“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt
Every time I read that I can almost feel the chills. “…at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” That is so powerful, inspiring, and motivating.
Two of my favorite articles here on The Rat Race Trap are Develop the Courage to Take Risks and 17 Ways to Achieve Heroic Goals. Underlying both of those articles is the idea of thinking big. Recently I read a short little book called The Think Big Manifesto by Michael Port and it got me pondering the subject again. The book did not enthrall me, but I like what his is trying to do over at The Think Big Revolution.
In this article I’m going to share some of my thoughts and some of Michael’s thoughts with you.
“We are the biggest obstacle that stands in the way of our doing big things in the world. We are our own worst enemies.” –Michael Port
You don’t need a guru to tell you how to start thinking big. You just need to start doing. it. It’s not hard to think big. It’s only hard to stop thinking small. I think we all struggle with it every day. I know that I do, but I’m determined to kill the small thoughts that are holding me back. Are you?
Some small thoughts we think:
- I’m not.
- I don’t.
- I can’t.
- I’ll try.
- I don’t have time.
- I don’t have the energy.
- I’m only one person.
- Pop culture.
- People magazine.
- Corporate culture.
- Our past determines our future.
- We are never enough.
- For every winner there is a loser.
“Small thoughts fear the future. Big thoughts are the future.” –Michael Port
We will rise no higher than we think and if we want to achieve big things, we better stop thinking small and start thinking big.
“The time has come. We cannot wait anymore. For years we have hidden behind our own small thoughts or let ourselves be held back by other small thinking people who don’t believe in us. Worse still, we have been rejected as marginal, unrealistic, dreamers, idealists, maybe even delusional. Family, friends, colleagues and others (not to mention our own selves) have tried to negate us, eliminate us, and silence us. We will not stand for it anymore.” –Michael Port
Big thoughts are different things to different people and that’s perfectly OK. Being realistic is OK and is not small thinking as long as it is expansive and well outside your comfort zone. Starting my own business is a big thought to me. That might be a small thought for someone else.
Here are examples of big thoughts for you to think about.
- Build your own business.
- Change jobs.
- Change careers.
- Go back to school.
- Come out of the closet.
- End relationships with those who hold you back.
- Run a marathon.
- Follow your dream in the arts.
“There is NO right FIRST STEP and no last step. To begin to think big is ORGANIC. Once you start it will grow like the seashell, your thoughts EXPANDING ever upward and outward.” –Michael Port
There is an abundance of solutions, we only need to start thinking and acting big to create them. You are abundant.
“We are are own pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.” –Kim George
Get high on life. If you are comfortable and safe you are thinking small. If you are uncomfortable and excited you are thinking big.
You can’t do things perfectly. Trying to do things perfectly will guarantee you will never do them. Just go for it. Modify along the way. The best planning technique in existence is to modify as you experience.
“Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” –Japanese proverb
Make promises to yourself and others and keep them. There is no better way to develop a sense of personal integrity and self-esteem. If you aren’t going to do it then say so and say why. Be honest. I tell people no all the time and yet they seem to respect me and return. Making promises you can’t or won’t keep makes you small in their eyes and more importantly in your own eyes.
Promise something big and uncomfortable. Make it public. It’s almost a guarantee of success. Promise your readers you are going to lose 30 pounds in three months and promise them weekly updates. You will lose 30 pounds in three months.
“We will make promises. Big promises. Promises hard to fulfill. Yet we will – fulfill.” –Michael Port
Blow the lid off of yourself and do something big. Live each day as if it is your last but look forward to living forever. I don’t plan on living forever, but I believe that human near-immortality is on the horizon. I am thinking big about long life.
As an eighteen year-old freedom lover, I was excited about what I heard come out of Ronald Reagan’s mouth in ‘79 – ‘80. By 1984 he had shown he was just another disappointing politician who would compromise away principles and I decided to ignore politics and pursue freedom some other way. Within a few years I had been totally swallowed up by the rat race.
Today I read the following quote by him and found it beautiful and appropriate.
“Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.” –Ronald Reagan
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