And you’ll end up happier.
Before you have a visceral reaction to the title of this let me clarify that I am not saying don’t have big dreams or goals. I have a ton of extremely lofty life dreams in many different areas sine I have so many things I’m passionate about. This isn’t about breaking down our big dreams but building them up.
And we do that by deciding not to shoot for the stars.
Don’t shoot for the stars with your goals. Why? Because if you do, you’ll never accomplish them, you’ll only end up creating a pipe dream that will never come to fruition. That sounds not so great, right?
When we create huge life goals like living in a million dollar ranch in our dream state, we aren’t being very fair to ourselves. We aren’t taking a mature approach to our dream and so it won’t ever happen. There’s no way, without winning the lotto, you can go from broke in a bad job to rich in the Bahamas. To think you can isn’t fair to yourself.
You’ve got to give yourself time, first of all. Allow yourself to understand that you have a whole huge life in front of you. Allow yourself to understand that you have time to work on the small steps necessary to achieve your goal. But also realize that time and life are limited commodities. You will run out so give it your all every single day until then.
None of us want to have dreams only to let them die or stay as dreams. That’s not why we have dreams. We dream so that we can adventure. We adventure so that we can continue dreaming.
These dreams in our hearts need to act as fuel for our brain. Instead of becoming bogged down by the possibility of our dreams crumbling, we need to take our feeble understanding of time and force that to become our fuel. We need to light the fire under our asses ourselves. We need to set the stage for success.
And part of that means crafting small goals.
So, keep in mind your ultimate goal. New York Times best seller, living in the Bahamas, ranch in Montana, cabin in the woods, pro athlete, you name it. You keep that at the front of your mind always. Write it down, have a journal specifically set aside for it, clip out pictures, do research on people in that spot you want to be. Keep it at the front of your mind always.
But work on the small things as you do so.
Perfect example, no matter how badly I want to be a pro marathon running I cannot go outside today and run record breaking times. I can’t. I haven’t trained enough. I haven’t found the perfect diet plan to sustain that. My body isn’t ready. I haven’t logged enough miles in my lifetime to be able to do that.
And the same goes for you. You haven’t worked enough yet to get to a point where you can focus on the end goal. Whether it’s not having a stable job to support your passion (like cars and electronic stuff), or you haven’t had enough years of consistent, hard practice, odds are you aren’t to a point where you can shift your focus onto that big, end goal.
Please hear me when I say that. It’s okay not to be ready yet to fulfill your dream. You have something to work for. Start shifting your perspective. Do you do all this for the end goal? Or is the journey maybe a little bit fun? Maybe…maybe you do like the adventure of seeking out that dream?
I know I do. And I know that it isn’t some days for me to accept that I’m not published or that I haven’t met my life goals…at 23 years old. It’s silly when I think of it that way. I have time to enjoy my journey, to keep working harder and harder. To keep enjoying my adventure that I’ve created and that I am creating.
I love this picture to the right. It seems to capture the feeling of a huge dream. Looking at the picture, I know I’m not even halfway to where I eventually want to be, but I can see that the end goal will keep moving further away because I like to keep going. My dream likes to keep expanding, just like the universe.
I do know that I am working very hard, maybe not my hardest and I’m working on that too. But I’m working very hard to achieve the small goals I’ve set up for myself. Last year I ran the big 13.1. This year I’ll run two to three. I’ll run more consistently. I’ll graduate college with a Creative Writing Degree. I am working towards my goal with my small goals.
In this new year, this new cycle of time we’ve created, I want you to sit down with your big dream. Dissect it. What do you need financially, physically, emotionally? Keep working backwards. Look at those small steps. Keep finding smaller ones until you can craft a day to day routine that will always benefit that end goal.
I do believe it’s possible to live a life that is constantly moving if only an inch at a time towards our biggest dreams. It requires a tremendous amount of physical and mental effort. We have to work harder at our jobs. We have to exist more. We have to be more present and mindful of our life. It’s hard. Our passion will wax and wane. It’ll change. Our big dreams might even change.
Allow everything room to breathe and move and live. If it’s changing, it means you are…in a good way.
Remember: Keep dreaming. Keep that dream in your mind because if we see ourselves doing it, being there, we’ll get there. There’s a lot of power to our thoughts. Manifest destiny might even be a thing. Either way, envision yourself in your dream, accomplishing your goal. Give yourself that positive boost.
Dream big. Work small.