Contradictory to what we are told — Dreaming Big — isn’t actually useful. Having BIG, aspirational goals and dreams is as aloof as starring at Ryan Gosling or Natalie Portman on T.V. saying — I am going to marry them one day. Keep Dreaming.
What if I told you that everything you have been told about dreaming big or having big goals was a lie? What if dreaming big is the wrong way to go about it?
When I was younger, I was filled with the notion that I needed to dream big, I needed to have big goals, I needed to shoot for the moon. But Dreaming wasn’t enough. What if I told you the only way to accomplish things is to instead think big every single day.
The first contradiction — our actions.
As a millennial, I know first-hand what it is like to look up to people like Elon Musk, Warren Buffet, Simon Sinek, Beyoncé, Marc Andreesen, Craig Venter, etc … We look up to them and we aspire to contribute as much to society, as they have. We dream, one day we will be at that level. But on the same token we struggle to accomplish even the smallest of tasks.
Let’s look at some examples:
Do you want to go to bed earlier?
Do you want to start going to the gym?
Do you want to change jobs?
Do you want to go to graduate school?
Do you want to get that MBA?
Do you want to lose weight?
Do you want to do that first marathon?
Do you finally want to start that side business?
These are all intermediate goals or small things that we talk about and dream about but they are still things we struggle with on a day-to-day basis. If we struggle to even start or if we struggle to accomplish these simple tasks, how will we ever reach the goals we dream about that are farther down the road?
Thinking big every single day is your answer. I know, it sounds easy, but let me explain. In life, too often we look towards something far off in the distant future and assume we will get there. We always look towards the prize or the finish line and we ignore what we have to do to get there. Thinking big on a day-to-day basis requires a different approach. Thinking big requires you to reflect back on yourself and ask yourself the hard questions continuously.
I equate it to looking in the mirror.
Thinking big is looking in the mirror every single day and honestly asking yourself what is holding you back from completing the next step. You have to first change what you see in the mirror to put yourself on the path towards progress to your dreams.
To make these changes, you have to be willing to look at what is holding you back.
An example I once heard from JD Roth — you are driving a car and you see a car far, far off in the distance driving the same direction, just ahead of you though, you see another car that is directly in your way. Dreaming big tells us we need to focus on that car far, far ahead. But focusing on something that far off, prevents us from ever making the simple steps to get there in the first place. Many would say well you have to first pass the car in front of you, after all it is an intermediate goal and a small action that is equitable to the small goals listed above. But simply saying you want to pass the car isn’t enough. To physically do it, you have to reflect back and think about what you need to change to get there. You have to look in the mirror, or in this case your dashboard. Look at your speed, look at your gas, look at your engine temperature, and calculate what you need to change to make that move — even if it is just stepping on the gas and getting in the next lane.
If you want to do something you have been struggling with, you have to first look in that mirror and start thinking big. Consciously think about the actions you have to take on a day-to-day basis to change what you see in the mirror.
So, what are you going to change today to get where you want to go tomorrow?
Having those honest reflections
with yourself and truly looking at yourself in the mirror really is the first step to changing your path for the rest of your life.
To accomplish big goals,
you have to consistently think about how you are going to change yourself and get yourself to each intermediate goal.
As always, if you have questions feel free to reach out me!
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Originally published at medium.com