A few weeks ago while I was on a run, the saying “keep your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground” popped into my head. I’m not sure why I thought of this, but once I did I couldn’t get it out of my mind. And while I’ve heard this saying many times (and actually have always thought it was pretty corny and cheesy), I started to think about it more deeply and realized the true wisdom of this idea.
As I’ve been thinking about it more, I notice that while I often have my “head in clouds” (thinking about big goals, dreams, ideas, and more) and my “feet on the ground” (staying grounded in “reality,” taking practical action, and keeping things “real”), I rarely do these things simultaneously.
I think most of us find ourselves on one end of this spectrum or the other (and some of us, like me, go back and forth depending on what’s going on in our lives or how we’re feeling at any given time). However, our ability to create an authentic sense of balance with our goals and actions (i.e. dreaming vs. doing), has a lot to do with not only how effective we are in making things happen in life, but also with how much joy and fulfillment we experience.
Here are a few things you can do and think about to balance the yin and yang energies of dreaming and doing in your life:
1) Notice where you are on this spectrum. Take some time to reflect on where you fall on the “head in the clouds, feet on the ground” continuum. While many of us move back and forth a bit on this spectrum, most of us have a natural place where we settle — i.e. we’re more of a “dreamer” or a “doer.” Once we recognize where we are, we have the ability to move and create more of a balanced approach — if we choose to.
2) Allow yourself to focus on your dreams. What are some of your biggest dreams? What do you truly want in your life? Having passionate desire without attachment is one of the most important elements of us making our dreams come true. However, because most of us have been hurt, disappointed, or let down by goals that haven’t been attained, we tend to hold back when it comes to thinking about, visualizing, and talking about our deepest desires and most important dreams. Having our “head in the clouds” is about giving ourselves permission to dream and dream big.
3) Take intentional and effective action. One of the biggest challenges we encounter in our journey towards our dreams is either not taking effective action (because we don’t know what to do or we’re too scared to do it) or taking too much ineffective action (because we’re running around crazy or acting in an unconscious way). When we allow ourselves to dream big (with our “head in the clouds”), how we keep our “feet on the ground” is by coming up with intentional and appropriate actions to move forward with our goals, even if we’re scared and not sure how things will turn out. We often need guidance, advice, and support in this process — because it can be confusing, intimidating, or both.
4) Get good support and feedback. Support and feedback are essential aspects of life, success, and growth — as we all know. Specifically related to our dreams — it’s crucial that we have empowering support around us. Some of us need people who can challenge us think big, focus on our goals, and dream. Others of us need people to help ground us, keep us in reality, and help us focus our energy, passion, and ideas in a practical way. And, all of us need people who can cheer for us, hold us accountable, and support us on our journey in an authentic and meaningful way. We can’t do it alone — well, at least not nearly as easily of effectively.
5) Have fun! It’s important for us to enjoy the journey and not take ourselves or life too seriously. Sometimes, as you may have noticed, we get really intense, uptight, and stressed out about our goals and dreams — almost as if we’re holding our breath, waiting to exhale once things all turn out. This creates a stressful dynamic in our lives and is not the most conducive environment (internally and externally) for us to create success and fulfillment. Having fun along the way ensures we keep things in perspective and enjoy the ride, regardless of the outcome.
Keeping our head in the clouds and our feet on the ground is a lot easier said than done. However, when we’re able to do both of these things with passion, intention, and focus — we create a sense of balance and peace that can allow us to have what we truly want in life.
[Mike Robbins is a sought-after motivational keynote speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of Focus on the Good Stuff (Wiley) and Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken (Wiley). More info – www.Mike-Robbins.com]