So I've been thinking, when someone makes the statement "be realistic" what do they mean? Normally that statement is a response to an idea that is a bit different from the norm or what is expected. It is a response to something that sounds a bit unconventional to their thinking, something that sounds like a "pie in the sky" kind of notion. So the best answer to "be realistic" might be to ask "who defines what "realistic" is?
One of the things I think about a lot is the conflict of how to really have faith and a mindset of possibilities in a world that tells you everyday to "be realistic" and normally that statement means I should give up my belief in possibilities that seem out the box.
Now on one hand depending on the context of a situation it is good to be cautious, wise and thoughtful. You have to be humble and clear thinking because becoming self-deluded is very possible. One can overestimate themselves but on the other hand you could swing the other way and totally underestimate yourself too.
I once dreamed of being an artist that is positive and spreads love, light and truth through rap music to an audience beyond the religious one I came up in. I never wanted to be confined to just being some gospel artist that is regurgitating the same old religious cliches and "preaching to the choir" as it were. In the beginning I never saw myself limited to audiences where unless you fit the shape of the most popular religious musician then there is no hope for you getting heard.
I wanted to be the guy who could totally be himself (and that includes being a person who has a faith as part of what makes him who he is) on any stage as an artist. I just wanted to make great music and be a great performer that spreads love, light and truth wherever I am. I think somewhere along the line I let the critical voice that shouts "be realistic" to get louder and make me stop believing. I think I got to a point where unless I followed the definitions and genre labels and formats I would never be seen or heard to the level I really wanted to be seen and heard.
Maybe to bring change of any kind you actually have to be unrealistic. There are so many self-imposed limitations that are in my mind that have held me back, I hate to admit it but I have internalised limitations from the world outside and allowed those limitations to affect my belief in possibilities. I have let limitations possibly define my internal world where my belief in possibilities live.
Imagine if Joseph after having his dream that seemed to be delusions of grandeur, stopped believing? The thing about that story is how do I know if something is a God given dream or not just me being deluded? I think it is when that dream does more than gratifies your ego, Joseph's dream wasn't just about his brothers bowing to him it was about him getting to a position that helped his brothers and many others. Greatness means nothing if it doesn't mean serving others. Greatness means nothing if it isn't about contributing to other people. I think that's the key.
I am rambling but the next time someone says "be realistic" to you, look them in the eye and ask them "realistic compared to what?" and "who defines what's real, you?"