Declutter your fantasy life


In an article published some time ago in the Financial Times, columnist Simon Kuper muses on the fantasies of wage earners everywhere: that they will one day become the person they really are and make a movie, write a book or retire to the country.

He says, though that “it’s usually best to let these fantasies stay fantasies. For most people, being a hack – doing routine work for money – is the happiest, simplest and probably even the most authentic way to live.”

And then the killer blow: “At the root of my housemate’s fantasy was a common delusion: that the authentic self is an artist.”

So anything that does not live up to that fantasy is sub-standard, not worth doing? It may be worth pondering your own fantasies, assessing whether they are achievable, and measuring how much they poison your actual life.

If, in your head, you are really an artist then all the mundane things that make up all of our lives are only temporary, distractions at best, burdens at worst.

And if you never make it as an artist, think of all the time you wasted hating things that were right in front of you.

Perhaps the real work is to do the everyday things with grace, with artistry? And if you are really meant to be an artist, start working on the small steps that might make that happen in the long term.