Are You Thinking too Small?

…because you might get what you wish for.

Think bigger to grow bigger

All I wanted to do was publish my first book, so I wrote my ass off and published one. All I wanted to do was have a few people on my email list, so I got a few people. All I wanted was enough money for my family to live a comfortable life, so that happened too.

When we think small there’s a danger we’ll get what we wish for, so maybe it’s time to stop.

We all come into our worldview with baggage. Our parents may believe money is the devil, so we come to believe that ourselves and sabotage our own success as we grow.

We may grow up thinking we’re not good enough, so we replay that narrative in our minds — thinking we’re only worthy of having just enough, or we should be happy with other peoples’ scraps.

Perhaps we believe our teachers, or bosses and allow ourselves to be shoved in corners and placed in boxes — rarely getting promoted or given a raise — and accepting it. Because hey, we’re not as good as the others, so we get what we deserve.

We talk ourselves into the stories we believe and our lives grow (or shrink) to match.

Our worldview becomes our world

We’ve chosen our work. We found our calling. We made it part of the way there. The worst existence is to come to the end of your working life and feel like you haven’t done anything.

This isn’t us. We set out on our own. We found our calling.

But, once we find our calling we can’t think too small. We won’t trip over dollars to make dimes. Big thinking doesn’t cost anything, but brainpower. Big thinking won’t harm you. The only downside of big thinking is that it might change your life.

Yes, thinking big can lead to a life of obsession and day dreaming — hoping someday to achieve the impossible. But, what if it leads to something great?

Picture big thinking this way:

Let’s say I have a modest goal of shipping one new creative project per year. We’ll say my goal is to publish one book. I keep that goal in my mind and spread the project to fill the time. I work hard, but my subconscious understands that my big idea is to write a single book. By the end of the year I get what I planned.

What if we thought bigger?

What if I lost my mind temporarily and made a goal to publish a book a month — increasing my timeline speed by 1200%. I keep that goal in my mind. I dream about it and obsess over it. I work my ass off, envisioning what my bookshelf will look like, carrying twelve of my novels. I hit the end of the year and have only written nine books instead of twelve.

By thinking huge I still beat my modest thought by 900%

Yeah, it’s a simple shift, but we’re not doing it. We play it safe in our minds, to make sure we don’t let ourselves down, or reach to high so we don’t get burned.

Seth Godin tells us about the story of Icarus and how the myth has been shortened over time. The recent version tells us not to fly too close to the sun (dream too big) or our wax wings will melt and we’ll fall to our death (get let down by failure).

The original story has a second part. Icarus is also told not to fly too low, or his wings will get wet from the sea (aim for small goals), which will also cause us to fall to our death.

Most days I have a very negative view of 9 to 5 jobs for this reason.

I still have one, so I feel qualified to share my un-ease. The longer we work under modest goals, the more far-fetched it feels to have large ones. Those big goals are for the hard-charging over-achievers, not me.

There’s still time

With my research and discover over the past three years I feel as if my eyes have been opened. I’ve learned to think bigger and, as a result, I’m getting closer.

Had I kept my modest goals I’d be where I was three years ago.

There’s time for you. There’s always more time. You can always think bigger. It costs nothing. Big thinking is a shift in mindset. We’re going to trick our subconscious that we’re capable of much more than we though.

It’s your turn.

It’s time to pass the torch. Look at your current goals. You’re a creator. Are you thinking too small? What if you get everything you’re dreaming about now? What if you multiplied your goals by ten and only made 70% of them? How much more could you create then?

We’re waiting.

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