Dream Big and May Those Dreams Frighten You

10115_4-1Pope Francis just visited and regardless of your faithfulness or lack thereof, he moved everyone he came in contact with. I believe he inspired us to raise the bar of expectation on a variety of issues. Don’t settle for what is given today, but raise the bar to a grander vision. I think that this touches on a huge issue facing us today and with that, reveals opportunity for all of us. 

It seems to me that the bar of expectation has been and is falling from many quarters on us. Many think that the best days are behind us, they fret over the wave of Millennials entering the workforce, the government seems to say they must step in because individuals cannot be successful by themselves, and some think the very notion of the middleclass prosperity is over.

The opportunity here is for individuals to step up, and take charge, which begins by dreaming big.

Pope Francis said, “Do not be afraid to dream big things.” Actually in context he said, and I think he is speaking to you:

To you, who are at the beginning of life's journey, I ask: Have you thought about the talents that God has given you? Have you thought about how you can put them at the service of others? Do not bury the talents! Bet on great ideals, ideals that expand the heart, the ideals of service that will make your talents fruitful. Life is given to us not to jealously preserve it for ourselves, but so that we make a gift of it to others. Dear young people, have a great heart! Do not be afraid to dream big things!"

My advice for those emerging from campus to career is your dreams must be so big, so grand, so exciting, that when you really ponder them, and what it takes to achieve them, it frightens you. 

To sustain yourself, you have to see the outcome you are aspiring for so vividly that in a way you are telling the truth in advance. Your solution, your trajectory, and your path does NOT have to be completely thought out, but your determination to reach the vision must be steadfast.

I love Babe Ruth who pointed his bat to the wall and THEN hit the homer.

Hal Genene, the late, legendary, former CEO of ITT spoke about his three sentence formula on how to run any business. I believe this works perfectly for personal development as well:

  1. “You read a book from front to back.
  2. You run a business (or your life) the opposite way.
  3. You start with the end, you do everything you MUST to reach it.”

Notice Geneen did not say everything you have time for, everything you should, or everything you can. No, he said to do everything you MUST in order to reach that dream.

All of this starts with a big, bold dream.

On your way with bold moves, some days will make you look better than you really are, other days you will have to remind yourself that you don’t suck as much as others think. Press on, because the relentless push to greatness is often a long journey that requires constant vision and consistent execution. 

Dream big and do not back down!