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The Practical Power of Thinking BIG!

By Philip Humbert

There is something uniquely human about looking to the skies. From ancient times, wise men and woman have encouraged us to "look to the hills, from whence cometh my strength." We all know the call of distant horizons.

Humans have always wondered what's beyond the horizon, over the hill or around the bend. We long to see farther, go further and do more. The urge to dream big dreams is part of what motivates our heroes, from the ancient story of Ulysses, to more recent heroes like John Glenn, Chuck Yeager, or Amelia Earhart. Would Barack Obama be President if he hadn't first dreamed a big, "impossible" dream?

And yet too often we get bogged down in the trivia of every-day things. Of course life requires that we do our daily work. Taking care of the house, running the errands and paying the bills are not trivial things! They are the routines that make life possible. We rely on each other to complete our daily tasks.

But, as the old song asks, "is that all there is?" We know the answer, and it troubles us.

Sometimes, we need to step back and lift our eyes to the hills and beyond. Sometimes we need to ask the big questions, and contemplate the big answers.

In 1959, David Schwartz wrote a book called, "The Magic of Thinking BIG" that changed thousands of lives forever. It's written in an "old" style and there's no mystery or drama in it, just the truth that we NEED big dreams. There is something in us that needs a larger destiny, a greater purpose.

I think the true heroes have always been people who balanced three difficult, and very different, things:

  1. They do their work and fulfill the ordinary responsibilities of everyday life. They show up every day. They keep their promises. They do their work.
  2. They also have the ability to hear and honor a big dream. Amelia Earhart heard the call. John Glenn heard the call. Teddy Roosevelt never stopped exploring the great American west. Helen Keller could see more clearly that most. Today’s heroes are responsible people who do their daily chores, but keep one eye (always) on a bigger prize.
  3. Heroes take concrete, effective action in the direction of their dreams. They don't just look at the horizon and wonder, they get up and go. They take daily action! Yes, they probably work a bit harder than the average person. They probably get up earlier, stay later, or work more weekends, and they find a way to pursue their BIG idea.

There is real magic in pursuing HUGE goals! We get excited about “Big Harry Audacious Goals” (B-HAGS) in a way that small, safe, ordinary goals can never match. Mundane goals to increase our income or lose ten pounds pale beside the desire to fulfill our destiny!

The world responded to President Kenney's challenge to go to the moon because humans LOVE over-coming obstacles, solving problems, and making a difference! We enjoy being part of something meaningful and significant. We are creatures who naturally look to the horizon and ask "what's next?"

What's your BIG idea? What excites you? What takes your breath away, keeps you up at night, and makes you smile all day long? What's your B-HAG? Sometimes it's "distant and far away," vague or fuzzy, but it's in there! Find it, dust it off and pursue it! People will join you and things will unfold in amazing ways. Lift your eyes, dream your dreams, and take action! It's what makes life worth the living!

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