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