Society mocks dreamers… until they accomplish something amazing. Then suddenly they’re heroes.
But dreaming big is dangerous. I mean… what if you fail? Or what if people laugh at your dream? Well, take it from me, they will. They will laugh their heads off because they themselves are too scared to take a chance. “Naw. Let’s play it safe,” they’ll say. “Let’s not risk our reputation.” And I respond, “What reputation?” “You mean the reputation you have for sitting on your tukus and doin nothin?”
Dreamers dream. And when they do, things happen. Even if they don’t make it all the way, halfway to Big is always better than all the way to Small!
Still we’ll sit back and fearfully set our sights low enough as to not risk mockery or failure or rejection. We’ll play it safe just to avoid being laughed at. And so we set very realistic (and boring goals.) And that’s just what we end up with. Boring. What fun is that?
So, this year Go Big! Instead of doing very safe and realistic goal setting, why not follow the advice of the insane dreamer himself Tim Ferriss who, in his National Bestseller The 4 Hour Work Week, dares us to make “unreal” and unrealistic” goals.
He says that realistic goals are too easy to accomplish and as a result we often do little to make them come true. Unrealistic dreams, on the other hand, make us move, challenge us, and catapult us into a whole nother dimension! Because they’re fun and interesting. And we really want those kinds of dreams.
When you think about it, the truth is, all of us have “unreal” dreams anyway: like dreams of finding the perfect partner, or making a hundred thousand dollars or a million, or becoming a professional athlete or president of a company. Some of us dream about making the world a more peaceful place or feeding the masses of hungry and thirsty or creating an eco-healthy planet.
The Good Life
Some of us plan on living The Good Life; sometimes only a little beyond ordinary, but filled with significance, maybe some adventure and certainly an appreciation for beauty. Still… it requires a dream—a radical one, probably a bit unrealistic. Anything out of the ordinary, no matter the scope, is always a bit unrealistic… and even might be strange because we’re walking (or running) in new territory. It’s when we visit strange places, do strange things, meet strange people, and maybe even act kind of strange. Ooolala, now we’re talking!
The magnificent people of today and of history never set ordinary goals. The incomparable Martin Luther King Jr. changed an entire culture when he announced, “I have a dream!” And what a dream he had!
So can you. I’m not kidding. You can have a dream. And YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH IT! Believe me.
My Unrealistic Dreams… and Yours
One of my “unreal dreams” is to own an Aston Martin. (It’s funny, a very close gay friend says he’d rather have an Aston Kutcher.) I put out that Aston Martin as a bit of a joke. Well kind of. I really am going to have an Aston Martin, but it doesn’t compare to my dream to make this website so inspiring that you and tens of thousands of other people might have an “extra”ordinary life. I will help you redesign YOUR life so it is filled with meaning, adventure, and awe.
You will be fulfilled by changing your world, while living a very cool personal life. Your soul will be nourished by the meaningful goodness you’ve done; you will have experimented with adventure and your heart will rest in the beauty you have discovered all around you. And you will be a difference-maker.
Personally, I also plan to embrace scores of world cultures well into my eighties, I will work only in ways that serve other people, whether it be managers and executives in business or exciting difference-makers like you, or hungry people all around the globe, or poor people, sick people, needy people.
My dreams are indeed big because if they aren’t my life will be pretty small. I’ve lived it both ways, big and small. And I gotta say… big is better.
So, What Now?
Next week I’ll get into more details of what it takes to Dream Big. For now, I want you to ponder just one dream for 10-15 minutes: visualize it; think about the satisfaction you’ll get, perhaps you’ll impact another person or the world, or maybe it’s life-enriching for you, like travel. Then, if you dare, write one paragraph about the dream, why you want it, and how it will make an impact.
Here’s the fun part. Put it away and don’t look at it for a week. See if it continues to stay “front of mind” or if it surprisingly pops up again several times. If so, you’ve got a dream on your hands.
Yeowser. Now the fun begins!