Dreaming vs. Doing

by Kevin on October 31, 2013

How much of your day is spent dreaming? How much is spent on doing?

Be honest. You’re at work. You don’t like your job. It’s natural that your mind would wander… but where is it wandering? On dreams and things out of reach or on things you can control to make your situation better right now?

Ask yourself this: How much time have I spent in the last week thinking about what could be versus making that dream a reality?

(And sorry if I just threw a bucket of water on your warm dreaming wonderland.)

The Danger in Dreaming

Dreaming is good, healthy even. It inspires us to greater things. It shows us what might be possible. It gives us hope.

Yet dreaming is also a dangerous trap. We get so focused on the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” or the “maybe one day” moments that we stop working on the very things that can help us get to those dreams.  It’s a trap I’ve fallen into several times, and each time I have to shake myself loose.

The problem with dreaming is it’s easy. Anyone can dream. Anyone can let the days wander by, gazing at the puffs of clouds floating above.

Think of those romantic comedy moments where the couple has the magical picnic on the hill under the tree with the conveniently placed tire swing built for two. They’ve got a massive quilt they lay out to watch the sunset and the stars come out. Everything’s perfect, dreamy…

There’s no sweat in dreaming. There’s no work. And laying under the conveniently shaped shade tree there are even no bugs to distract us.

That’s not reality.

Results Come From Doing

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas A. Edison

Put on your work pants.

Grab a shovel. 

Refill the lantern with the midnight oil.

You want to change your situation? You gotta work.


There’s no thick gray line where you pause to think, “Ehh, do I really need to work to change my situation?”

Nope. That line doesn’t exist. It’s black and white. You either get off your butt and do something about it or you accept your current reality as your future reality.

Want to pay off debt? Okay, sounds great. Now what? Gotta go to work.

Want to save up an emergency fund? Excellent idea. Not gonna happen without work. No one is just going to hand you a check for the money you need.

Want to save more for retirement? Or put money away for the kids’ college fund? Or pay off the house? Or cut up the credit cards, call Dave Ramsey’s show, and scream “I’m debt freeeeeeee!”?

Got. to. go. to. work.

Work looks different for you than it does for me than it does for the next person. For some work can be clipping coupons and stretching every dollar as far as possible. For others it is developing a new or underused skill in order to earn extra money on the side.

For even more it might just mean to stop daydreaming at work and being truly excellent at your current job.

But every single one of the situations where you improve your life, reach your goals, and grow as a person all comes down to one thing: putting in the work.

Dreams are nice. What if you could use hard work to turn your reality into your dreams?

{ 1 comment }

Elissa @ 20s Finances November 3, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Ambition is very important, but it’s hard work that makes dreams into reality. Sometimes people need to remember this – including myself! Great article.

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