Each of us has unique creative potential; giving life to that passion is what we call Big Dreaming. Yet, big dreams—those ideas and passions that ignite one’s soul—are often dismissed as grandiose thinking.
Why is this? Many times it is because we get lured by the comfort zone of mediocrity. Big dreaming means changing our beliefs, actions, and sense of self. But change is difficult.
• Change means venturing into unchartered territory.
• Change is risky.
• Change is scary.
• Change may result in failure.
• Change may result in experiencing disappointment.
Mediocrity seems realistic because we think it does not require risk. In reality, doing nothing is doing something. It is making a choice to stagnate rather than grow. It is making a choice to live in the rut of routine. Routinized living is safe. Routinized living is sensible. The psychological principle, “external locus of control,” describes abdicating control over one’s life to outside forces. When we accept life as it is and make little effort to steer our own destiny, we give up opportunities to discover our full potential and passion.
• Routinized living is neither safe nor sensible.
• Routinized living does not insulate us from failure and disappointment.
• Routinized living imprisons us in the mundane and handcuffs possibility.
• It is giving up control over your life and giving it over to fate.
Big Dreaming is not only good for the dreamer, it is good for everyone as it has a ripple effect. The big dreamers among us are those who have expanded and improved our lives in ways that were previously unthinkable. Consider all the innovations that occurred in this short period of the 21st century. For example, cell phones that allow us to communicate via face time; taking a picture and sharing it instantly; and global communication that can occur with the click of a mouse.
Big Dreamers do not let others define them, they define themselves. Theirs is a psychology of “internal locus of control.”
Big Dreamers are the decision makers and holders of the reins in their life journey.
The cynic will say that there are only a few Big Dreamers who succeed, like the Mark Zuckerbergs, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs, while the rest of us have to accept the reality of our small lives. This type of thinking labels big dreams as silly, childish, “pie in the sky” type thinking.
• Cynicism is the fuel that feeds mediocrity.
• Some people just do not want to grow; but, when they see you do so, they feel threatened.
• Creative living means that you are open to opportunity.
• Cynicism is a toxin to one’s potential.
Big Dreaming is food for the soul; it nourishes the spirit because it infuses one with hope. It is energizing and makes life exciting and enriching. It allows the impossible to be considered, and in doing so unleashes potential—yours and those around you.
Dr. Shoba Sreenivasan and Dr. Linda E. Weinberger are authors of the new book Psychological Nutrition, which encourages readers to live happier and healthier lives by monitoring emotions that are consumed on a daily basis and understanding how it affects wellbeing. Learn more at www.psychologicalnutrition.com.