The dreamer, the critic and the realist all boarded a sleek sailing vessel and began their trip from Miami to Cuba.  The weather was beautiful, not a single cloud in the sky.  The wind blew steadily east to west at 10 knots.

A little more than halfway through the trip they encountered a furious storm.  The oceans swelled as the black skies poured rain, thunder and lightening.  The boat heaved and pitched furiously from side to side tossing the three around like rag dolls.  

The three looked at each other but had different thoughts.  

The critic-  “The ocean is so rough, our trip is going to be delayed a few hours, my clothes are getting soaked, this is terrible, if it continues to be like this the boat won’t be able to handle it, alert the coast guard.”

The dreamer-  “Ah yes, rough seas, they will stir my rum and coke without me having to stir it myself!  Relax and have some more to drink, we are through the worst part of the storm.  When I get to Cuba, I’m going to smoke a nice cigar.”

The realist- “The ocean is rough, we need to trim the sails so the boast doesn’t capsize, put on our life suits to keep us dry and safe.  If we use the motor we can get to cuba and smoke cigars on time.”

The Critic, The Dreamer and The Realist all operate with different mindsets.  


The critic operates in the problem mindset.  


-It’s too hot, it’s too cold,

-You’re doing it wrong,

-it’s going to fail, this will never work,

-I always……. and it fails

This is called the Problem frame.  The problem frame places emphasis on what is wrong or what is not wanted.  A person in the problem frame tends to spot the problems or flaws in events, people, actions etc.

The dreamer operates with the “as if” mindset


-It’s hot, it will cool down any minute now

-That’s not the way it’s usually done but I’m sure it will work anyway.

-It’s going to be awesome, when I make my millions I will…..

-I want to fly jet planes, own 5 houses and 10 cars.

This is called the “as if” frame.  I’m sure you have heard of the saying “act as if you are already successful” or “act as if you have already made it.”  Both are perfect example of the mindset of a dreamer.


The realist operates with the mindset of what needs to be done right now.


-It’s hot, I need to put on a jacket.

-Let me show you how to do it.

-We should focus on the…….

-We need to work harder so it will work.


This is called the “outcome frame.”  He or she operates with the thought of what do I need to do now to achieve the desired outcome.  


Which one are you? And which one is the best?


Right now you are probably thinking that is best to have the mindset of a realist but in actuality it is best to be able to think and act like all three.

Notice in the above example:

The critic pointed out the potential disasters.

The dreamer supplied the hope and the vision.

And the realist put it into action.
-The dreamer says ideas move mountains, the critics say it can’t be done and the realist knows dynamite and bulldozers move mountains!



Are you The Critic, The Realist or The Dreamer?
Tagged on:         

One thought on “Are you The Critic, The Realist or The Dreamer?

  • September 1, 2015 at 12:59 am

    I really enjoyed this article. Very thought provoking. I’m a realist looking to balance all three personality types 🙂


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *