So you’re showering up before a big night out . . .
Scrubbing down, imagining yourself as the suavest dude to grace the planet. You see it in your mind’s eye. Girls swoon and dudes are mad with jealousy. Models fawn over you. You’re hooking up with international hotties. Straight killing it – basically a modern day Casanova.
Sometimes we ALL fantasize about these big dreams. It’s human nature. We ache for our coolest, WILDEST dreams to come true and we get amped just pretending.
So we fantasize about gorgeous women telling us how wonderful we are, our writing being covered in the NYTimes Book Review, our first album being a multi-platinum smash hit.
Ahhhhh, it’s nice even just to think about it . . .
But guess what?
The models, the bestselling book, the platinum album . . . . It’s never happening. Ever.
I don’t care how bad you want it. There is no chance in hell those fantasies EVER become reality. Why?
Because the very nature of a fantasy GUARANTEES it will never come true. And the more you indulge, the worse it gets.
“Wuzzuh, but The Secret said all I had to do was visualize what I want and I’d get it?”
You see, a fantasy is the shadow of what you want. You make believe the shadow is real and you give yourself the dopamine hit of getting the real thing. It works even when you haven’t achieved jack squat in real life. That’s why we love them so much.
A fantasy is a pre-reward. Or said more colorfully . . .
Fantasizing is straight up psychological masturbation.
Now, psychological masturbation wouldn’t be so bad. Except that it KILLS your fire to actually make your fantasy real! Seriously, why toil to make your dreams real when you can get an immediate dopamine hit from just fantasizing about the end result!?
Think I’m being extreme with the never ever-ness of it all?? Okay. Well, ask yourself:
- “Of my wildest fantasies, the ones that give me the most pleasure to fantasize about, which have come true?”
- “Which are legitimately going to come true in the next 6 months?”
My bet: None. Absolutely none. And as long as they stay fantasies they never will.
Don’t despair! Those fantastic dreams CAN come true. And imagining them coming true is STILL a huge step of doing it. So . . . . want to know HOW to make your dreams come true?
Just Vote for Pedro! (kidding, kidding)
To make your dreams come true you have to imagine differently. That is the key to getting what you want. I’ll get to the specifics of imagining differently but first, let me give an example. I call it:
How to trick yourself into crippling inaction
For literally years Ben and I had talked about living together. We knew exactly what we were going to do, where we’d live, how we’d have the house laid out, what parties we’d throw, who’d be invited. It was all mapped out down to the smallest detail. It was going to be awesome. We’d get high just talking about it.
This was an A+++ fantasy. This shit was vivid beyond belief.
And guess what we did about it?? Absolutely nothing — for two years I stayed in DC working as a consultant. Ben stayed in NYC working as an I-banker.
You couldn’t have taken us farther from the dream if you’d brainwashed us. In fact, we HAD brainwashed ourselves. We kept ourselves in a stupor of “Someday Fantasyland.” If we had kept it up, who knows how many more years would have passed.
So what changed it all???
Brunch. Yes, you read right . . . brunch. Two years of NO ACTION and a brunch changed my life. I’ll elaborate:
I’m sitting there over my eggs Benedict with one of my other best friends. I’m fantasizing out loud about NYC: how cool it’d be to move there, lamenting that I’m not yet there. Boo-hoo, right?
And my buddy, who is insanely awesome (he’s also the reason I started the Kickass Academy, though that is a story for another day), drops this bomb:
“Dude why don’t you just quit and GO!?”
To which I responded in my most practical tone of voice: “That’s nuts! I couldn’t JUST quit and go!! I’d have to . . . ”
And then I paused. His question forced me to consider what would happen is I JUST FUCKING DID IT. All of a sudden I had to imagine the real world consequences of quitting. I had to imagine REALLY living in NYC. Of ACTUALLY being there with my best friend.
I wasn’t fantasizing about being there in some POOF, magic wand, “someday-in-a-perfect-world” type way. I was projecting myself from my current situation in DC to a different life in NYC. I didn’t know the exact steps I’d have to take. But I had a vague sense it’d require me to quit my job, pack my shit up, and haul my ass to NYC!
For the first time EVER I was formulating a vision that was connected to the present WITH ACTION.
Let me bold the shit out of this. This is huge. This simple shift is what transformed “it’d be so cool to live together” into “I’m booking the UHaul for February 1st.”
My buddy’s question forced me to switch from fantasizing to FUTURE PROJECTING.
Now, I know, you’re like, “Really happy for you Charlie . . . but what the f%&$ is the difference between a fantasy and a future projection!?!”
And I’m like: “Take it easy, bro. I’m about to tell you. I just like to build a little suspense frst ”
So here it is: Fantasies are UNTIED from your reality today. They involve you making EXACTLY ZERO real changes to your life. Future projections connect your reality today to your goals. They force you to visualize the changes you’ll make. Which prepares you to LIVE that change. It makes you open to the zillions of opportunities you’d been hiding from yourself.
Fantasy is all about BEING THERE while projections are all about HOW YOU WILL ARRIVE.
We like fantasies because they are no stress. Free dopamine. Good old, no strings attached, psychological masturbation. Future projections, on the other hand, can be REAAALLY fucking stressful! Because they require you to mentally live out the stress of changing, to deal with your brain’s BS rebuttals.
The difference between fantasy and projection is the difference between wanking it and approaching a gorgeous woman. One is going to be easy as hell and ultimately unrewarding. The other is going to cause anxiety and have a much higher payoff.
Good projections are almost as hard as changing in real life – they force you to “go there” in your head
Think about a time a harsh reality dawned on you. It was like a revelation. You sat there and your eyes rolled into the back of your head, your mouth dropped agape. You’d been acting like a coward. You were just too busy conjuring bullshit justifications to realize it.
And when you finally saw your cowardice you were like, “FUCK, I actually have to deal with this.”
That is what you will go through when you switch from fantasizing to future projecting. It isn’t the most pleasant sensation. But it is the only way to shift your mindset and change your life.
In a minute you’ll go through the exercise of figuring out how your fantasies and future projections differ. And you’ll learn how badly you’ve been lying to yourself (yay, what fun!) But first let me show you an example from my life to illustrate the point:
My musical fantasy is playing Madison Square Garden. Sold out concert. I’m onstage with my guitar and my band. I’m like Bieber but way more famous.
My musical future projection is practicing singing in my apartment and putting songs on YouTube anonymously. I’m like Bieber but way less talented.
I lie to myself A WHOLE lot when it comes to my musical future. Fucking stings to see the difference. But it’s real. And if I don’t make it to MSG it won’t be because I didn’t practice enough. It will be because I didn’t even try. I wasn’t even allowing myself to do the things that would get me that level of success. I was sitting at home playing with iMovie when I should have been demanding meetings with record execs.
Fantasies . . .
- Are the visualizations we indulge in to feel good
- They are disconnected from reality today
- Don’t inspire action
- Don’t inspire us to seize on opportunities
Future projections . . .
- Are visualizations that show us where we are going
- May fill us with anxiety and excitement because we KNOW we have to act to get there
- Inspire action
- Make us hyper aware of any opportunities to reach our goal
Your fantasy is what you want. Your projection is what you’ll get. And the gap between them is the magnitude of the lie you tell yourself about the person you will become.
Now it’s your turn
Want to change your life? Want to get rich, have more beautiful women who fawn over you, or become a madly successful artist? Then you MUST change your fantasies to future projections. To do that you need to be reaaaally freaking honest. So get real here.
Yeah, actually do this. Grab a notepad. Open a word doc. Write this shit down.
You ready?? Like to ACTUALLY participate in the exercise!? It’ll take 2 minutes and it just might change your life.
So . . . when you’re ready to write . . .
What is your financial fantasy? Is it jet planes and mansions and complete freedom to travel? Write it down.
What is your financial future projection? Are you still working in some corporation, finally making enough to get a cooler apartment? Are you still concerned with having the money to buy plane tickets on your vacation? Write it down.
What is the difference? And are you willing to start seeing yourself actually DOING the things to achieve your fantasy goal? Write those things down too.
(this is me giving you time to write and THINK)
What is your life project fantasy? Are you internationally known as a philanthropic expert, being interviewed and hosting charity balls? Are you Batman? Write it down.
What is your life project future projection? Are you going back for your MBA to “learn more” before becoming an entrepreneur? Do you have a slightly successful online business which generates some income on the side? Write it down.
What is the difference? And are you willing to start seeing yourself actually DOING the things to achieve your fantasy goal? Write down the difference and allow yourself to really SEE yourself doing the things you’d need to do to get your fantasy.
(this is me giving you time to write and THINK)
What is your relationship fantasy? Is the coolest, hottest girl you’ve ever seen rolling over in bed to tell you how much she loves you? Are there three of her? Write it down.
What is your relationship projection? Do you see yourself going to the bar on Friday night, passing by the hot girl who is talking to a dude, getting shitfaced, and trying to hook up with someone who you’re confident won’t reject you? Write it down.
What is the difference? And are you willing to start seeing yourself actually DOING the things to achieve your fantasy goal? You know the drill. Write it all down and reflect.
If your fantasies and projections are the same, you’re either Russian Billionaire Playboy Mikhail Prokhorov or you’re not being honest enough. It should kinda suck to realize this stuff. You have to confront the ways in which you’ve been shortchanging yourself. The ways in which you have a low self-image, have been unwilling to change, or have hidden from yourself. Then you have to go through the exercise of mentally facing your fears of inadequacy. You have to mentally see yourself doing what you know you should have been doing all along.
So be honest. Make it sting. Then start correcting course.
It’s no fun. But if you can make your fantasies and your future projections the same, you’ll be on the path to serious Kickassery. And I promise: All your wildest dreams will come true. Just vote for Pedro
Check out the 85-page Kickassery for more on living a kickass life. Once you’ve read it, you can also take advantage of a comped Skype consultation to help answer any questions and get you on the path to Kickassery