There are four categories of hypothetical self views described in the book on page 36. The views show that self feelings are often influenced by our own ideas of who we could be, should be, do not want to be, and an ideal of who we want to be. First, the attainable self represents the kind of person one wants to be and can be. These self views are very realistic. One tends to set goals in attaining these views. The closer one is to the views, the better the individual feels about themselves. For example, take my life-I want to be a psychologist, that is my goal. This is a very realistic goal because I am in college studying to be a psychologist. As William James(1890), says the closer I get to becoming a psychologist the better one will feel about themselves. As long as a person sets goals that are realistic and work toward those goals or views of themselves then that person is in the attainable self views.
On the other hand, if one entertains unrealistic goals or has idealistic self images he/she are entertaining the ideal self. It is important to remember in this stage that your idea is what you dream about being. It is upon that you realize these large flights of fancy are unrealistic goals. The most common idealized view I have of myself is winning the lottery and being rich without having to work for it. I often dream about what I would do and would not do if I had that much money. For example, I would buy a house for my parents, pay off all of my debts, take my girlfriend and I on a a trip around the world, along with several other fantasies. These views are just dreams. I do not have to have them to be happy and I do not have to be rich. It is normal to have the ideal self as long as one do not try to make the ideal self the attainable self. The book calls it neuroticism, in short, a psychological distress of fantasy turning into a must.
Another idea concerns what we think we should be or ought to be.