A young boy at the foot of a flight of stairs conveying the importance of having a clear and realistic vision of one's goals.

Realistic Vision: How to Distinguish Dreams from Fantasies

by Paul Osei-Owusu

Realistic vision can easily be a figment of our imagination. Now try to imagine which visions are real and which are fantasies.

I am an eternal dreamer of ideas, yet only some of these ideas have backbones. It’s hard enough trying to distinguish between reality and fallacy. What if this vision was heavenly sent? How do you know the difference? Are your dreams sending you down a rabbit hole?

I read the article ‘God-Given Vision’. It triggered a profound reflection on the concept of dreams and fantasies. The article spoke about going against the flow of the world, breaking new ground, and staying focused on the heavenly vision.

This reminded me of our challenges when pursuing our goals and visions. It’s easy to get preoccupied with society’s expectations and the status quo. Still, it takes courage and conviction to pursue something more significant. But, this is easier said than done; breaking away from the routine of life comes with risks.

Security of what you have built, to be replaced with a dream or God-given vision, is simple. Have realised that those with padded landing are more likely to jump at these dreams or God-given ideas.

In this post, I wanted to explore the idea of pursuing a realistic vision. Then, offer practical tips for those willing to take the leap!

Realistic vision through a binoculars overlooking a sunset from distance

The Importance of Following Your God-Given Vision

Upon reading the article ‘Focus On Your God-Given Vision,’ I was struck by the notion of following a vision given by God. Of course, this does not imply that I disagree with Godly images. But I also know how hard it is to step away from security.

The article inspires you to follow your Godly vision that goes against the status quo and requires breaking new ground. It emphasises the importance of staying focused on the heavenly vision rather than getting side-tracked by society’s expectations.

The article argues that pursuing a vision requires passion, dedication, and a willingness to take risks. This is all in keeping with advice many great pioneers would offer. Ask any successful individual from any walk of life, and they will likely show you a tattoo with those words.

The article then says to achieve greatness, one must be selective in their thinking and focus on what God has called them to do. Ask questions like “What do You want me to do?” and identify skill sets, knowledge, and relationships needed to achieve the vision.

The Relationship Between Dreams and Fantasies in Pursuing Realistic Visions

In pursuit of your realistic vision, you must distinguish between dreams and fantasies. Dreams can lead to innovation, like 9-year-old Chris Hadfield dreaming of becoming an astronaut after seeing the moon landing. However, fantasies can also be a source of creativity.

The question is, which comes first? Sometimes, a fantasy might spark a dream or an idea, while a dream might lead to a fantasy in others. Ultimately, it takes time to say which comes first. What’s important is to use both dreams and fantasies as tools for inspiration and motivation towards achieving your goals.

Like the chicken and egg ‘causal loop’ or ‘chicken or the egg’ paradox. What comes first?

If you consider someone daydreaming about a business venture. This fantasy could lead to dreaming about what that business could be like, inspiring the dreamer to start researching and developing a plan (my favourite part). In this case, the fantasy came first, followed by the dream, leading to action.

On the other hand, someone might dream about a beautiful garden, inspiring them to fantasise about creating their own garden. This then leads to action. In this case, the dream came first, followed by the fantasy, leading to action.

As you can see, dreams and fantasies are interrelated and can vary from person to person and situation to situation. The key is using dreams and fantasies to inspire and motivate you towards achieving your goals.

Having realistic vision, jumping and taking the leap of faith

Distinguish Dreams from Fantasies

With knowledge, we agree that dreams and fantasies are good for creativity. Illusions can be positive, inspiring us to imagine new possibilities and explore our creative potential.

We live in the real world, and definitions are associated with dreams and fantasies. With the latter being perceived as unfavourable, we must try to distinguish between dreams and fantasies. It can be challenging to differentiate between dreams and fantasies, as they can often appear similar in the beginning stages:

  • Dreams are grounded in reality and have a practical path to achieving them. While
  • Fantasies are usually unrealistic, lack a clear path, and often involve wishful thinking or escapism.
  • Dreams require hard work, dedication, and persistence to achieve. While
  • Fantasies may be fleeting or impractical.

I have discovered that assessing your goals’ practicality is essential. Then you need a plan of action to achieve them by being objective, realistic and taking actionable steps towards your goals. You win the race of distinguishing your dreams from fantasies, and your fingers cross to make them a reality.

There is also the added layer of how you perceive failure. I have just finished reading the ‘Black Box Thinking’ by Matthew Syed. This book has helped solidify my views on failure. It emphasises the importance of learning from mistakes and using them as opportunities for growth and improvement.

In essence, it can be applied to distinguishing dreams from fantasies. In addition, the feedback loop allows you to evaluate your progress and adjust your approach accordingly. Thus, helping you move closer to achieving your goals.

Failure does not necessarily mean that an idea is a fantasy. Sometimes, disappointments can lead to valuable lessons and insights that help refine and improve an idea. The key is to adapt and make changes based on feedback and results. And to have a realistic understanding of what is possible.



Image of a lightbulb on a beach, a "eureka" moment. Beautiful contrast in the sky

5 Tips for Finding the Right Path to Your Realistic Vision

Pursuing a realistic vision can be a risky business. This path has been trodden by many. Some avoid the sharks, whilst others become dinner for the shark. But finding the right direction for your vision is essential.

Whether this vision was heavenly sent, a dream or something within your wheelhouse, help is always welcomed. Over the years, I have accumulated reams of material in my own endeavours. So here are five synthesis tips to help you on your way (buy me coffee when we meet):

  1. Identify Your Strengths: Understanding your strengths can help you determine the path best for you and your realistic vision. Think about your natural abilities, skills, and experience. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing?
  2. Clarify Your Vision: Be clear on what you want to achieve with your realistic vision. Write down your goals and what success looks like for you. This will help you stay focused and make better decisions along the way.
  3. Seek Advice and Mentorship: Talk to people who have already achieved what you want to accomplish with your realistic vision. Seek their advice and guidance. They can offer insights, connections, and practical tips to help you succeed.
  4. Take Calculated Risks: Pursuing your realistic vision requires taking risks, but taking calculated risks is essential. Evaluate the potential risks and benefits of each decision. What are the possible consequences? What are the potential rewards?
  5. Be Adaptable: Your path to success with your realistic vision may change as you go along. Open to feedback and adjust your approach as necessary. Be willing to pivot if things aren’t working out as planned.

Pursuing your realistic vision requires hard work, dedication, and persistence. Understanding these five tips will aid you on your path to a natural idea, and you’ll be better equipped to achieve your goals.

My Views on Realistic Vision

It’s far beyond my intention to question God-given vision. I am a religious individual with one foot in Christianity and the other in Islam. The power that comes from such faith cannot be underplayed. I am also an individual that has always stepped against conventional expectations and the status quo.

Distilling between a God-given vision and a realistic one is impossible. We make decisions with the best intentions and the information we have in hand at the moment. Hindsight allows those outside to say it was an unrealistic vision.

Visions are not only related to business, eureka moments or inventions. It can be something so small as changing direction in life or giving yourself a purpose. I have come to realise that this path is not for the fainthearted. To give up security and strike out against the status quo is when fear comes out.

I have realised that in life, most of those that follow their dreams or God-given vision have a soft bed to land on. Please allow me to use the high jump bed as an example. I pay homage to Dick Fosbury, who revolutionised the high jump in athletics. Sadly, he passed away at 76 on Sunday, 12 March 2023.

Sorry, I digressed, but I could not let the opportunity pass to mention a man I respected in a sport I love. But, before Dick Fosbury, no high jumper in their right mind would jump over a bar backwards and land on either this back or neck. All high jumpers scissored the bar to land feet first.

This is like following your dreams or God-given vision. Those with the security (high jump bed) will likely take the leap of faith. This is the only contentious issue with simply going against the grain. I can attest to this. But, as I have done, there are no guarantees.

I decided long ago to swim against the tide and find peace in what I do, but it means you are exposed compared to those around me. I am yet to view any of my roadblocks as failures but simply a feedback loop that has allowed me to adapt to different paths. These are paths that I did not set out to take. I am on an adventure with little security, but it is fun!

Dreams and fantasies can be the starting point. Still, it’s important to ground them in reality and take practical steps towards making them a reality.

Image of Dick Fosbury in black and white, flying over the high jump bar

Just In Case You Wanted to Know More About The Legend In Track And Field: Dick Fosbury

Dick Fosbury was an American athlete who revolutionised the high jump event in track and field. He was born on 6 March 1947 in Portland, Oregon.

Fosbury was a student at Oregon State University, where he developed his unique jumping style, known as the “Fosbury Flop.” Before his technique, high jumpers used the straddle technique, which involved jumping forward over the bar with the legs parallel to the ground.

Fosbury’s method involved jumping over the bar backwards, head-first and with the back arched, and proved to be more effective. He first showcased his technique at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, winning a gold medal and setting an Olympic record.

His technique has since become the standard for high jumpers worldwide, and he is considered one of the most fabulous high jumpers of all time.



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