1/14/2016: Dream

This is a mantra I continue to repeat to myself, especially when I hear the phrase “Dream bigger.”

Dream bigger is what conventional advice tells us. Shoot for the stars! Go for the gold! Aim for the million dollar business or the Fortune 500 clients or the best-selling novel. You can do it! I think this advice is well intentioned in most cases. It asks us to expand our idea of what we think we can accomplish, a notion I can certainly get behind. The problem, though, with dreaming bigger is this: bigger is not necessarily better. (In fact, in most cases it decidedly is NOT better.) Bigger might mean more recognition and adulation, but bigger often also means more pressure and more people telling you what they think you should do.

That’s why in response I offer up this slight variation: dream DEEPER. Peel back the layers of your own values and discover what contentment might *actually* look like for you. Search within for the definition of success that wasn’t prescribed to you, the one that you continue to write as you evolve. It might be a million dollar business, or it might be one that simply allows you to spend days with your kids and not worry about paying the bills. It might be to speak to a crowd of thousands, or it might be to host a local meet up where you can talk to each and every person that attends.

The point is, to say that we should all aspire to goals that have some measure of grandeur is to assume that we’re all the same people with the same values, and we’re simply not. So I encourage you with every dream you have to keep asking yourself, “Why do I want this? If I knew I couldn’t post about it on social media, would I still want it? What will I feel when I actually achieve it?” I’m not saying don’t dream big, I’m just saying that when you do, make sure those dreams are rooted in your own truth and your personal values.