Reviews & Profiles
Succeeding: Dreaming Big
Posted Tuesday, February 19 2013 at 00:00
Last week, I was giving a talk to S.3 students at Makerere college School and at the end, it was a question and answer session. A young gentleman asked me something along these lines – “what does one have to do to keep dreaming of bigger things? Because most times, people keep dreaming of smaller things?” he asked.
He sounded too intelligent for his age. I swear I could not have thought of such a question at that age. Looks like he is well exposed and groomed – possibly with inspiring and positive parents. It’s a great question worth reflecting about whether one is young or old. Here are my thoughts on how to keep dreaming big.
Hang around big dreamers
You will be influenced by the people you hang around. If you keep with people who gossip, you will turn out to be a merchant of gossip. People with small ideas will keep you in the realm of smallness.
Look out for people who will stretch you with their dreams and thoughts. Those on the edge of being “unrealistic”. After all, most of the big inventions and creations were at one time called crazy or unrealistic. When you hang around such people, your personal dreams expand. The vision for yourself becomes bigger.
Biographies of great personalities are a great journey to take. You get into their thought processes – how they dealt with challenges and opportunities. This I have to admit I haven’t been doing often in the last few years like I used to. It’s something I am getting back into. You see, when you follow someone’s story, it’s as if you immerse yourself into it. That will automatically influence your thought process. The key is to find personalities that inspire you or the field you are interested in. For example, if you’re keen on politics, look out for political leaders you are keen on and get their biographies. If it’s business, do the same.
Keep an open mind
Be open to listen, to watch and to read the unusual. That’s where your next breakthrough idea or concept may pop out from. If you stay locked in your industry, your community, your home area or department, then your mind will keep circulating with the same thoughts. That might keep you stuck in the usual.
If someone says they have a great business idea, don’t just shut down the same person with “I am already very happy where I am and therefore, I don’t want to hear anything”.
Well, what if the new idea is better? What if the new idea has a better marketing plan which you could use in your current business?
Part of what I am doing now is to look outside my industry for other opportunities to interact and participate in other business models to stretch myself and get out of the comfort zone. It could be as simple as a new way of revising notes. Anything. Keep an open mind and keep dreaming big.
Ethan is the CEO of Success Africa, a motivational speaker, author and HR consultant