Dream Big. Start Small.

I was at uncle Mac’s place today.  As I listened to him expounding on the process of Visioning and the importance of dreaming (something that we all once did intuitively well while we were young but seemed to have forgotten as we grew up), a voice in my head whispered:

“Dream Big. Start Small. Scale Fast.”

The idea isn’t new.  It was a mantra I learnt more than a decade ago during the internet boom or ‘dotcom’ era.  I suppose it is equally applicable now, especially in an exciting time when the possibilities in our lives are simply limited by our imagination.

It’s interesting how this ‘wisdom’ from my days in management consulting is creeping back into my current work in executive coaching and leadership development.   I have seen so many intelligent, gifted and talented professionals losing their spark and their capacity to dream, particularly after a decade or two of conditioning in the ‘real’ corporate world. They were told to ‘get real’ and ‘stop dreaming.’  Early failures taught them to play safe and take the more secure or steady route, rather than the road less travelled.  Disappointments, disillusionment, and dismay typically follow.

Gradually, work becomes less exciting, less meaningful, less fulfilling, albeit financially rewarding (for some). That’s both sad and ironic, given that an average adult spends the majority of his or her wakeful hours at work.  Son, I hope you never get to that state, or if you do, remind yourself to dare to dream again.

Yes, dream big, really BIG … let your imaginations run wild, indulge in your creativity for a moment, give yourself permission to PLAY with any idea that emerges. What would you dream of accomplishing, doing, being, becoming, having, conquering, creating, experiencing, if you know you can’t fail? Ignore the obstacles or constraints for the moment (they are real, but not useful in the act dreaming). What would your dreams be … write it down.

Now, pick one that you feel most compelled to act upon now, and work out the ‘first steps’ that you will need to take to bring your dream to reality.  Remember to START SMALL.  Take baby steps. The more doable, the better.  For example, if you dream of scaling Mt Everest, you could start with pinning a picture of the summit on a wall, and speak to someone about what it takes to be a serious mountaineer (Uncle Stephen is a good choice). Next thing is to KEEP GOING.  I prefer that to ‘scale fast.’  Hence, my version of the mantra would be:

Dream Big. Start Small. Keep Going.


Your Dream-Big Dad


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