“Faith is daring to put your dream to the test. It is better to try to do something and fail than to try to do nothing
and succeed. – Robert Schuller
- By thinking small, we are not pushing the boundaries of what may be possible.
- We infect those around us, often the people we care most about, with little thoughts which may limit others from accomplishing great things.
- Small thinking robs us of the big obstacles and massive challenges that are a necessary part of personal growth.
I love the concept of thinking big because it is among the few tools we have to change our mental perspectives, which ultimately drives all of our actions. Thinking big opens up new possibilities that may have always been in front of us, but that we could not see. It removes mental blinders and massively broadens our views of the world.
Developing the habit of thinking big requires breaking the habit of thinking average, changing your perspective and replacing it with a new habit. It takes awareness of the problem, a shift in thinking, the development of new habits and the reinforcement of those new habits.
To think big, do the following:
Be Aware of Your Thinking. Watch yourself throughout the day. Become a third party to your own actions and look for those triggers that may cause you to think small. For instance, you may be engaged in small thinking related to money habits, or under the influence of certain friends or family members, or when doing something for yourself or your career. The key is to be self-aware of what is driving the small thinking.
Change Your Perspective. Look for ways to massively change your perspective and then act. Go somewhere new or different, dine at new and better restaurants, travel more, take different routes on your commute, find new social circles or join a new club. Actively seeking new perspectives will break the patterns of the past while making new connections for future thinking.
Ask “What If?” and “Why Not?” Drop cynicism and the “It won’t work…” or “I’ve tried that…” mentality. Instead, ask “What if…?” and “Why not…?” more often. These new questions will open your mind to the possibilities. It may start modestly, but you will quickly find that thinking big becomes a habit. Think growth. Think abundance. Double your sales goals, train for a marathon, start writing a book—anything at all that changes your thinking or perspective. Ask yourself “Why not me and why not now?”
Reinforce the Thinking Big Habit. It is critical to surround yourself with people who will lift your thinking to a higher level. This will reinforce your new behavior and prevent backsliding.
Don’t wait for an opportunity to think big to come along. Try to do something big each and every day, and you will earn the pride that comes from achieving big goals and doing something worthwhile for those you love.
Eamonn has a B. Eng. (Electrical) from Lakehead University, MBA (Finance) from University of Toronto, and has completed Executive Education at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He lives in Vancouver, Canada. Follow him on twitter @EamonnPercy.