Castles in the Air All Too Often End Up In Ruins

Dreams are extremely important to motivate you to achieve your objectives. However, when they're excessively unrealistic, or when you don't do enough to get projects started, you feel frustrated.
Castles in the Air All Too Often End Up In Ruins

Last update: 01 October, 2021

You can’t live without your dreams. However, neither is it possible to only live for them. It’s your dreams that drive you, they give you the impulse to keep going. Dreams are like guiding stars, they shine and show you the way. Dreams translate into projects and projects into plans. Hence, what at one moment is a dream, with patience and perseverance, becomes a reality.

The problem is, that some people have their dreams, but do very little to make them a reality. Furthermore, if they do, they use the wrong methods. This prevents them from achieving those goals that they so fiercely yearn for.

“Building castles in the air is worth nothing, but their destruction is very expensive.”

-François Mauriac-

Building castles in the air means designing in your imagination the desired state you want to reach. We all do it sometimes. For instance, we fall in love with someone and visualize ourselves holding hands with that person until we’re old and grey. We start our first day at work and dream of the promotion we’ll get. We start saving and fantasize over that holiday in paradise we’ll go on when we’ve saved enough.

As a matter of fact, it’s perfectly normal to make castles in the air and live in them for a while. However, what happens when you settle down in those castles and you no longer want to leave them? 

Building castles in the air

castle in the air with blue background

You don’t necessarily have to be dreaming of grand achievements to be living in a castle in the air. In fact, what defines these imaginary constructions isn’t their size, but their unreality. You might, for example, have the fantasy of getting a wonderful partner.

Who hasn’t ever dreamed of such things? Who hasn’t wanted that special person to appear? The one who’s totally different from the others, with whom we achieve that state of “happiness” that we’ve always dreamed of?  After all, everyone wants their “happy ever after”.

Indeed, in the contemporary world, there are some particular fantasies that many don’t want to give up. One of them is the fantasy of an ideal partner. However, in addition, ideals also flourish around money, success, fame, happiness, and material things.

Many people, to a greater or lesser extent, assume that ” happiness ” exists in that ideal of life that’s so readily promoted. For example, a stable and wonderful partner, promising and fulfilling work, social recognition, or a calm and tranquil existence.

Although you probably don’t really know anyone who’s achieved all this, you tend to imagine that many have. In fact, you tend to think that others have everything and it’s just you who hasn’t had the good luck to achieve the same. You might blame it on your dysfunctional family, your insecurity, or just plain bad luck.

They don’t collapse, they disappear

castle in the air.

If there’s one thing that defines the neurotic person, it’s their conviction that others are fine and that only they have problems. In fact, they tend to believe that the shortcomings, contradictions, and paradoxes of life are something that can be permanently resolved, with a little effort and dedication. Indeed, it doesn’t seem possible to them that mistakes, gaps, and fractures in relationships are factors that form a part of everyone’s life. They believe that all this can be overcome.

This is why the neurotic person is obsessed with the search for the”recipe for happiness.” Sometimes, they think they’ll find it in religion, a self-help book, or by practicing some form of self-improvement philosophy.

The castle in the air where the neurotic dwells is the ideal of a fully harmonious world. That’s why their life just goes from one disappointment to another.

They realize that their prince or princess charming, in reality, doesn’t offer them redemption, but actually brings them more problems. For example, perhaps they don’t really love them, or they certainly don’t show their love 100 percent of the time. Indeed, at the end of the day, they’re just an ordinary person. A person who make mistakes and picks their nose when others aren’t watching.

Alternatively, they find that work doesn’t make them millionaires and they don’t get a gold star every time they get it right. Furthermore, at the end of the month, they get their salary and think they should be earning more. In fact, it seems they’ll never be able to earn enough.

Perhaps they have an athletic body with well-toned muscles. However, this only produces rather fleeting joys. Hence, they finally realize that physical and emotional pain is something all human beings must deal with, no matter how beautiful they are, or the accolades they’ve obtained, or how much effort they put into achieving success.

woman holding a moon

Perfection doesn’t exist

Perhaps we’d all be generally much happier if we understood that happiness itself is a relative concept. To understand that there’s no state of absolute happiness and that if we sometimes manage to experience complete bliss, it certainly doesn’t last long. Of course, it’s nice to dream of perfection. However, it’s even better not to lose sight of the fact that it’s an ideal and, consequently, unattainable.

If we don’t give up living in these castles in the air, we’ll more than likely be constantly miserable. Disappointed at not being able to realize those impossible fantasies. We will feel that our castle is in ruins and we’ll lose sight of the fact that in reality, the great wonder of existence is knowing that, even with limitations, we can always be a little better.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.