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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Difference Between Goals and Dreams

One thing I was surprised by was that people on my Friends list I rarely talked to were coming back with wishes for me to stay. I thought there'd be more of a "Okay, good luck out there." than a, "Why? Stay!" thing going on with people I don't speak to.

One that I paid more attention to was a response after I told them I'd achieved all of my dreams, "Just make new ones!"

That's mistaking a goal and a dream. Most of it is up to interpretation, but here's my gist:

Goals dominate.

Goals take up your time and effort. Making that last million to the stupidly overpriced Amulet of Fury. Making the last 12 million to the stupidly overpriced Amulet of Fury. 99 Cooking. 99 Runecrafing. Get it done, cheer, enjoy your reward and move onto the next. That's what goals are all about. If I want a new whip. Or a minigame reward because I need to make myself better, or look cooler. It's a goal. We set them every day. I remember when there was a Goals system in RuneScape just for that. Set a goal to complete a quest, or attain a level and it counted up progress in a percentage. We still have Set Exp Target and Set Level Target for that.

That's a goal. There's nothing wrong with goals. They keep us active.

Now, despite all of that jabber about working hard for your dreams and your dreams taking endless toil, I don't think it's true. I think dreams are a polar opposite of goals.

Dreams annoy.

That's the word. They piss you off about not getting something done. Dreams are always down the line and you inch closer every single day of your life. When you push it front and centre and turn it into your Next Big Thing, it becomes a goal.

Dreams are the things that sit there and slowly crawl toward an end. These happen most often in the beginning. I'd dreamed of a Godsword at one point. I dreamed of 10 million coins. I dreamed of a Third-age armour piece. My goal at the time was money and I fished for it. Then I turned 99 Fishing into a goal and made money on the side, but whenever someone passed me wielding my dreams, I'd do a mental tally of how much longer it would take to get me there and I'd realised it'd be a while and put it aside.

I achieved them all eventually and I was damned happy about it, too. Dreams have more sentimental value that way. Thinking of getting a nice house is not a dream. Sitting down and realising you have a nice house one day and remembering the moments leading up to it is achieving the dream. You'll see your achieved dreams in reflection when it's over. If you cheer in the moments leading up to it and the moment without looking back.

"Shit, that was a lot of work." is a goal.

"Wasn't I thinking of doing that thing 2 years ago? I finally got it down yesterday." is a dream fulfilled.

What I'm trying to say is, all of this is a load of sentimental, subjective bullshit. Goals can become dreams. When I was working my ass off for a whip, it was a goal. When I got that whip and looked back on how envious I was of people with whips back when I when I was a freeplayer, it became dream. The last couple of days have been extra dreamy!

Sure, I sold a lot of them, just to fulfill more. I got my Opulent table, Marble burners and altar in the chapel, full portal room, 7 or so pets. Owned Godswords, God Wars armour, whips, have fought with melee, range and mage at some point. Got ancients. At some point, I was always envious of people who had those things and I've passed them. I'm at Third-age (it's once piece, sure, but how many are there?), Armadyl armour. I strut around in 85 million gear and at one point, I was worth 110.

I earned it all.

That's why I'm retiring. I'm not quitting. When people quit, they do it because they're pissed. Tired of losing, tired of difficulties, challenges, gameplay. That's quitting. I'm retiring. I'm gonna leave this game happy and fulfilled.

The differences between goals and dreams are very, very few and those that exist are clear as South Africa's rivers.

The difference between quitting and retiring is much, much simpler.

Regards, IVIilitarus


  1. This truly made me realise how distant I am from a happy retirement.

    My account's been around since February 2005, but I've consummated very little goals and dreams.

    One dream I'd since quite awhile was t'reach level 100. 'Twas legendary during my career's infancy. The moment I acquired't a few days ere the first Bonus Experience Weekend (I was collecting charms), I felt this warmth. Some days later, following the weekend, I met a certain clan member for the first time, and with your extraordinary and speculative mind, could you guess what the first statement he said t'me was? "O i thought you were a hi lvl". 'Twas truly a heartache.

    'Twasn't until I aspired for a void set that I experienced a very disturbing epiphany: Individuals o'er the level of 100 were no longer legendary, they're the Pay-t'-Play commoners. 'Tdoesn't help knowing that my clan leader reached level 100 within her first month of playing RuneScape.

    I've also yet t'acquire a skill mastery. I've always been fond of Hunter. But 'twasn't until somewhere around March of 2008 that I realised that 'twill be my first skill mastery. I've worked on't e'er since, promulgating my endeavours t'most of the fond individuals I knew.

    ...And then all of a sudden, I stopped. 'Twasn't gradual. I decided that my magic level required training and I do deserve a break. From thence, whilst training magic, I decided t'continue with the Mage Training arena that I once utilised way back when. From there, I aspired for a Master Wand and a Magic Book that were obtained as a reward and sign of dedication as a student opposed t'simply purchasing something another student earned.

    But! There was no quelling my breaks. I decided t'take a break from Mage Training arena and begin trying the incipient mini-game(s) that were released (I can't recall exactly, Castle Wars update? Stealing Creations? Fist of Guthix?). Soon enough, months had slipped away, and I seldom returned t'the hunting grounds.

    I've glanced at the date in 2009 and realised that 'twas March, the month I aspired for that mastery. I tried again, but my inspiration wasn't very high. Botters had been stealing the grounds, I'd less support, the skillcape seemed much more common, and the final exams were approaching.

    All though the following year, School seemed t'be much busier. Somehow, I seldom found ways t'locate time for RuneScape. I'd other goals that I sought ere the mastery dream as more content were released. Eventually the Staff of Life sprouted into existence, shattering the usefulness of the Master Wand, but I wasn't too distance from the book which I possess today.

    Now this year has passed by. I hardly acknowledged the fact that my aspiration anniversary had slipped past my awareness until writing this post. I've prayed my best RuneScape friend (since 2006/2007) t'cajole me t'earn that mastery during the summer proceeding the celebration of his Firemaking skill mastery, which trims his pre-existing Cooking skillcape.

    I've made a remark similar as follows:
    "Eventually," I envisioned, "you'll be sitting by the fire that you've masterfully constructed, waiting for my arrival t'cook the meat I've brought from my hunting expeditions."

    "Way to make me feel like such a man. :P" he replied.

    Howe'er, summer school truly has payed a toll in regards t'time, and I still haven't begun on that endeavour...

    ...that dream.

  2. Aye. These things only come up upon reflection.