A person who dreams big is an ordinary person. What makes them extraordinary is that they find the courage, heart, and discipline to make that dream come true.
The problem is that we forget that we can do the same. Within each of us is a core of goodness, wisdom, and heart that has been there from the start. Yet as the years go by disappointment and criticism turn into fears, doubts, and anxieties that obscure this essence. Then of course we can't go out in public with our inadequacies hanging out, so we hide them behind our I'm happy, just fine face.
Soon our spirit becomes hidden, and we can forget that it even exists. How to we break out? Well, the good news is that it doesn't take years of therapy or digesting self-help books.
You don't have to understand your pain or your past to break out.
Just dare to dream big and then commit to making it happen and having it matter. Your commitment doesn't care about your self-doubt or that you're too busy -- it hasn't got time for that stuff. It's fully engaged in making your dream come true.
Why dare to dream big?
Because the world needs you to put your gifts to work -- we're in a mess and we need your help. Everything and everybody counts. Plus dreaming big is the fastest track to personal transformation and learning to make the next big dream come true.
Besides we've been wasting a lot of time playing the victim and pointing the finger, myself included. Talking back to the television may give us some satisfaction, but it's not making a darn bit of difference.
On the other hand, there's nothing better than the feeling you get when you achieve something you really didn't think was possible, is there? I'll never forget crossing the finish line of the first London Marathon in 1981; it was as if I'd never really known myself before that moment. If I can do that, I can do anything!
How do you make big dreams come true?
To answer that question I introduce you to four extraordinary women who have just started to row across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Australia. Their big dream is to challenge themselves in order to bring attention to two worthy charities that are changing the lives of women wounded in war or battling breast cancer.
So these rowers are giving themselves a difference kind of physical challenge because they want to help these women in crisis make their big dreams come true.
I met them through U.K. Best Year Yet Coach and Partner Andrew Duncan, who has been guiding the team in making a plan for achieving this dream. On Saturday, April 18 they rowed away from San Francisco to begin their 8,000-mile journey to Australia.
Here are the personal thoughts they shared with me, just three days before they left. Watch for the lessons they are learning about making big dreams come true.
Laura Penhaul, Team leader
I can now see I was naive as to what it would take. I had no idea, of course -- which just might have been a good thing. My approach has been I'll find a way, just take it a step at a time.
If I'd listened to what other people said about how we'd never make it, I would have given up. But I have a stubborn streak, and if someone tells me I can't do something, it motivates me even more. If I really believe in something, I won't let anything get in my way.
When this opportunity came along, I was looking for something bigger than I'd ever done before. At the time I was working full time, but it had become so frustrating because I didn't have enough time to do the things that make me happy. I'm so glad I made the leap to join the team, and although it's taken a huge amount of time, it's the right kind of time.
When I first joined the project the idea that we'd be helping other women was an abstract idea to me. But gradually the size of the project and the difference it's making to these women is sinking in -- as well as the positive impact it's going to have on us.
A few years ago I received my Ph.D. in neuroscience. Then about three years ago I heard about this project. I was nervous, but I felt that if I don't say yes to this, I'll always regret it. It's a lifetime opportunity, and I've always loved that feeling you get when you achieve something you really didn't think was possible.
The team is really supportive of one another; it's become a family. Plus there are so many people behind us. That's what keeps us going.
We all have the power to write our own stories. All along I've made unconventional lifestyle choices, living in many countries, always outside my comfort zone because that's where we grow and learn the most important lessons of our lives.
Why am I doing this? Because I've always been fascinated by the indomitable strength of the human spirit, and I wanted to discover the strength of my own -- which I'll never know until I'm out there on the ocean.
What's your big dream?
What have you already achieved that at first you thought was impossible? Can you see that it's only your negative imaginations keep you frozen in your frustrations?
If an ordinary person like me can dare to dream big and run five marathons in aid of ending world hunger, find the love of my life and maintain the magic for 35 years, write a global bestseller, help start a business that has now touched over a million people, discover the perfect person to lead Best Year Yet into the future, and learn to be a loving and fun mother, grandmother, and friend -- I'm sure you can.
So if you dare to dream big, what would the dream be? I bet you know the answer. I encourage you to stretch as far as you can imagine -- not only will you survive, you will thrive because when you take a stand the world around you lines up with you, just as it has for me.
As you think about your next dream, here's some inspiration to help you along the way.
I'd love to hear about your big dream. Leave a comment below, or write directly to me firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make your own Best Year Yet Plan:
- Get Your Best Year Yet! -- there's a free workbook in the back of the book.
- Answer the questions online at bestyearyet.com.