Dream Big, Plan Small
Imagine if Barack Obama had told Michelle, ’I dream to be mayor of Chicago.’
Or if Usain Bolt said, “If I could just get into the Jamaican Olympic team. That would be amazing.”
Those are not small dreams. Anyone who did those things would be a high achiever. But these were men who dared to dream big, bigger and then the biggest dream yet. They had to dream of their destination before they got there.
Imagine something you would like to do. Then make it bigger. No, Bigger than that. Enormous. Elephantine! The biggest it could possibly be.
How does that feel?
I imagine there is a mix of excitement and anticipation mixed with a good dollop of fear disguised as pragmatism.
Dreams should be kept in check, right? I mean, we have to be realistic. Not everyone who dreams for being President or a multiple gold medal winner can get there. No sense in setting yourself up for disappointment.
There’s a nugget of truth in there. I always feel sorry for the athletes who pull up injured in their heats or worse, the finals of their events. Their dream did not come true. But if they had not dreamt it? They would never have made it to the Olympics at all. They would be sitting at home on their sofas saying, ‘Better be realistic’.
Henry Theroux once said,
“In the long run men tend to hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high.”
Big dreams are the best way to get to a big life.
But planning small is the way to get there.
James Caan, multi-millionaire, start of Dragon’s Den and manager of over forty companies started his business life with his own recruitment business. It was him and a desk and a phone in a windowless office. His dream was to be successful enough to own a Rolls Royce Silver Phantom.
His initial plan? To earn enough to get himself a window. When he got the window he planned a room big enough to fit a colleague in because he was lonely looking out of the window by himself.
Some days, Usain’s plan was to get out of bed and go to the track and run up and down.
To paraphrase Ecclesiastes, there is a time to build castles in the air and a time to move a brick. The dreams are there as a destination to pull us forward to lead us in the right direction. But the daily tasks are to do all that you can do in one day and no more to get there.
Think of your outrageous dream. What is the smallest tiniest step you can do today to achieve that? Want an Olympic gold? Go and buy a pair of running shoes. Want to own a business? Ring the local chamber of commerce and ask for their advice leaflets.
James Caan got both a window and a Rolls Royce. But he is still investing in companies in pursuit of success. Obama got a whole White House full of windows but he is seeking a second term. That’s the thing; for successful people, the more baby steps they take towards a dream, the more audacious the dream gets and the more successful they get even if they never reach the ultimate dream.
How big dare you dream?
What is the first step you can take today, right now to get you nearer to do that dream? When you have done that, what will be tomorrow’s task?