Daydreaming… or Thinking Big?
Personally I’ve always seen myself as a bit of a daydreamer, and it’s quite easy to see as to why I’ve arrived to this conclusion.
For years I have been the sort of person to get excited about an idea, any idea, and then started running to the moon with it – in my own head. From something as simple as a credit card protecting product to a security conglomerate and from a seasonal tyre changing business to a dominant chain of auto mechanics and service centres.
Yeah, sounds like something you should categorize as daydreaming, and as I said before, I did categorize these thoughts as daydreaming. But should I have? Apparently not, at least according to a book from the year 1959 (I’m starting to think I’m rather late to figuring out the benefits of thinking big) by Dr. David Schwartz called The Magic of Thinking Big.
After figuring out certain aspects of my own focus and ambitions, the mere title of the book gave me some positive shivers along my spine.
So what did I figure out?
Realizing the effect of thinking big
I spent some time thinking hard as to what makes me tick, why some projects, products and ideas keep me tangled up in them for years and some I just brush past in seconds. Why am I still doing web design, planning server setups and providing hosting for clients, when I couldn’t stand the idea of another season of tyre changing in the spring.
Easy answer would be “well you like things better when you get to think instead of doing manual labour.” This is something I heard and even believed in myself, but then when it came to learning how to do graphic design, how come I quickly passed on the idea and hired someone to do it for me?
Graphic design should have ticked all those little boxes for me, it involves a lot of thought work in the process and doesn’t require any manual labour. It bugged me a lot not being able to figure out why graphic design didn’t work for me, until it hit me. I tried to think of where I could go with being able to use Photoshop and Illustrator like a pro, and I couldn’t see the dream. I wasn’t able to think big with graphic design as a starting point.
I know how to do the basic stuff with Photoshop because I found it a useful skill to acquire and could see it as a part of the greater path to success in my mind. I never bothered to learn any more of it because it just wasn’t enabling me to think big.
However, I needed a little more proof behind my theory and it’s funny, I had planned on reading this book I’m using as inspiration here a long time ago, but just never came to it. Now, all of a sudden, it seems to be the most useful Iäve ever read. Fancy that.
Capacity is a state of mind
I fell in love with a quote from Dr. Schwartz that states “[c]apacity is a state of mind. How much we can do depends on how much we think we can do. When you really believe you can do more, your mind thinks creatively and shows you the way.”
Having been stuck with an idea that I couldn’t figure out how to implement, I figured maybe it’s just that I’m dreaming of this being possible, so it probably isn’t a possibility. The problem in question was related to leasing and setting up servers, from which I could then rent smaller portions to my own clients.
Now it’s better I mention this now, I’m not a systems administrator, nor have I been ever trained to use Linux or anything else server related. Didn’t even know what SSH was or meant, until I had to figure out how to access a server to give it commands. Yet I was thinking big, wanting to dominate the hosting industry one day because I knew I could do a few things better than anyone else, so I kept pushing on.
Then a few months back I had the clients who needed the hosting, and it was finally time for me to take the next step, but I immediately I got stuck in trying to figure out how to put my big thoughts into reality. I started giving up, little by little, because I started believing I had been daydreaming of an impossibility.
A small spark of hope after I figured out a potential way of getting everything working turned into one successful turn after the other, and suddenly all I need to do is provide the finishing touches. This is where I am today, and guess what?
I’m already dreaming big again and the work is coming along faster and the problems seem to be solving themselves.
Allowing myself to think big has proven extremely valuable in understanding what gives me energy and focus. When there’s a bigger idea in my mind, something that the present version could be improved into, it allows me far greater focus in the present.
Let yourself think big
If you’re like me, then the advice Dr. Schwartz gives is worth all the gold inside Fort Knox, because I’ve been suppressing my creative thinking due to its categorization as daydreaming.
Don’t be afraid of thinking big.
Bad quote to end on, way too cliché and unimpressive. Let me just borrow from someone who knew what they were doing.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said,
“Great men are those who see that thoughts rule the world.”