Fairy-tale thinking, its symptoms are fantasizing, irrational expectations, inactivity, and misplaced effort. It always results in frustration, confusion, anger, hopelessness, and ultimately, a wasted life.
Fairy-tale thinking is the philosophical belief that someday, without doing anything, something wonderful is going to happen that will allow us to live happily ever after.
The first step toward recovery is for the victim to realize that real life is not a fairy tale. The world just does not work that way. Real life isn’t the achievement of one big objective and then retiring to live “happily ever after.” Fairy-tale thinkers will always resist this truth because they think of success as a destination.
Fairy-tale thinkers often build their definition of success on such vague concepts as happiness or wealth. Such intangible terms have relative meanings and are thus elusive and unattainable. When your life’s goal is to be happy or rich, you will always feel defeated and frustrated because you are aiming for a shifting mirage that changes based on perspective, mood, and socioeconomic status. The real-world truth is that success is not a dollar amount nor a relationship. Success is not the attainment of a thing or an enviable position. Nor is it recognition or a life of ease. Think of success, rather, in terms of becoming. Do not think of success as the realization of a level of material or emotional gain, but as progress.