By Grace Judson
These days, it seems as if every time I feel as if I’m thinking BIG, something comes along to show me that at best I’m only thinking medium. While I take comfort in knowing that at least I’m not thinking petite, I do sometimes wonder what it really takes to think BIG!
Why does it matter what size we’re thinking? Very simply, those who think bigger are people who are happier and more fulfilled. Big thinkers are less frustrated and more successful. And big thinkers leave a legacy for their family and friends that goes far beyond any material possessions they may bequeath. In fact, if you consider your legacy in terms of how you affect the world and the people in it, you are creating it with every action you take – and every thought, large or small, you think.
Thinking big doesn’t mean taking on challenges that don’t interest you, but it does mean taking on challenges that pull you out of your comfort zone. Big thinking – sometimes even medium-sized thinking! – teaches the skill of dancing on the edge of nervousness, and using that energy to accomplish things that surprise and delight you – and the world!
So how do we start thinking bigger? Here are three big questions to ask yourself to figure out whether you’re thinking petite, medium-sized, or BIG.
- Are you getting the results you want?
If you’re frustrated by a lack of results, then the chances are you’re not thinking big. Funny how that works, isn’t it?
In fact, in this situation we often feel as if we’re pushing ourselves, so our first instinct is to pull back. Instead, try really stepping out and making your goal and your actions BIGGER. It sounds counter-intuitive – it is counter-intuitive! – and I’ve seen it work over and over again. A bigger goal, bigger actions, bigger thinking all serve to inspire you and the people around you, and suddenly the bigger results are there too!
- If you knew you couldn’t fail, what action would you take?
This is a familiar and even trite question that we’ve all seen many times. It’s worth remembering, though, that clichés are cliché for a reason: somewhere down in their heart they have a core of truth. The problem with this question is that it’s usually asked in a vacuum, with no sense of context. Try asking it about a specific goal or dream, and you’ll be amazed at how pertinent, meaningful, and inspirational it suddenly becomes.
Do I need to add that you must take that action once you’ve identified it?
- Do you really – I mean REALLY – know what you want?
Fuzzy goals inevitably – and I do mean inevitably – lead to fuzzy results because our actions are also fuzzy. The more clarity we have about a goal, the more likely we are to achieve it; it’s as simple as that. But gaining real clarity about a big goal or dream is scary – so we stay in that small, fuzzy space.
Write about how you’ll feel when you achieve your goal – and write it in the present tense, as if you’re writing a letter to a friend from that future state. Describe your day, describe how you feel, and describe how your life has changed, right down to the tiny little details. Read what you’ve written often; every day is best.
Create a vision board using words, images, and photographs that represent your future. Include every aspect of your life as it will be when you succeed: home, work, family, friends, finances, travel, hobbies, garden – everything that will be meaningful to you. Hang the board where you can see it every day.
Now that you have clarity, start “acting as if” – go out into the world from this new viewpoint of success and achievement. Watch how people react to you and how events unfold before you.
“As long as you are going to think anyway, think big.”
Donald Trump, U.S. businessman and entrepreneur.
(c)Grace L. Judson
About the Author
Grace Judson is the founder and driving force behind Svaha Concepts. She coaches people who are ready to play - and WIN - the game of living life on their own terms.
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