Monday, October 10, 2011

Start Small

I've always been a bit bothered by the quote "dream big" because I didn't believe I could. I knew for some people, big dreams came naturally, but for me, not so much. I felt a little envious, a little bit left out. I realized this during one of my first sessions with my coach. He asked me to describe my perfect day. I struggled. I told him that in my perfect day, I wake up in Mexico, go to the beach first thing in the morning to take in the early morning stillness of the ocean. I continue my morning by doing some interesting work on my laptop at Starbucks and spend the afternoon back at the beach. I meet friends for dinner and we discuss opportunities and dreams. However, a big part of my life is missing from this "perfect day," namely my daughter, and that's why it really wasn't my perfect day after all. I realized from this exercise that I didn't allow myself to dream.. I mean, really dream. I didn't think to imagine my life in Mexico WITH my daughter. It wasn't an option and it's still not an option, but really, what's the harm of dreaming, even if your dreams seem impossible? One thing I've learned, especially lately, is what you imagine your life to be, it can be. Hold it in your thoughts and watch life bring it to you.. often differently than what was envisioned.. sometimes it's even better. But anything you create.. begins first in your mind.
During my last trip to Mexico, I spent a day with my friend, B. We had this wonderful conversation about dreams and dreaming big, as we feasted on fish at a little restaurant in Akumal. B told me that his dreams had started small, but then got bigger as he began accomplishing more. A trained (and very good!) chef, B dreamed of living at a beach location and cooking at a beachside restaurant. Then he dreamed of owning the beachfront restaurant. Now, B dreams of owning a small, beachside resort, which would of course, include an awesome restaurant.
I once believed I was just one of those people who couldn't dream big, but now I realize the secret.. start small, and build your dreams, one upon another as your confidence in what you can accomplish grows. With each accomplishment gained, every goal reached, dreams will continue to grow and get bigger. Start small.

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