Horizontal links

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Be Unrealistic

"Being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity."

Will Smith

Do you agree?

How does this gel with your view of living a simple life?

You know, the don't think too much and we'll be "happy" meaningless platitudes we like to comfort others?

Would you marry such a guy?


  1. SMOL, as long as we don't get unrealistic mixed up with unreasonable :-) ... They're borderline, separated by thin fine line

    1. Yaruzi,

      Yes. I wrote this post to show we sometimes get "trapped" by words.

      You should see the endless debates on the definition of "networth". And the heated debates on how to calculate investments returns!?


      It's not what others think; what matter more is whether we can tell the fine line that separates the two halves.

      I admire your ability to tell the fine line on unit trusts ;)


  2. Bosses love to say this. KPIs set for you are not unrealistic and not unreasonable.

    1. CW,

      Hence, landowners and shepherds set goals and KPIs differently from sheep ;)

  3. Hi SMOL,

    I think we should start off with a baseline of realistic expectations. Once we're near or achieved them, we expand that baseline higher. Is this unrealistic or realistic? I think it's a mix of both. It's unrealistic when you haven't tried it. It'll be realistic when you know you've succeeded or failed. Either way, the point is to try.

    I don't necessary find it antagonistic to the idea of letting go. I think we can shout the sky's the limit and let go at the same time. I'll say that we'll do our best and try to reach for the sky, but don't let the results define us because we can let them go.

    Life is seldom this or that. It's how we negotiate the 'this' and the 'that' that will define our character.

    1. LP,

      You are definitely not trapped nor bound by "words".

      Fly butterfly fly!

  4. Hi SMOL,

    My ex boss raised our sales target by 20% in August to be achieved by December as part of our modified KPIS....

    1. Joyce,

      If only those wide-eyed new entrants to the workforce - they and their "SMART" goals - knew what we knew through the baptism of "reality" ;)

      I shan't say more. It's best they figure it out themselves.

      It's no coincidence we are working for ourselves :)

  5. Happiness = Reality - expectation

    SMOL, think we are talking about expectation here.

    Happiness should be positive most of the time. Your expectation will depend on reality.

    If reality is you can't feed your child even if u skip 2 meals a day, and u expect the parents to achieve FI, then might as well go fly kite.

    But aim low and be very happy. Is that a good thing? Well, I dun know about u, I think it's a good thing.

  6. However, another facet to this is, I have realistic expectation of I might take a long time and I might fail along the way, but I have very Big Vision and Idea.

    Is that realistic or unrealistic? Personally, I would think that is more realistic than KPI of % quality pass next year ... LOL

    1. Sillyinvestor,

      You may want to figure out all these realistic and unrealistic examples you cited, and aim low to be happy - whether it is you speaking from your heart; or is it you trying to justify to yourself, with the yoke of what others might think of you, on your shoulders?

  7. Mediocrity, as a goal, sucks. But mediocrity, as a result, is OK.
    Few of us get this. And fewer of us accept it.

    1. Andy,


      The misdirection is the "realistic" word ;)

      "Mediocrity" is the real McCoy!

      Once we get it; and accept it - realistic or unrealistic soon fade into oblivion ;)

      I'm humbled in your presence.

      Your Jedi force is strong!

    2. Likewise, Jared, likewise.

      Are you in any case preparing your readers for the big one happening on 17th of December or why do you mention the Jedi Force?.

      Your Disney shares are doing quite fine, right?

    3. Andy,

      I not vested in Disney. Lol!

      It's the nerd in me talking :)

      I use the Jedi force analogy a lot.

      Who doesn't to be a Jedi warrior growing up in the 80s?

      Watching Carrie Fischer in her skimpy outfit in Return of the Jedi, we all felt the force in us, didn't we?

      Ha ha!

    4. That made me curious and I asked Obi-Wan Kenobi what the Jedi Force is all about: "Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together."
      That's good news because it means that everyone can tap on the Force. No need to be a Jedi!

      Really? You'd better don't have a look at how Carrie Fisher looks like nowadays. It might affect your force in you adversely. Lol.

  8. Hi smol
    Enjoy life. Dun think too much lar.
    Now i am looking at a mercedes sports or a 911 cab.
    I used to ponder why i accumulate so much like no tomorrow. Now its time to exchange that for happiness.
    Who says money cannot buy happiness?

    1. Penguin,

      I understand what you mean ;)

      I've just bought a new premium notebook; feels great to ditch my cheepo netbook of 4 years. I know joy;I know thrill :)

      I know you beyond the words that you say.

      Don't think too much is not the same as having a "simple" mind.

      Denial is not awareness.


      Would you still be happy without her to share the car seat beside you?

      Or maybe you are moving into the phase where you need to have a fancy car to pick up cheap thrills?


    2. Be realistic, but think unrealistic, that is where creativity begins.

    3. Hi Paul,
      The Greek philosopher Epicurus uttered once a good one:
      “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

    4. Sanye,

      Ain't this the truth!

      Just like in the Parable of the Talents, what's the point of burying one's talents into the ground to avoid disappointments, only to discover not living to one's full potential is one of the major cause of unhappiness in life...

  9. Hi Jared,

    Be real or realistic? haha... choose?

    if u truly understand urself (traits, weakness, strengths etc etc), and be urself, n focus on the purpose in ur life n work on it... u will likely set a dream that is realistic in ur own dreamy standard!

    Frankly I m gg to be direct n say that I do not quite like hearing "don't think too much, be simple!", if there r problems!I know it meant well, BUT I will never say that to my kids if they face problems in their life.

    I prefer to say "face it, cry over it, understand it and get thru it with more wisdom, intelligence and mental strength next time!" Then it probably will not even happen next time.

    I prefer continuous evolvement in life (in balanced manner) rather than just "simple".

    Bill Gates and WB lead what it seems a simple n realistic lives now! But do u really think they r simple.

    Don't be too simple! haha....

    U r not as simple as u seem! lol

    1. Rolf,

      Lol! You feel the same way too?

      Hmm.. I must have sugar- coated my post too much... I thought it was my rebuttal to all those "don't think too much" platitudes?

      Platitude is not exactly a complimentary word ;)

      I got to thank you for giving me a reason to take my gloves off to be more crystal :)

      2 kinds of people will talk like that.

      The first group are the equally clueless ones.

      The last thing they wish is for you to spoil market by exercising critical thinking and solving what they cannot solve themselves ;)

      It's the well meaning version of: Just quit. Give it up. Don't bother lah! Heck care!

      The next group are the elite ones talking down to us.

      Warren Buffet is a stock picker himself. But his "advice" to other retail investor is to invest in low cost index funds!?

      That is another way of saying, "Hello, your engine capacity is not the same as mine, so don't think too much!"

      The first group limits our growth; the second is patronising us...

      So yes! Don't use it on your own children!!!

      P.S. You are perceptive! Calling me "simple" is an affront to me ;)

      I believe in Simple living. Simple lifestyle. Small is beautiful. Beauty in simplicity, and all those Zen minimalistic mumbo jumbo.


      It's like trading. It's simple; but not easy!

  10. "Of all solutions to any problem, the simplest is usually the best."

    In investing, the more you analyse, the more you think you know, the more you are afraid you make a decision.
    Or because of all the data and infomation, you plunge in all your capital?
    This makes me think of "Long Term Capital".
    So what's Realistic or Unrealistic?

    1. temperament,

      The competent and the wise can see clarity from the haze of data overload...

      Their solutions and actions will look "simple" to others on hindsight.

      Realistic or unrealistic? That is not the question.

      I'm with Andy on Mediocrity. It's more a question whether we get it; and more importantly, can we accept it.

  11. Hi SMOL,
    Can we have facebook style like button on your blog. Lots of nice comments here. too lazy to appreciate & reply to most of them.
    we have to set our own goals, our own standards for mediocrity & excellence, & our own standards of happiness.
    the problem starts when we dont have our own standards.
    So for a start I do not agree with standards set by Will Smith.
    I just want to have mediocre happiness with my mediocre goals for a mediocrally satisfying life.
    I just want to enjoy & relish variety & have different experiences, I dont need to be a master of anything.
    I dont want to change the world, I just want to be good human being.
    May be that will bring me happiness & satisfaction but may be it will not.
    I am not sure about that.

    Keep Walking..

    1. GP blogger,

      We just need our own moral compass and weighing scale.

      Then we can frame our own definition on mediocrity ;)

      Realistic and unrealistic? Do they still matter? Lol!

      Blogger is bought over by Google. Don't hold your breath waiting for Facebook "like" button...

      If you have the urge to "like", you can press the "G+1" button below my blog post until shiok!

    2. Done liao.
      after reading your comment, the first thing that came to my Mind was Keanu Reaves being offered the choice between the red & blue pill in the Matrix.

    3. Mummy says never take candies from strangers.

      Run GP Blogger! Run!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...