Living life in our own fantasy world

Photo by Cosmic Timetraveler on Unsplash

This week I’ve been spending a lot of time in the world of fantasy. I’ve been binge watching Japanese anime, mixed up with RPG video games. I had forgotten the beauty of getting engrossed in a whole different, fantastical dimension.

Getting into series’ and playing games has been something I’ve found pretty tough in the last few years, especially so in the last month or two. This is in stark contrast of when I was a teenager, where I would get through so many fantasy novels. I remember staying up reading one night for so long that it actually was daylight outside (and I realised I better go sleep!)

But as an adult, the world of ‘fiction’ lost its appeal. In fact, I think I’ve ended up becoming quite condescending and judgemental about it. Whilst this sense of escapism might be nice when you don’t have responsibilities, what about as an adult with a job? I didn’t really understand the point of it all, because it didn’t materially help me in any way.

So the information I now consume has shifted towards things that are more ‘serious’. Real world news, politics. Non-fiction and self-development books. Important, hard hitting stuff, rather than namby pamby worlds filled with goblins and elves.

This week was the point that I realised that somewhere along the way I had lost my joy for fantasy. In fact, anything not based in reality felt like wasted effort – I’ve stopped watching films or even TV series. I had subconsciously built a suspicion of all these things as not being a valuable use of time.

Sometimes the remedy to a challenge is to plunge yourself into the deep end. And there’s no better deep end of getting into fantasy than watching some Japanese anime. Yet perhaps it’s also what I needed – watching a reality-TV show, whilst sometimes enjoyable, would be like taking a weak dose of medicine. I can now see with the benefit of hindsight that those have not been satiating my intense curiosity and desire to dream.

It’s been really interesting to observe the psychological effect too – watching a positive story unfold has left me feeling the most hopeful I’ve been in probably months. My sense of my own abilities and belief in myself also increased too. When we see people succeeding – whether real or not – our emotions also follow with them.

What I’ve learnt in the last few years of personal development is that to some extents, we are all living our own fantasy. There may be things that exist that are real, but the way we interpret them colours our experience of the whole world. But we often get caught up in the worries and concerns, so we inadvertendly paint our lives as dark and difficult, rather than bright and beautiful.

I feel that there is a way in which we can live our lives where everything is our own fantastical creation. We can choose the beauty and vivid colours, even if they may not necessarily be there ‘in reality’.

When I had this thought, I wondered whether I was going delusional. Am I convincing myself to be happy in spite of the hard, cold realities of the world? Was this a genius, inspired vision of how to be positive or the moment before the mental breakdown?

Well maybe I am being delusional. But I also have come to the conclusion that I would rather live a happy, somewhat delusional life than a miserable, hyper realist one. So why not indulge myself in dreaming and wonder?

Besides, I also know that I’m far more effective when I’m happy. I’m more positive, pleasant to be around and far more likely to take action. The magic is seeing that I can be a dreamer but also not be in denial of the realities either. I think true madness is losing touch with reality, but a happy delusion is seeing the positives even when things are difficult.

When we can see life as a choice of how we choose to see it, it opens up so many possibilities. Critically, it opens up our abilities to see it in a positive light, even when there may be many factual reasons not to.

If we’re all living in our own fantasy worlds, why not make yours more happy and colourful?

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