exhausted without getting an optimum result.
Believe me, there are people out there that can outperform you and only use half of the time you need. Because they are an expert on the aspect that you are not.
4. When you think you have done a real research, but what you do is a biased research.
In a TED talk by Julia Galef, she explained the reason for why you think you’re right, even if you’re wrong.
She says we can have either of two mindsets which she calls: Soldier mindset and scout mindset.
Motivated reasoning: A phenomenon where our unconscious motivations, desires, and fears shape the way we interpret information. In other words, we want some ideas to win (our allies) and the others (our enemy) to lose. It’s the drive to attack or defend ideas.
In this mindset, you try and overcome the soldier mindset (your prejudices, biases, motivations) and try to get a clear picture of reality, even if it’s unpleasant or inconvenient.
So, when you do the market research about your product, what kind of mindset do you have?
Are you wanted to prove that you are right? Or you wanted to see the real picture of what’s going on in the market?
If you are doing research only to prove that you are right, it’s not real research. It’s a biased research.
How do you know?
Simple. First, what kind of question that you use when you validate your idea. Second, the people that you asked during the validation.
If you use a leading question instead of an open question, your research may be biased.
Leading question is a question you asked that are resulting in a yes or a no. You cannot hear the real aspiration because it only has two option.
While the open question is asking how they are experience something. You want them to tell you their story, not what they think is right for them. Because instinctively, people always wanted to look good, so they may only say yes to your question.
The second is about the people you asked during your validation. If you only asked your friend or family, your research can be biased.
Because your friend or your family doesn’t want to upset you. They want to support you so they may lie to you to makes you look good.
Be very careful on that. If your research is biased, your research maybe only your delusion.
How To Make Sure That You Are Not Delusional
I have some lessons for you if you think your dream is delusional.
It’s okay, though. You will learn how to dream better soon.
1. Be Honest With Yourself
Being honest with yourself is not easy. It takes all the bravery and courage to admit that you are not as perfect as you think. But it’s the first step to understand yourself.
It also means that you need to see think as it is. Not as you wanted it to be.
If you need help, ask for help. If you are tired, get a rest. If what you want cannot be achieved, accept that.
Believe me, you only need to change a little of your perspective, but the effect might surprise you.
2. The Bitter Truth Is Better Than The Delusional Dream
The truth might be cruel. But it’s real. It’s not something that you can ignore.
If you find an obstacle, face it. If you can’t, you can take a path around the obstacle.
But do not ignore it or even run from it. You have to go towards it.
Because if you run, you only get further from your destination.
There is always a countermove, always an escape or way through. No one said it would be easy, and of course the stakes are high, but the path is there for those ready to take it.
3. Learn To Accept When Your Idea Sucks
Let’s say, you did all the homework, you validate to the market about your ideas. People said that your idea sucks.
Will you let yourself down because people said your idea sucks?
It’s your choice.
But if I were you, I will think about 100 more ideas until I find the idea that truly helps them to solve their problem.
Learn to accept. Remember that you create the solution for them, not for yourself. Set aside your ego, let your ear listen to what people needs.
4. Think On The Perspective of Other People
It’s a simple concept, but it can be very hard to master. Humans inherently care about themselves more than other people.We see things from our perspective.
It’s human nature.
So it can be hard to think about what is motivating a person to act the way they do, no matter the situation is.
It’s such a powerful way to success because the vast majority of people are only thinking about what they want.
It can take some courage to see the perspective of the other person, acknowledge it and then look for the best solution for both.
It requires the discipline to show the perspective of the other person too and to go for this win/win solution.
So, are your dream delusional? If it is, it’s okay, you can always rethink about your dream.
I’m not saying that you cannot dream high or think big. What I’m trying to tell you is you should see clearly what’s in front of you when you are creating your dream.
If you have a dream, work for it. Makes it real so it’s not a delusion anymore. Because in the end, what matters is the result.
I’m not a fan of “fake it until you make it.” It only makes your dream more delusional than it ever was.
Make it, so you don’t have to fake it.
Thank you. May all creatures in this world lives in joy.
PS: All the example I created here is fictional and not related to any party at all. If you are getting offended by the example, maybe you have to rethink about what I mean 🙂