The Fallacy of Dreams: Why Maybe Will Get You Nowhere

“Maybe I’ll go back to school…”

“Maybe I’ll get my teaching credential…”

“Maybe I’ll move to San Francisco…”

If you’re like me, you know “maybe” intimately like a friend.  

Though “maybe” introduces a realm of possibility, the conditional form is also non-committal: it negates the responsibility for action.  I might write; I might sing.  “Might” exists in some far away future and, thus, absolves us of the practical steps we could be taking now.

Dreamy and a bit impractical, I’ve always preferred playing with possibility to transforming possibility into reality; I bolt from the first sign of serious commitment.  “Get my teaching credential? But what if after all the trainings and observations and money I will have wasted my time?”  Like most of us, I balk at the idea of having anything set in stone.

Perhaps we’re afraid to commit because we’re afraid of vulnerability, we’re afraid of failure.  To proclaim our dreams and carry out a plan to attain them would mean total humiliation if we met with defeat.  Easier to just drift from one meaningless job to another without the pressure of a “plan.”  

But if we’re to lead full, meaningful lives, we must have the conviction to be decisive and check yes or no.  So do away with maybe.  Shout a confident “yes!” to whatever it is that you want.

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