Successful people dream up a vision. From this, they can create a goal towards which they aspire. But, in order to turn the vision into reality, the dreaming – or fantasising – must stop. A more dynamic mindset is required.

Fantasies of success tend to lead to inactivity, and so low performance.

Positive expectation, on the other hand, is linked to high aspiration and optimistic thinking. These lead to productive cognition, problem-solving, high performance, and prosocial behaviour. It is a strong motivator. In fact, in a thirty-year longtidunal study (Peterson, MEP, et al), optimistic thinking was shown to be good for you health, slowing the progress of both acute and chronic disease. Conversely, fantasy has a negative outcome on health.

Our brains are designed to fulfil expectations. It’s partly how we corroborate our personal world view. It stands to reason, then, that if we expect a particular outcome and think optimistically about this, our mindset will be configured to achieve that expectation.

Fantasising, however, precludes realisation, wrapped up, as it is, in a tissue of unreality; from the outset, there is the belief that it can’t really come true. And so, guess what, that expectation is fulfilled.

When we employ optimistic thinking, we are less likely to give up when luck doesn’t seem to be on our side; in other words, we create our destiny. If opportunity doesn’t come knocking, we build a door…