Project Practitioners > Create Your Own Reality

Create Your Own Reality

By Chris Cook, PMP

READ TIME: 5 minutes


Back in June 2018, I wrote an article laying out ten characteristics every successful project manager possesses. As the questions and comments rolled in, I began wondering if I should dive a little deeper into each trait to show how to become better in each.

The result is a ten-week article series. The eighth characteristic I listed was “create your own reality.” Here is what I originally wrote:

“Create your own reality – they aren’t interested in what other people deem possible or impossible; they only care about producing the things they dream are possible

The best way to know the future is to create it. A great way to know someone is not right to join your team is he or she constantly deems things impossible. Is there really no way of accomplishing this task, or is it something so difficult you cannot see a solution or do not want to put the necessary work in to solve it?

Your goal should be breakthrough creation. Rather than steady progress or status quo, you want to create those ideas that spike growth.”


Now, let’s figure out how to become better at creating your own reality.

  1. Be the hero of your movie

Pretend your day to day operation is a movie. Would someone want to watch it? Write the script of that movie and portray the character that intrigues others. Think of what the soundtrack to your life is. Back in Black by ACDC? You Make My Dreams by Hall & Oates? Killing In the Name by Rage Against The Machine?

All of those songs will have a different impact on your outlook. You have the control to change that outlook. Create your own reality by taking back the control of your emotions. A plumber calls stating he cannot get the job done. If your reaction is the world is going to end, you are right. If your reaction is next plumber up to do the job, you are right.

An owner shuts down a project early. You think your career is over. You are right. You think this opens up doors for other opportunities. You are right. You are creating the reality around you. No one else has that control unless you give them the power.

Make your movie worth watching. Sitting behind a desk for 8 hours at a time answering phone calls makes for a dud film. Innovating and inspiring makes for a blockbuster. You have the power to do either.


  1. Look good, feel good

Go to Goodwill. Look at suit jackets for men or women. Put one on and tell me you do not feel differently. A $4 suit jacket turns your attitude from just some person to all fancy.

Office environments do not accommodate everyone’s tastes. Some like it cold while others need heat. Some want a wall of windows while darkness keeps others happy. For me, I am most likely cold. I used this as an opportunity to dress up. I put on a suit jacket every day. Not to look fancy (which it accomplishes) but to keep warm. It gives the impression you are professional meanwhile the functionality of staying warm.

The suit jacket gives a perception of style and authority. Who wears a suit jacket and does not run things? This perception is not only outward but also inward. You start to feel empowered simply by changing your wardrobe. You can remain comfortable in a t-shirt, but dress it up with a suit jacket and all of a sudden you are your own boss. The mentality shift that occurs through a physical change is spectacular.


  1. Smile

Dealing with tenants and owners who are often unhappy because something is not working can beat you down. After a while, you have two choices, smile or cry. I choose to smile.

Even when talking to them on the phone, you can keep your spirits up by smiling. Remember, you are the hero of your movie. Heroes do not walk around depressed feeling sorry for themselves. They act and make a change that saves the day.

Bump your soundtrack in the background and put the cape on. Tomorrow, this small issue will not have any impact on your life. Someone is angry about being charged $100 to snake a drain, and it did not work. Just know the alternative is a clogged sink that eventually leaks and leads to asset damage. Do they want to spend the $100 now or thousands of dollars later?

Make the decision and smile. It is much better than the alternative.




Creating your own reality is taking back control. No matter your response, you are right. The hero in a movie decides to save the world. The unforgettable character walking along in the background usually takes the asteroid to the face. Be the hero.

Up your outer appearance to positively impact your inner perception. No hero walks around in tattered clothes unless they just came out of a burning building. A suit jacket over a polo shirt makes a huge difference. A well-tailored dress rather than something off of the rack ups your game.

And after all is said and done, smile. A positive attitude in a negative situation makes all of the difference. You can sit around with your team and talk about woulda, coulda, and shoulda, or you can put one foot in front of the other towards progress.

Be the hero. Create your reality.

Not all comments are posted. Posted comments are subject to editing for clarity and length.

The comments to this entry are closed.

©Copyright 2000-2017 Emprend, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
About us   Site Map   View current sponsorship opportunities (PDF)
Contact us for more information or e-mail
Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Stay Connected
Get our latest content delivered to your inbox, every other week. New case studies, articles, templates, online courses, and more. Check out our Newsletter Archive for past issues. Sign Up Now

Follow Us!
Linked In Facebook Twitter RSS Feeds

Got a Question?
Drop us an email or call us toll free:
7am-5pm Pacific
Monday - Friday
We'd love to talk to you.

Learn more about ProjectConnections and who writes our content. Want to learn more? Compare our membership levels.