It’s a given we only have one shot at this beautiful life. Yet, so many of us mindlessly go through our lives doing what is expected. Careers chosen by others, partners, mortgages, and kids who have busier calendars than our own. The long-awaited Christmas family holiday filled with promises of a recharge, only to start all over again and be left wondering why you never pursued that high school dream.
Some say they don’t have the time to pursue their dreams but then complain when they miss an episode of Down Town Abby. Others complain about the lack of money yet still indulge in a daily cup of coffee, Uber Eats and Netflix.
Today we are living in a world that is open for business 24/7. Technology allows us to create, buy, sell, and collaborate with anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world. You can take a course, learn a new skill, and access any information you need to start a project or business. Imagine if you were living in the 1960s. Yes, I know the music was great, the fashion was fantastic, and in retrospect, everyone seemed a lot happier.
And yes, life seemed a lot simpler back then; I hear you say, but was it? Think of all the barriers to entry this generation had to execute their dreams.
We live in a time when there are more opportunities than ever before. The only real obstacle we have are the stories we tell ourselves. There is no greater power than the power of choice. And all of us can leverage this mindset. When you believe that anything is possible, a whole world of opportunities starts to present itself to you.
It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebbles in your shoes.
- Muhammad Ali
But as the great man himself said: “it’s the pebble in your shoes.” Culture, religion, society, family and friends provide a framework, structure and ideology on how we should participate in this game of life.
Once we start to question and demand more, we begin to feel those pebbles aggravate our skin.
And here’s the thing, you can choose to ignore the pain and find a way to push through the resistance and start to build a pathway to your massive vision, or you can do nothing, take no action and blame yourself for buying a bad pair of shoes.
I decided to live by the latter, and I discovered that you better build a big set of shoulders because no one will believe you at first (except your mum if you’re lucky). Because when you start talking about your big scary audacious goals (BSAG), it scares the heebie jeebies out of everyone, and if you haven’t mastered the art of a growth mindset, it will end up scaring you into doing nothing too.
So, it got me thinking as to why?
Thinking Big to Reach Goals
Science tells us that our brains are wired for fight or flight and that homeostasis is the goal. From an evolutionary perspective, we are designed to stay in our comfort zone. When we start thinking big, our internal dialogue turns on autopilot, presenting logical thought patterns to discourage us from attempting anything out of the norm. So when we add another layer of talk from family, friends and colleagues, we definitely have the odds stacked against us.
The mere fact you are thinking big is scaring the hell out of everyone, and that is because you are shining a light on what they are not, and therefore their natural response will be to minimise what you are trying to achieve.
Pushing through this barrier can only come from an internal rewiring that is intrinsically motivated by a deep and meaningful purpose. It’s a mash-up of your high school dream, what you are good at and how you can make a difference in the world. When you find your sense of purpose, it changes everything. Your purpose has to be so strong that it feels like fire in your belly, it’s that thing that keeps you up at night, and when you start talking about it with others, your eyes begin to sparkle, and people are wondering what pill you took to get there.
Of course, it can mean different things for different people, we are not all driven by the same things, but I believe, in the end, we are all searching for that one thing, happiness and fulfilment. And that can only come by living a purpose-driven life.
So, don’t be scared to dream big and start working on your BSAG. Sometimes you have to remove your shoes and shake those pebbles out.