Dream Big – 5 Principles for a Successful Life

Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it you can do it.” In 1958 when Newt was just a teenager, he learned a powerful lesson that sparked his dream of entering public office and becoming a leader of our nation. His family was living in France and his father was a career soldier, an infantryman. At that time, Newt understood freedom is not free and he became immersed in stories of the human sacrifices paid for in blood. The lesson from history is that it is possible for bad leadership to result in the collapse in vulnerable societies. Newt’s father taught him they needed leaders who look beyond the present and understand the threats we face and are willing to commit themselves to finding solutions. Newt decided this was his mission and his dream to run for office and he never gave up to serve the public. He succeeded in his dream to become a leader for America.

Most of us dream when we are young about being a firefighter, teacher, astronaut, police officer or doctor when we grow up. We don’t even consider whether these dreams are probable or even possible. At some point, most of us are taught to give up our dreams and become realistic. We are told that dreamers rarely amount to anything and we need to learn to be practical. Limits and guidelines become more important than dreams and visions. We begin to focus on obstacles and probabilities rather than on goals and possibilities. We abandon our childhood dreams and quit creating new ones. Many of us work for the weekends to entertain ourselves by watching television or shopping. The truth is dreams are essential no matter what age we are. To make a personal dream come true you must set interim goals that bridge your current reality to that dream. Dreaming alone won’t make it happen but dreaming and finding that picture and allowing that pursuit to motivate you is key and the first step.

Dream Big. When you dream don’t let practical considerations limit you. The bigger the better as big dreams inspire you to action, consume your thoughts and lead you to act. They provide you with a great sense of satisfaction. You will only accomplish as much as you dream. Walt Disney dreamed big and was a major impact in the world of animation. Disney joined his brother in California and together they created Disney Brothers Studio and loved what they were doing. Lifelong memories are created by millions who visit Disney World each year. In 1978, after Newt won his congressional election he took his family to Disney World, and 28 years later, his family and grandchildren returned to Disney World for another unforgettable experience. Disney World was created from one man’s dream. Big wishes can come true and big dreams can have an impact on the lives of millions of people.

Everyone can see what is certain and real but only those who can imagine what could be will have a chance to create and live their dreams. Those without a dream will have no reason to strive, work hard or think of better days to come. Those who dream big, accomplish big. Big accomplishments involve risk and risk inevitably involves failure. It is the fear of failure that often stops people from dreaming big. Dreaming small can make something happen, but it’s the big dream that involves risk but also the grandest rewards. Those who have obtained the impossible, dreamed the impossible. Think big to stretch you beyond your current capabilities. The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it but that we set our goal too low and reach it. Dream big.

You must believe in yourself to dream big. The only things that will change you from where you are today to where you will be in five years are the people you meet, the books you read and the dreams you dream. We all need four things in our life – have something to do, someone to love, someone to believe in and something to hope for – nothing more than dreaming big. When are your dreams big enough? When you work hard, your dreams do come true. When your life exceeds your dreams, you dream bigger dreams. Make people laugh by dreaming big. Work hard and you can be whatever you want to be.

Your dream and only yours. Many dreams can be influenced by others, but only you can create them. Make sure it is your dream and not someone else’s dream or you may fall short. The current reality to your dream and your big dream will be in an area of your life where you have talent and interest that allows you to be better than others and passionate about your dream. It is not a big dream if it is easily obtained. Natural talent alone is not enough and you will need ideas, strength and creativity to match your dream to your talent. We all have God-given talents, but each have our own unique interests. If you do not follow your dream, who will? – no one. Skills are the how to of a job that can be transferred to others. Talent is unique to each person and when using their talent they achieve satisfaction. Many people assume that if an activity is easy for them it must be easy for everyone. Listen to encouragement from others who tell you have a talent.

Turning a goal into reality. Once you have a big dream that applies specifically to you the next step is to determine how to turn that dream into reality. Create a goal and steps to make it happen to keep it moving forward. These steps require that you become specific about the goal. Create smaller activities with measurable incremental goals, one step at a time. Focus on what you can control. Create a deadline once you have a dream you know is yours. Determine when you will start working to achieve your dream. When an obstacle comes up don’t look at it like an end to your dream but as a detour to be tackled. The path to your dream may change but move forward to whichever path moves you forward the fastest. Put your goals in a place you will see daily. U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps kept a list of his goals by his alarm clock so he could see them every day. Once you have your dreams identified and see them often it is time to work hard to make them come true. Dreams have a tendency to fall into place when you work hard.

-Karl