Monday, January 27, 2014

What Keeps You from Dreaming Big?

Ask any child what he or she wants to be when they grow up, and you’re liable to get some pretty wild answers - at least to the average adult, they’d seem wild. Think about it. What if an eight year old Sam Walton had told his father he wanted to be the world’s largest retailer? What if a seven year old Yuri Gagarin had told his mother he wanted to be the first human in space? What if a five year old Barack Obama had told his kindergarten teacher he wanted to be President of the United States?

I don’t know if a version of any of those conversations ever actually happened. But if they had, I suspect that in each case the listener would have responded in a kind, even encouraging manner. But I doubt they would have taken the possibility of the child actually realizing that dream very seriously. The reason for this is people’s ability to dream big often diminishes as we grow older. If we can’t dream big ourselves, it’s hard for us to visualize the dreams of others, especially our little ones.

Why do you suppose that is? What is it that causes people to lose their ability to dream big, and believe in those dreams as possibilities? The answer is; our conditioning. Most adults have been conditioned by a very powerful array of barriers. Throughout childhood we have parents, teachers, and other authority figures repeatedly, albeit unintentionally, erecting barriers in the paths of our dreams. They tell us, don’t do this, don’t do that, you can’t do this, you can’t do that… exerting an incredible amount of negative influence.

It’s akin to what trainers do with circus elephants.

When they’re very young, circus elephants are chained to a stake that’s anchored very deep in the ground, thus preventing them from moving around at will. As strong as baby elephants are, they’re unable to pull hard enough to pull the stake out of the ground. As the elephant grows up, he becomes accustomed to the idea that he can’t pull free, even though the stake is now only driven a few feet into the ground. The animal has been conditioned, and this conditioning is much more powerful than the physical reality.

But here’s a liberating fact: If the elephant would only try, he could easily pull that stake out of the ground with a tiny fraction of his adult strength!

And so can you.

As a child you may not have been able to overcome the negative influences you were subjected to. But as an adult, you have the power of autonomous choice. You have the power to rekindle those big childhood dreams, and to create new ones. So go ahead. Recognize your dreams as the revelations of your potential that they are. Refuse to allow any artificial barriers deter you from rising to your full potential. Make the commitment now to do whatever it takes to make those dreams happen.

For help with identifying your big dreams and making them come true, contact us online.

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