Why it is Important to Dream Big


Tomorrow Never Comes Until It's Too Late.

Life is short. Way too short to just sit back and wait for something to happen to you. That’s why we all have dreams and goals we want to accomplish. That’s why bucket lists are so popular.

Knowing that life is short, you should try to maximize the amount of positive experiences you get out of it. After all, you don’t get to restart your life over again once you reach the finish. So you might as well dream big since you won’t get another chance to do it. And besides, you can get a huge payoff from those big dreams.

Big Dreams Come True

I don’t think anyone epitomizes the importance of dreaming big more than Christopher Columbus. Sailing across the Atlantic to find a trade route to the West Indies was a huge undertaking. But it wasn’t his only goal. In fact, he had far bigger things in mind from his adventure.

Along with the estimated needs for his plan, his proposal asked for an extortionate price for his services. Columbus wanted to be appointed Governor for any lands he discovered, given one-tenth of all the revenue from those lands and also appointed “Great Admiral of the Ocean”. These demands were outrageous even within his time. But as you know, his demands were eventually accepted.

It’s hard for me to say whether Columbus’s demands were a shrewd business tactic or evolved out of arrogance. Either way he got a huge payoff from his trip just by thinking big. And I think there is a lesson you could learn from this story.

Don’t settle for mediocrity. Big things can and do happen to people if you can just find the courage to pursue them. If Columbus had settled for more reasonable demands, he wouldn’t have received so much for his efforts. Even if the source of his demands was arrogance, he still got way more than he reasonably should have.

Ask for Your Big Dreams

As the story about Columbus shows, part of dreaming big is about asking for those big things. That can be a big risk, but well worth the chance. Sometimes you need to ask big in order to really get anything accomplished.

For example, I knew a business executive who had started freelancing as a small business consultant. His thinking was simple. Since he was just starting out, he should ask for a smaller fee until he built up more experience and industry knowledge. It all seems reasonable in theory, but put into practice reveals a different story. No one wanted to hire him.

After close examination of similar competitors, he realized the key difference. Everyone else was asking for much bigger fees. There seemed to be a correlation between what people asked for and their perceived value. Once he raised his fees, his work increased. The only thing he changed was his asking price.

What this shows is that you sometimes need to ask for more. If you’re asking for too little, people might think you really don’t offer as much value as you really do. The last thing you need is to burden yourself with unnecessary hurdles. Think big and ask for it. You’d be surprised at how often it works.

Not only should you ask for more from others, but also yourself. If you’re not pushing yourself about what you can do, you’ll never know what your limits are. In fact, you’ll probably find that you really don’t have any limits. If you ask more of yourself on a regular basis, you’ll get more.

Why You Should Dream Big

The good thing about dreaming big is that it allows you to fall short and still gain a lot. Confucius once said “If you shoot for the stars and hit the moon, it’s OK. But you’ve got to shoot for something. A lot of people don’t even shoot.”

Dreaming big pushes you to heights you might not have reached otherwise. Imagine someone who pushes themselves to be President of the United States or head of a giant corporation. Such high goals will necessarily require a lot of work and achievement. Not everyone will make it, but a lot of good can come out of it.

As someone pursues one of those goals, they may push themselves to heights they normally wouldn’t see. Someone who dreams of becoming President might reach as high as Senator or Governor. As Confucius would say, these people didn’t reach the stars, but they still hit the moon. And that is still a great achievement itself.

Live Life Big

Big dreaming can make your life big as a result. You can get more than you would normally expect. And really, wouldn’t it be great to get just a little bit more out of our lives?

It’s big dreaming that has led to some of the greatest achievements humans have ever had. Spaceflight, the eradication of smallpox and the internet all started out as big dreams. Someone had to think of those big ideas first before they made them happen. Your dreams are no different.

Are you dreaming big enough?  What are some of your big dreams?
photo credit: Spitefully

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  1. Dream Big is my current motto. The great modern philosopher Pitbull says something like “shoot for the stars and if you miss you are still on top of the world.”

  2. Lovely post Steve. A good approach I use on myself sometimes and a question I ask people who stutter I work with is “when you’re 80 and look back on your life, and wished you had aimed big but were too scared too, is this really how you want to live your life?” It’s a great motivator for taking action!

    • That’s a good question to ask people. I often ask myself something similar when I make decisions. I agree that it’s a really good motivator for doing things in life and taking action.

  3. Yes, Steve, dreaming big is VERY important, as a matter of fact any life coach would tell you that if you don’t your successes won’t be big either.

    As you mentioned the story of Christopher Columbus, arrogance or big dream he made it big and 400 years later we are still talking about him.

    It’s funny that when we try to charge people less, they just don’t take us seriously. Just do the same thing and raise the price and you will have disciples. That’s just the way it is. People are attracted by winners and winners are payed big :)

    • Big successes require big dreaming. Very true. You have to reach for the big goals if you really want to get anything out of life.

      I find it funny too that people will take others more seriously when you ask for more. It’s one of those weird things about human nature. The story I had about the business consultant was strange in that he only changed his prices. He didn’t do anything else different, but started to get so much more business.

  4. Hey Steve, the thing about perceived value is definitely true. I know this on 2 counts (1 – from professional experience, I always charge my market worth even if I would be happy to charge less, to maintain that perceived value; 2 – interestingly enough I’ve found that even if I put high value content on our free website which is the same material I have used with high paying coaching clients, it still has a relatively low perceived value because it’s free (though this second point could also be a little to do with search traffic too)).

    All the same I still like free. I can do free or market rate (which for me is quite a lot), there’s no in-between because of the preceived value thing and I can’t afford to have clients talking about me at a given rate that is less even if it was a favour.

    Great article.

    • There definitely is a big difference between actual value and perceived value. I’ve heard that similar things happen to other bloggers who give away free content. It doesn’t seem to get as much perceived value simply because it is given away for free. Of course it doesn’t mean you can’t get much out of giving things away for free. You could argue that more places are giving stuff away for free now simply because it can give you good publicity. I guess it all comes down to trial and error.

  5. I really enjoyed this article. I especially liked this statement

    “Big things can and do happen to people if you can just find the courage to pursue them”

    I think this is the key isn’t it. Great things don’t happen by accident. Even winning the lotto requires you to go out and buy a ticket.

    • I generally don’t think great things don’t come from accident either. You could make the argument that Columbus accidentally discovered the New World. Of course, he had the courage to sail though. And that’s the biggest point. You have to pursue things and make things happen in order to really get anywhere.

  6. Awesome post, Steve!

    I’ve always been a big dreamer. The key I’ve found is not to share my drams with others, unless I know that they’re also big dreamers. Otherwise, I have to listen to their own limitations and insecurities (“You’re going to do WHAT? You’ll never achieve THAT!”) It’s better to keep it to myself until I’ve been able to line up all the ducks, to speak. Thanks for the reminder not to undersell myself.

    Huge hugs!

    • Hey Melody, it really does pay to be careful who you share your dreams with. If you tell someone who is completely negative about things like that then all you are setting yourself up for is a long list of their ideas about the negatives. It can be a little discouraging. I’ve been someone who is careful about who I share things with for that very reason. But if you find someone who also has the ability to dream big, you can get some really great support. It can make all the difference.

  7. This nailed it for me Steve “Dream big – if you fall short you still gain a lot.” Nice piece of inspiration – thankyou.

  8. I’m part of your camp. Having big dreams has kept me inspired in through life, whether it was trying to move to Germany, then the UK, then Spain, now the UAE. Challenges are good (but you have to have the stomach for it, lol).


    • Big dreams really can be inspirational. Having all of those moves does sound challenging so I’m glad you found the inspiration to get there. I bet you’ve had some great experiences.

  9. We must indeed dream big! I remember reading a quotation before that goes something like this, “Whether we dream big or small, we are using the same head. So why not dream big.”

  10. Really I am motivated. Thanks a lot for your nice article.

  11. A truly eye-opening, thanks Steve =))

  12. Hey nice post.i have dreams but sometimes i feel i shouldn’t think of them because i might not have the luck for it.

    • Luck is important, but it’s also unpredictable. I’d rather just go out and dream big and make luck happen by finding the opportunities out there.

  13. Awesome post.

  14. Hi, I totally agree that big things do happen if we take action. All of us wants to be successful in life and we should start by dreaming big. Thanks for sharing a very motivating post .

  15. Life is too short so we should make the best of it. Dream big so even if we fall short we still gained a lot. Life is about dreams and achieving them.


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