A very underappreciated tension in our lives, that we ignore too many times, is the one between romance and reality. It comes in many forms. Examples of romance would be our dreams, declarations of what we will do, or describing large solutions or ambitious plans to implement. I would argue that many times our goals would fall into this same romantic bucket.
All examples of reality wrap themselves around the concept of implementation. Of achieving an outcome for something you chose romantically to describe and seemingly commit to doing. Both romance and reality are focused only on the future.
In romance, there are no boundaries or constraints. Time is irrelevant. No energy or effort is needed in romance because the endpoint feels so real, complete, and achievable. Whereas, in reality, everything limits us in trying to do what we set out to complete. Reality distorts our original vision in ways that make it a better fit the world. Without any consideration as to the worthiness of our intention, reality only implements what fits into its world.
Some claim to be romantics. I would include big-picture thinkers, including those that consistently say “we, you, or they should do this” and then disappear. Quick solutions shared usually emanate from romantics. Why even ourselves, far too many times, fall into this bucket of romantics by what we say we want to achieve and never do. You see, optimists usually trend towards romance.
Descriptive words like operator or implementor belong to those that struggle with bringing things into the world and its reality. Grinders is a newer term describing the same thing. I again would argue that a different type of implementor would be one who has common sense They have learned to work within reality making it their friend. Tempering romance in order to find a door to walk through towards a future they aspire to. Pessimists trend toward grasping the reality to make their negative thoughts on the future always appear certain.
Romantics can appear creative, full of life, and smart. Realists, at times, are possibly boring. But don’t be deceived. It’s always the realist who does the hard work of taking romance and molding it into reality. This is where the true leverage in life can come from. It’s difficult to count on a romantic when their past exposes too many dreams, aspirations, or declarations unrealized.
No doubt, those that embrace only romance and those that embrace only reality are at the extremes. But if you stop and reflect, it’s the romantics who are in the majority. Making the realists the minority. A lot of dreams, solutions, and possibilities are offered with few ever being born to see the light of day.
My struggle with weight loss is a perfect personal example of romance and reality. I dream of losing 20 lbs but working within my world to make this happen is much more difficult. The amount of restraint in food choices together with the exercise needed to burn excess calories is far different than my simplistic romantic declaration that I will lose 20 lbs.
Choose one of your personal dreams and see if it fits this explanation. Observe a group work discussion (for profit or non-profit setting) and see how often romance energizes while the reality created by no follow-through demoralizes. Spinning our wheels happens way too often. And no doubt, bringing something into reality is much too scary given the amount of work, effort, and possible disappointment from setbacks along the way.
Now knowing the challenge, we must find the courage to start and persevere to see something described in romance become part of our everyday world in reality. Especially now that we understand how far we must go to turn things into a reality without fearing the obstacles we will face along the way.