Are You Dreaming Big?
This isn't an idle question. Think about it carefully. All things considered, you might believe that you are happy or content in your life right now. And if I asked you if you are living well enough, you'd probably shrug and say "eh". Perhaps you'd even claim a decent happiness.
But are you living your dreams?
I'm not ignoring the fact that the world is as it is and the current economy would make just about anyone feel cynical. I'm not unaware of how things work. But I'd tell you all those terrible things are blown out of proportion. Life is tough. Life is hard. It all means nothing when compared to the unleashed potential of the human spirit. You may think you are doing good, but it's possible you are letting these worries, concerns and "what-ifs" keep you from doing your best. You artificially inflate these road blocks to the point where they affect your behavior, weigh you down and keep you from DREAMING like a child.
Renowned author Stephen Covey said it well in his 7 Habits... and other books that much too often we sacrifice what would be best for our life for what is simply good. Here's a quote from First Things First.
Decisions are easier when it's a question of "good" or "bad." We can easily see how some ways we could spend our time are wasteful, mind-numbing, even destructive. But for most of us, the issue is not between the "good" and the "bad," but between the "good" and the "best." So often, the enemy of the best is the good.
I haven't always been a fan of self-help / life-management books, but Covey is recognized as the industry leader here. His stuff is genius. So, again, let's stop and think about the question. Are you letting the "good enough" in your life prevent you from reaching your "best"? Are you REACHING?
Failure Should Not Be a Roadblock Either
Some of us no longer reach for our big dreams because we've failed at some point in the past. We strive for what we want, but only carefully and tentatively. We got our hand slapped last time, so this time we won't reach for the big jar of cookies on the high shelf but settle for the crackers on the counter. Eventually we stop looking at or even acknowledging those cookies as if they were a fool's errand.
But failure is it's very own important and valuable teacher. We can learn lessons from it and grow. Failure should a guiding force towards a larger and more important goal. If you let failure discourage you from trying, you are piling on the ultimate failure.
Watch Batman if you don't believe me. Why do we fall?
It's true in all things in life, including both the personal and business world. Read this post for entrepreneurs about how All Your Previous Failures Prepare You for Future Success.
In fact many times when you are dreaming big, the more detractors you will have and the more people tell you "no," the closer you are probably to ultimate success. In other words, the more people telling you "no" now, the more people will say "yes" in the long term. Most people say "no" or "you can't do it" because they are afraid to try themselves and would rather see you fail than try themselves. I know that sounds arrogant, but it is true in many cases.
Still not convinced that right now is the time to be dreaming big, bigger than you've ever hoped for? At least for business, studies have shown that during times of trouble, the companies that continue to promote and expand their marketing for the long haul will outlast and outshine the companies that reacted more cautiously to the climate. I think buried here is a larger lesson about life.
Still following me? Your last and final stop should be the following article called How to Build a Castle in the Air on LateralAction.com. You should read the whole thing, but here's a snippet.
You know that dream you've had, at the back of your mind, forever?
The one you've been promising yourself you'll get round to - one-day.
It's not going to happen.
Why not? Because dreams don't happen. Accidents happen. World events happen. Things just happen to happen to you. But not dreams. Dreams need someone to make them happen.
And nobody cares about your dream. Nobody needs it. No-one will lose any sleep if it never comes to pass.
So unless you are doing something - today - to make it happen, it's not coming true.
I rest my case. So how about it? Are you ready to fail big but keep going? If you should happen to fall, are you ready to not only pick yourself up, but stand up really tall? Are you ready to stop settling for the crackers (good) and reach for the cookie (best)? Are YOU ready to do that something for your big dreams today?
I know I am. Let's go!