Our thoughts create our world. We have to dream possibilities before we can make them real. I know our practical world dismisses that as fantasy and "magical thinking", but it's still true.
When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time fantasizing about being the next Ralph William Williams, painting back covers of women's magazines for Breck Shampoo. I spent hours and hours drawing people in preparation for my glorious future while I fantasized. I supported my future employer by washing my hair with Breck even though the company and Williams were oblivious to my devotion -- but these dreams made my art career possible.
Dreaming, wishing, wanting, hoping, reading -- all of it expanded my world and made other things possible. Why couldn't I be the next Breck artist? Why limit my wishes?
Too many people have given up daydreaming because they don't think it gets you anywhere, but it's exactly the thing that can take you beyond your circumstances. Thought creates what we think is possible. Thought turns to action. If you think you're limited, then you are. If you think you can achieve something grand, you can.
What we believe draws opportunities and people into our experience. If you believe men are abusive, you'll attract an abusive partner. If you think men are kind, you'll attract a kind partner. If you think all women are gold diggers, well, you get the idea. Our thoughts create our experience.
I often wonder if other people, especially younger people, have given up self-directed fantasy because they are so busy in group activities or being passively entertained. There's no time left over to dream their lives into being. If they're too comfortable where they're at, then there's no reason to dream for more.
The other side of fantasy can sometimes be that we spend too much time thinking about the unpleasant situations and people who interfere with our happiness and success. I'm pretty sure we've all thought about the justice we'd like to rain down on the heads of people who have wronged us. The more time we think our hateful and/or depressing thoughts, the less time we have to think the world we want to live in.
When I was young, I didn't have much choice about living in my fantasy world. I didn't have other kids to play with and tv was limited. I read to my heart's content, and imagined heroes who always said and did the right things. Real people are flawed in ways I couldn't imagine. We can't make other people share our fantasies or play the roles we assign to them -- which makes life infinitely more interesting.