We all have dreams and wishes. We nurture that “someday” plan when we will achieve or acquire those elusive goodies. It could be a great job, a neat person to love, acquiring a cool object or living in a particular location, I don’t know, it is your dream.
My job, as a life coach, is to ensure you don’t waste too much time working towards something stupid that you won’t end up loving. I am telling you how to run your life, on the internet, so obviously I am a completely reliable advisor for the most important aspects of your personal development. I certainly never drink while I write this stuff… perish the thought.
Other people might advise you to value what you have, live life to the fullest, follow your dreams and all that claptrap. That is nice and all, but it might be even more practical to hear what you should give up and remove from the long term plan. Who in the world ever tells you to take shit off your dream list? Me. I do stuff like that.
Here are the top 10 things that seem way better on your bucket list than when you actually get there:
1. Living in New York – Have you seen the prices? The people are rude, you will likely not be able to afford those weekly Broadways shows you think you are going to see. You will ride a subway to a cubicle job, not travel in a luxurious a private car that your building concierge has called up for you. It is not like the movies. Get over yourself. Try Toronto at least, people are nicer.
2. Writing a book – Do you know how many hacks there are out there who want to publish their scribbles? Writing your first novel and shopping it to publishers is a little like playing whack-a-mole with your self-esteem, and you aren’t the one with the mallet. Even if your book is great, you are nobody… write a blog.
3. Buying a boat – If you have nothing better to do than clean, paint, tinker, repair and pay massive bills then maybe you want a boat. Be prepared for 90% drag and 10% actual floating on water.
4. Owning a cottage – So now, you have so much invested in one location, it becomes the only place you can justify going on vacation. It needs cleaning, maintenance, and all your freeloader friends want to use it. They usually want to be there without you… and they won’t clean out the sump pump.
5. Marrying a rich and successful person – Not all rich and successful people are assholes, truly. There are good ones, but in this world only the truly crafty and predatory make it to the top. Marry somebody who knows how to fix stuff instead. That makes for a happy marriage. Plumbers don’t fool around with fake breasted interns in the back seat of their limos.
6. Jungle hiking in Thailand – Malaria, snakes, syphilis. Go to a resort and use the poolside treadmill. Same cultural immersion, less nasty shit requiring medical treatment (syphilis is still a very real possibility however, so double bag it).
7. Owning a horse – See boat advice – same percentage of actual enjoyment time versus shoveling giant steaming piles of crap. Or marry a Veterinarian.
8. Getting a huge job with a big corporate corner office – If you are in your early 20’s and that is what keeps you going, then keep dreaming sunshine. If you are still trying to figure out your career path in your 30’s you aren’t just last in the race, you aren’t even on the track babycakes. Only a VERY few professions hit the corner office. Law, Accounting or Science. Your marketing and general business degree gets you into the mailroom.
9. Partying at a swingers or kink club – The people at these events are not what Hollywood suggests. They are usually social margin dwellers, a bit weird, and not necessarily attractive. They are probably more interesting to talk to than your other friends, but they aren’t there to talk… they want to spank you.
10. Getting a hot tub – Four words: hot-germy-people-soup. Also lots of work and money for sitting around with your other Walmart bathingsuited friends wondering what happened to your figures, your money and your career plans.
So there you have it. These 10 things seem way better on paper than they turn out in real life. Take a look at your list and let your red marker narrow it down to a more realistic and achievable set of things. There is nothing wrong with mediocre, most people are. While you are at it, check for other stupid stuff and cross that off too.
Lowering standards and expectations is a learnable skill. You are welcome.
(This post originally ran on Magnolia Ripkin Advice Blog.)