From Michael Neill’s Supercoach:
On a purely practical level, I have come to see that there are only two kinds of goals worth thinking about:
- “Pipe dreams” are those things we think we would like to have but we’re not ready, willing, or able to make our lives about their achievement.
- “Projects”, on the other hand, are those things we are actively engaged in the process of creating.
If I know that for me, losing weight or saving money or changing my job is just a pipe dream, I can enjoy the thought of it without attempting to shame myself into action.
On the other hand, if I keep calling something a goal or a project and doing nothing to make it happen, I get the worst of both worlds – all the bad feelings which come with thoughts of apparent failure with none of the rewards that come from engaging fully with the task at hand.
While “pipe dreams” have a bad reputation, perhaps stemming back to the origin of the phrase in the opium dens of the late 19th century, I actually find them quite entertaining – a sort of “preview of attractions” which may or may not be coming soon into my life. Surprisingly often, yesterday’s pipe dreams become today’s projects, almost as though they needed extra time to take shape in the forge of my imagination before I was ready to act on them.
In times like these, when I’m utterly stressed with work and studying, it’s good to remember that pushing my goals back to the pipeline doesn’t mean I’m giving up.