Why You Shouldn’t Be Realistic

I love NC State football. As a 2004 graduate, I bleed Red & White! Last week, we hosted the #3 Clemson Tigers.  The game was televised on ESPN’s Thursday Night Primetime and I was there with 57,000 others cheering on the Pack.  State played well, much better than most expected, and as the 3rd quarter was closing, it was only 13-7 in Clemson’s favor.  Then it happened.  State’s Brian Underwood broke a run around the end and headed down the sideline for an 83-yard touchdown.  The stadium erupted and everyone was going wild.  Then silent.  The back referee had blown the play dead saying Underwood stepped out-of-bounds.  The play was not reviewable, no touchdown.   As the replays began, it was clearly obvious the call was missed.  ESPN announcer, Reece Davis even said, “Gentlemen, that was a miss.  What a blow to this NC State offense.”  The ‘boo’s’ started and fans became visibly frustrated.  The negativity rolled in to Carter-Finley Stadium.  Clemson took advantage and scored, twice.  State fought back and played a close game, but could never get over the hurdle.  Clemson won 26-14.  I was incredibly proud of the gritty Wolfpack against a top-ranked opponent and look forward to an awesome season, but all I could think about after the game was writing about it on Monday…

Being Real

There are two types of people.  Those yelling ‘bad call’ and those that carry on.  A lot of folks would argue, “I’m just being realistic, it was a bad call.”  Although a true statement, their response to it shows their belief.  While they’re yelling ‘bad call’ they’re missing the opportunity to do something about it!  You see, bad calls are a part of life.  Around every corner, we have the opportunity to yell it; quite honestly, some people do.  The bad call only becomes a reality when it defines you.  Had State pushed through the bad call and scored despite it, no one would be talking about it. Even after that game, they have the opportunity to not let that call or that game define their season. What about you?  Do you yell ‘bad call’ or do you carry on?

Why Realism is Dangerous

You see, realism is often negativity in disguise; be careful that it doesn’t creep up on you.  I heard Andy Andrews say, “I never met a negative person that didn’t think they were just being realistic.”  Often times, we let our truth become our reality.  By this, we let our ‘bad call’ become the reality in which we operate.  Essentially, we believe our experience as our reality and this sets up a dangerous scenario.  We believe a truth that we have the opportunity to change.  Read some of the quotes below.  Chances are, they were said by someone being realistic!

“The automobile is a novelty – a fad. The horse is here to stay” (yr 1915)

“The telephone has no usable value” (yr 1878)

“Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible” (yr 1895)

“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home” (yr 1977)

The people saying these quotes were obviously being realistic based on their experience to that point.  However, there were others like Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, The Wright Brothers, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs who saw otherwise.  The point is, don’t let your senses deceive you.  What is impossible to one man, is opportunity to another.  What is a ‘bad call’ to one person is simply the spark that ignites the creative flame.

1.  Where are you yelling ‘bad call’?  How are you responding to certain situations that is keeping you living realistically?  It’s important to understand where your realistic responses are limiting your opportunities.  So many people spend so much time yelling that they neglect responsibility to act!

2.  Define your reality – Look at your ‘bad calls’ and see the truth in them.  If you’re still breathing, you have an opportunity to change.  A lot of times this may require the input of someone else.  Our reality in our minds is not often the reality seen by others.  Get help defining the real truth instead of your perceived truth.

3.  Replace realism with hope – There is great power in hope and belief.  Give yourself the power of idealism.  The way you would hope things to be.  Don’t focus so much on the past, instead, give thought the actions for the future.  If you hope things would be a certain way, take action to move them towards that direction.  There is no replacement for hopeful action; all great things started with hopeful action.

What do you think?

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4 Responses to Why You Shouldn’t Be Realistic

  1. Michael L O'Brien September 23, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    Well written Matthew! Definition is important and then capture the opportunity! I believe it was Ted Turner once said “Dream bigger than you can ever imagine reaching and if you fall a little short, you’ve still done pretty good!” … bad calls are always going to be part of it but we must always have the goal in sight if we are going to reach it!

    • Matt Ham September 23, 2013 at 9:28 am #

      Yessir Michael! Thank you for sharing! Have an awesome week!

  2. Jaclyn Thomas September 24, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    Matt, I am not surprised but thoroughly impressed at this blog post and your whole site. Keep it up. It’s not everyday, you find such talent for moving people and opening up perspectives… Great Job, Friend!

    • Matt Ham September 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

      Jaclyn, thanks so much for reading and sharing. I appreciate the encouragement! Still remember the good ‘ol days at AWANA! Have an awesome Tuesday!