Everyone, at some point in his or her life, has dreamed of being somebody special, somebody big. Who hasn’t fantasized about being the one who hits the game-winning homer? Who hasn’t dreamed of being the homecoming queen? And how many times have we dreamed of being rich, successful, or happy with our relationships?
Often, we dream big dreams and have great aspirations. Unfortunately, our dreams remain just that – dreams. And our aspirations easily collect dust in our attic. This is a sad turn of events in our life. Instead of experiencing exciting adventures in self-actualization, we get caught up in the humdrum of living from day to day just barely existing. But you know what? Life could be so much better, if only we learned to aim higher.
The most common problem with setting goals is the word impossible. Most people get hung up thinking I can’t do this. It’s too hard. It’s too impossible. No one can do this. However, if everyone thought that, there would be no inventions, no innovations, and no breakthroughs in human accomplishment. Remember that scientists were baffled when they took a look at the humble bumblebee. Theoretically, they said, it was impossible for the bumblebee to fly. Unfortunately for the bumble bee, no one has told it so. So fly it does. On the other hand, some people suffer from dreaming totally outrageous dreams and not acting on them. The result? Broken dreams, and tattered aspirations.
If you limit yourself with self-doubt, and self-limiting assumptions, you will never be able to break past what you deem impossible. If you reach too far out into the sky without working towards your goal, you will find yourself clinging to the impossible dream.
Try this exercise. Take a piece of paper and write down some goals in your life. Under one header, list down things ‘you know you can do’. Under another header, write the things ‘you might be able to do.’ And under one more, list the things that are ‘impossible for you to do.’ Now look at all the headers that strive every day to accomplish the goals that are under things ‘you know you can do’. Check them when you are able to accomplish them. As you slowly are able to check all of your goals under that heading, try accomplishing the goals under the other header-the one that reads ‘you might be able to do.’ As if the items you wrote under things I could do are accomplished, you can move the goals that are under things that are ‘impossible for you to do’ to the list of things ‘you might be able to do.’ As you iterate through this process, you will find out that the goals you thought were impossible become easier to accomplish. And the impossible begins to seem possible after all. You see, the technique here is not to limit your imagination. It is to aim high and start working towards that goal little by little. However, it also is unwise to set a goal that is truly unrealistic. Those who just dream toward a goal without working hard end up disappointed and disillusioned.
On the other hand, if you told someone a hundred years ago that it was possible for a man to be on the moon, they would laugh at you. If you had told them that you could send mail from here to the other side of the world in a few seconds, they would say you were out of your mind. But, through sheer desire and perseverance, these impossible dreams are now realities. Thomas Edison once said that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Nothing could be truer. For one to accomplish his or her dreams, there has to be hard work and discipline. But take note that 1% has to be a think-big dream, and not some easily accomplished one. Ask any gym rat and he or she will tell you that there can be no gains unless you are put out of your comfort zone. Remember the saying, “No pain, no gain”? That is as true as it can be.
So dream on, friend! Don’t get caught up with your perceived limitations. Think big and work hard to attain those dreams. As you step up the ladder of progress, you will just about find out that the impossible has just become a little bit more possible.