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Life Depends on Finding The Balance Between Imagination and Reality

Your development depends on the ability to decipher between reality and imagination — in all aspects of life.


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Jon Brosio

4 months ago | 7 min read
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Perspective for the ones who actually want growth

"Marcus, what's up?" I asked. Having just smoked a joint with some friends in my college apartment, I was pretty attuned to my friend's current emotional state.

"Wow…" he replied, "I just had one of the weirdest interactions with a fellow classmate in one of my lectures."

"What? Dude — just tell me. You're like sweating."

"Okay. So I have had this guy in my class who has been giving me the stink-eye for like weeks now. It's been driving me nuts. I haven't done anything to this guy — what could possibly be his deal with me?" said Marcus, "So finally, after class today, I walked up to him and said, 'yo, dude.

What's up? You've got some problem with me. Let's just squash this thing right now. What's up?'" Marcus paused for a bit. He looked down at the ground. He was shaking his head. Finally, I asked,

"And how did the guy respond?"

"He took a step back and said, 'listen man. I have no idea who you are or what you're talking about. I don't even think I've ever noticed you in class. If there's a problem — I'm sorry but I can't help you.'"

Being as high as I was — I burst out laughing. I started crying I laughed so hard. There was an entire false universe of anxiety, uncertainty, and misery brewing in my friend Marcus's head.

And it was all made up. It was all fugazi.

But before Marcus confronted this poor soul — it was as real as the sun above that there was a Hatfield & McCoy rivalry at stake between them.

Your development depends on the ability to decipher between reality and imagination — in all aspects of life.

Your relationships depend on finding the balance

I'm a wimp.

Like a real one. I am deathly afraid of people not liking me. My inability to disagree puts me in less-than-desired predicaments.

Years ago — I was dating a girl. We came from different worlds. I came from a middle-class, middle-American family. I am also a middle child born on December 28th (halfway in between Christmas and New Year's Eve).

I'm what people call in the psychology world "The Quadruple Threat." None of that really matters — I'm just raging on some good coffee.

Anyway, I was dating this girl for about a year when things started to go south. She came from a family with ungodly wealth. Her father was credited with bringing platinum to the States and establishing it as a desirable metal in the bridal jewelry industry in the 1980s.

Beaucoup money.

We never saw eye-to-eye on things:

  • She wanted to find the next best party in Los Angeles. She wanted to be part of the "scene." We'd have dinner with Jaleel White (Steve Urkel — a family friend of theirs) and hang out with other notable elites of Hollywood.
  • I wanted to focus on my writing. I was building a business and thought I was on to something. I wanted to read Marcus Aurelius and Montaigne and Steven Pressfield.

Just like how most relationships start — it was full of ideas and imagination. How were our lives going to look?

The relationship began to falter. Due to our interests — we began to lie to ourselves that things were working. It ended in heartbreak. We couldn't reconcile that our imagination and reality weren't congruent any longer.

She would probably rather I am dead than speak to her again. That's how bad it ended.

Your side hustle depends on finding the balance

Your side hustle begins as an idea.

As you hone this idea, your imagination takes flight. As the idea starts to take form — you start to move onto the execution and planning phase. You know you want to accomplish these sets of tasks to get this project off the ground.

Once a critical mass of tasks are completed — it's time to turn over what you have and show it to some trusted authorities that can help you refine it.

Or — you actually release parts of it to your targeted audience. You give it to them, they tear it apart: they tell you what they like and what they don't like. They tell you helped them and what was bupkis.

You come back to the drawing board with your notes and apply what can improve it. Now, in its new form — your imagination can magnify. Well, I see why this feedback makes it better and if I took that and mixed it with this new idea — holy shit do I have something!

What I just described above is finding an optimal balance.

Sadly — a lot of us get lost in imagination land.

I have a friend. His ego is through the roof.

Shame.

His ego keeps him in hoity-toity, la la, imagination land. He's up in the penthouse suite.

He's been starting a podcast. For like 4 years now. He'll tell you about it. Every time he tells you about it though, it changes slightly. Because his imagination has him in a side hustle stranglehold. WWE style.

Is his first episode going to be bad? In the sense of an audience's reception — yes, most likely.

But it'll be the best podcast episode of his career because it will have started the journey.

After that episode, the reality check of feedback, notes, etc. will help him refine towards a better product.

"Remember: Every idea is worth something to someone. So why not share it?"

— Stephen Moore

Your health depends on finding the balance

"It's just, I'm worried at this point, that if I don't change things, I going to die before I'm 40."

I didn't know what to say after she told me this. While I've struggled with body image over my life — I've never thought my body would be the reason for an early grave. "What did the doctor say?" I asked her.

"That if I don't change, I'm going to die."

My friend has ever told me how much she weighs. If I were to guess — I'd put in somewhere north of 350lbs. "It just sucks you know, because we look on social media and everyone has a perfect body and here I am.

No guy wants to be with me, I hate looking at myself in the mirror, and I eat to silence the pain!"

Fuck the Kardashians. Fuck them and fuck all the others who've painted the picture of unrealistic body expectations.

Depending on where you look, approximately 80% of women don't like how they look and 34% of men are dissatisfied with their body image. I believe it's more for men, by the way, men are often ashamed to admit the truth.

Everywhere we look — we're met with unrealistic expectations of our overall health and appearance.

We know we need to change our eating habits, get more sleep, and be more active; yet we open up Instagram only to be met with hopes and dreams of one day looking like this or that person.

For my friend, for her life to literally be saved, she's realistically looking at years of monumental change and consistency.

It's life or death. Legit.

The most important part of your life requires finding the balance

Your sanity.

Because without it, you'll end up like my friend, Marcus.

That same afternoon, we told everyone in our social circle what happened. we weren't trying to pick on Marcus — he was one of the "guys" after all.

For us — it was a funny story. We didn't realize there were other things going on with Marcus. We didn't know his balance of reality and imagination were completely out of whack.

A few weeks later, on a Sunday morning, as we were getting breakfast to break our hangover from the prior night's debauchery, we saw Marcus and his father loading up his father's SUV with all of his belongings.

"Woah — Marcus, what's going on?" I asked.

"I'm leaving," he replied, "I'm not finishing school. I need to take a break."

I was stunned. What happened? I thought.

"You know I called you last night. Where were you?" he asked me, "I really needed you, I was going through some shit last night and just needed a friend."

I found out later that Marcus took the screen off the window of his dorm room. We all lived on the top floor of our building.

Marcus was thinking about killing himself.

He lost a complete grasp of reality and imagination. He was gone. Every year, millions of people, like Marcus, think of killing themselves.

Thankfully, Marcus didn't that night. Though he did drop out of school and spent about a week under psychiatric supervision.

I'm proud to say that as of today, Marcus is healthy, working, in a loving relationship, and he ended up graduating college at a later date.

He found balance after all.

Your life depends on finding the balance between imagination and reality

Because we can see what happens when the balance gets thrown off.

Take inventory of your life right now? Where's the balance?

How far is your relationship away from reality? What dreams still remain even though the rigmarole of coming home to see him again feels drab?

Is your head too in the clouds with your side hustle? When are you going to put something out into the world to let an audience react to it? Are your dreams too big? Too small? Or in balance?

What is the state of your physical health? Are your body image ambitions realistic? Are you shooting high enough to save your life?

Where's your head? Are you too caught up in your mind's trickery? Are you a slave to your thoughts?

“People who fail focus on what they will have to go through; people who succeed focus on what it will feel like at the end.”

― Tony Robbins

Life is about finding the balance between imagination and reality.

Consider this your slap in the face.

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