Why doesn’t the dream add up to the reality?

I’ve spent a lot of time on this blog analyzing the Law of Attraction, aka ‘The Secret’. One of the issues that keeps coming up for those who spend (in my opinion) too much time on this law, is how to translate the dream into reality. Or as one member of the LOA forum says (edited for grammar and spelling):

At first I am so eager to do a lot of things, e.g. going to work, drawing, sewing, reading, meeting friends… I am vibrant and almost dizzy from all these exciting ideas! Thinking about them makes me feel really good.

And then, when I want to start acting on them, it gets sticky. And slowly, or often not so slowly, these exciting things pile up and become “shoulds”: I should summarize all my inspiring Abe quotes I collected. I should start making some real plans about these business ideas. I should gout and buy the paint for this picture I want to paint. I should make something nice and creative from the beautiful scraps and images I collected.

And now I am feeling stressed. Overwhelmed. I feel the resistance in me. And the more I try to overcome it, the bigger it gets!

That’s what you get when you let dreams, not reality, rule your life. A theosophical teacher once said:

Great things in life are possible only to strong souls and it’s from the trivial events of daily life that strength is won. (L.W. Rogers)

I like that quote a lot, because for a dreamer like me, daily life is a lot harder than thinking about all that I could be, could do, could accomplish. I’m not saying that dreams don’t have their place in life, but I am saying that focussing on the dream too much isn’t going to work. The trivial events of daily life have their place to. In that reality it is a choice: either you draw OR you sew OR you meet your friends. In dreams we can have it all. In reality one has to make choices, set up priorities and live by them. It helps to get organized of course.

It helps to make the dream concrete perhaps. But it also helps to dream the dream only part time. Use that image board if you have to, to clearly put up what your priorities are. But then, put the board away and live your life. After all, it’s not in dreams but in reality that the life you live is shaped.

I like how it works for Oprah (apparently). She made a collage some years ago about how her ideal magazine would look. Then she went on with her day to day business. She didn’t spend her time dreaming that magazine together. She went on making her tv shows and working her but off. But ten years later she had her magazine. And it fitted her image board to a T.

All that can be summed up in how I answered this question on twitter:

Go one step at a time. Instead of focusing on the big dream, focus on the small things you will do today. priorities

10 thoughts on “Why doesn’t the dream add up to the reality?”

  1. I think manifestation works in some cases, not all. There are more laws at work than just our personal concept. I doubt you’ll get what you want if you have a karmic debt 😉

  2. First, in answer to the comment above, this has nothing to do with a karmic debt. karmic debt has to be fullfilled and than it’s over, karma is not a punishment. Than about the dream: dreams are very important. But they are not the same than finding the goal your soul has to reach in this life. This soul goal is the thing that matters. If you work on that it will be come, with the right people to help you achieve it right in time. You have to hold this finish in mind and work towards it in daily steps. And, of course, the daily humdrum is there too, the grounding stuff: bills, household, work, kids, taxes, jobs, garden etc. We have both and we can manage to master all that stuff during our life. The things you do not atrract your soul does not need in this life. so no children, no marriage, no millionaire, it is not meant to be. Find out that and life is easy going. The only thing spoiling the law of attraction is your inner life, your unconscioousness things. You say on the outside: I want to be thus or so!” and on the inside is that little voice from a wounded part of you that cries:”
    NO WAY!”
    Master yourself, look deep inside and find you and the goal for this life – you can be Oprah too in your life in your own way.

  3. I think having too many “dreams” can bog a person down. It is much easier to focus on one or two things at a time. But it is also a matter of being in alignment with what you say you want. For example, like the person you mentioned above, one of things I am eager to do is meet more friends.


    Oftentimes how I feel on the inside is not in true alignment with meeting and being friends with new people. On the practical day-to-day side of things, I am usually more focused on self introspection, work/finding a new job, my romantic partner, etc. I simply do not feel like going out to meet people or picking up the phone to call someone.

    This is how I think it works: It does not matter how much time you FOCUS on your dream. You just need to WANT it bad enough. 🙂 In addition, any fears or baggage you have regarding the thing you want can become blocks to you receiving it. If you truly desire something very deeply and consistently, you will naturally do what it takes to get there.

  4. My mother told me that it is not my goal unless I know I can do it.
    I’m discovering that to be a worthwhile (worthy) goal it ought to be one I’d bet I’d be proud to accomplish too.
    What do we know about reality? What do we believe about it?
    What do most of us know about what is motivating us. How much of our motivation is probably pre-conscious?

  5. wow, great points all 🙂

    I think karmic debt is perhaps too onedimensional a concept. I may have a karmic debt in one direction and not another. In other words: in this life each of us have talents which are the result of work in previous lives, but we also have issues we have to work through. If our talents line up well with what we have to learn, we’ll have an easier time accomplishing something, than if our talents and personal issues are opposed. For instance: I’ve got great skill at explaining things to people, but don’t have the confidence or energy (probably both) to deal with teenagers. So I don’t make a great teacher. Working in schools HAS taught me a lot and helped me get over some of my insecurities though.

    The thing is – none of that has anything to do with the goals I’ve set for myself, goals tend to be rather abstract, and you never know in advance what hurdles will come up trying to live them.

    Metaphysical junkie: you can focus on wanting all you want (pun intended), but wouldn’t your perspective change totally if you focussed instead on what you have to GIVE?

    Richard: something you can be proud of is automatically something that adds value to other people’s lives, not just your own. Whether it’s baking cakes or tending a garden or doing volunteer work – it’s real and therefor of value. Ultimately I think that’s what makes for real contentment: making a difference, even if it’s only by making sure the lady who bags the groceries feels appreciated by one person that day.

  6. Katinka, your last comment about making someone feel appreciated is something which deeply resonates with me and of course, it is easily incorporated into our day to day actions. I teach and my greatest satisfaction comes when I see a child warmed by a comment from myself or someone else. It is as if they are about to burst they are so happy to be recognised and be the recipient of somebody’s thought.

    For me what is particular interesting about this article is that I have so many dreams, fantasies about who I am going to be and where I will go, that I forget the power I have each and every day to make a difference to someone else and by doing so make a difference also to me.

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