Are You a Dreamer or a Doer?

Are You a Dreamer or a Doer?

Written by Emilie

Topics: Goals

The Dreamer

We all start here, with the big idea.

Your heart races as you dream of that trip you want to take, of quitting your job, starting a business, forming a band, or writing that book. You feel alive, unstoppable. Beautiful, blind idealism.

The Student

You devour information and begin educating yourself. You start making plans, lists and schedules. You enroll in courses, buy products and consult with experts. You discuss your dream with anyone who will listen. You live, eat and breathe your dream.

The Cynic

Out of nowhere, realism hits you like a ton of bricks. You see only your limitations, the impossibility of the task, the pointlessness, the hard work, the fact that others have come before, that your idea is not new.

Optimism now feels silly and you are embarrassed for having ever allowed it to creep in. You remember all the times you failed to follow through in the past and you know that this time will be no different.

The Surrender

For most of us, this is where the story ends. You let your dream go and continue on your way feeling mild regret every time you think back to it.

The cycle repeats itself again and again and again.

Even at our finest, we are merely dreamers.

*Waking Up*

But then one day- if you’re lucky… something inside changes.

There have been enough false starts. The pain of endlessly residing in dreamland has begun to outweigh the risk of failure.

So you take action. You do something.

It might be a booked plane ticket, a simple phone call, or a skipped class. But no matter how small the action, in that moment, it means everything. You’ve woken up. Not just that, you’ve woken yourself up.

The Fear

At first, each step is fraught with fear. You question yourself constantly. Your body tells you to quit, stop what you’re doing and go back to being safe- to dreaming.

The Perseverance

You keep going despite your fears. Slowly they quiet down. You build momentum and begin to see progress. The fears don’t ever leave but you learn how to trick them into submission.

The Teacher

You see others around you, stuck in their dreams. You want to shake them awake and tell them that it’s possible- that they can do it too. You try but they can’t hear you. You try harder. It is partly, after all, the nudges from others that helped you wake up in the first place.

But you know that ultimately you don’t have the power to wake anybody else up. It’s something they must do for themselves.

The Doer

You look back and are amazed, not only by what you’ve accomplished, but by what you’ve become.

You’re different now. Your dreams aren’t mere fantasies, they’re something more- something tangible. And because of this, you no longer take your dreams lightly. In fact, you take them very very seriously.

You jot your many dreams down but are careful about choosing which to pursue because you know that you will commit wholeheartedly. You know this because you are now someone who takes action. You’re a doer.

Have you woken yourself up yet? If not, consider this a friendly nudge.


  1. Rebecca says:

    Sometimes it’s frightening how dead-on your words are. Your description is perfect.

    I’m somewhere between The Fear and The Perseverance now…

  2. Emilie says:

    Hi Rebecca,

    That is not a fun place to be. However, it sure beats dreamland! The fear is something we all have to go through. Keep at it dude! Don’t let your fears fool you, your idea is brilliant (I’m sure of it. :)

    ..and thanks!

  3. Rob says:

    I kind of thought I was at Perseverance/Teacher, but quite recently a lot of my friends and peers have been commenting on my lifestyle, expressing how it seems so ‘cool’, and different. So maybe, just MAYBE, I’m a doer already! :)

  4. Emilie says:

    heh.. yeah, I actually think that everything after “waking up” is doer material. So yeah, I’d definitely call you a doer Rob. :)

    One of my favourite things about getting into blogging has been meeting other ‘doers’ (such as yourself). Sharing ideas and bouncing energy off one another is truly the greatest!

    ahh I’m also in a really nice post-exam haze right now. :D happyyy

  5. Peter J says:

    I think that we will probably fit into all these categories over time. (well we could?)
    We might start of as someone that fears everything they do, but this might progress into perseverance or something.
    Whether you do fit into one of these categories or not, i think its important that you at least try and “wish” that your in one of them; as it might take you into actually being a part of it. Think you should be a doer, your already starting to do something ;)

    • Emilie says:


      I think you’re probably right, the process isn’t necessarily linear. The main thing though is I do think that a shift happens at some point (hopefully), where we stop merely ruminating on these dreams and start acting on them. Getting to that point is what’s important.

      Once you do that, I feel like everything changes. Even if you don’t act on every idea (and you shouldn’t), at least you have the confidence to know that you COULD if you wanted to.

      Thanks for the comment. :)

  6. Lex Mosgrove says:

    I think I’m somewhere between Teacher and Doer. I keep poking people to wake them up and motivating them todo stuff, but I’m not quite out there kicking that amateur attitude out of the window and getting things done yet. Guess I’m still too afraid (which is funny considering I’ve been through more scary stuff than this).

    • Emilie says:

      Somewhere between Teacher and Doer is a good place to be. And to be honest, we all get scared sometimes. Don’t underestimate how scary it is to pursue your dreams. It may not seem like it, but doing something so close to your heart is one of the most terrifying things you can do.

      Thanks for the comment Lex!

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