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March 1, 2013

Think Small

What if I could tell you the secret making a major breakthrough in your work… in 2 words? How to stop spinning your wheels 1,000 miles an hour but getting nowhere? How to stop being overwhelmed with “everything you’ve gotta do” and start working on only the things that matter?

You’re Thinking TOO Big!

This is what causes you to over-commit to too many projects at once. This is what causes you to never be fully satisfied with what you happen to be doing at this moment. This is what causes you to always being focusing on the future instead of what’s in front of you right now.

You, my friend are a dreamer… and you’ve got to STOP thinking big.

You Need to Focus

As a dreamer, your biggest hurdle is focus. Your inability to focus on one thing at a time… on the minute (probably mundane) details of what’s right in front of you… is killing you and your progress.

Let me describe the typical scenario…

You’re working on some sort of problem or project. As you do, you start to see a better way of doing things. You see that this could be so much easier. Then, you start to imagine how solving this problem would affect others. How happy they’d be.

You start to look into the future and see the profound effect your solution could have. How many lives it could change. You see your solution growing and evolving… getting better and better. Helping more people. Solving more problems.

You’re pumped! You feel like you could take on the world!

And, before you know it, you’re staring at this mountain of “what could be”.

Then, the fear sets in.

What if I can’t pull this off? What if all these people start to rely on me? What if I can’t satisfy them? What will they say about me? My reputation will be ruined. I’ll disappoint so many people. I’ll be a failure.

And, before you know it, the small problem you were solving in the moment becomes this mountain of pain you can’t bear to face. And, instead of just doing the one small thing in front of you… you run from the mountain.

STOP IT!

But “They” Always Say to Think Big?

For you, “they” are wrong. They being those always professing the standard “think big” advice. You are different. It’s not that they’re actually wrong… it’s that their advice doesn’t apply to you, because you ALREADY think big.

Huge. Humongous. Gargantuan.

There are two types of people in this world, in this regard… dreamers and doers. Their advice applies to doers (who think TOO small). You are a dreamer. It doesn’t apply. So stop listening to it.

You Have to Discipline Yourself

To a dreamer, the word “discipline” is the plague. But, it’s what you need to do, because the mess I just described can only be overcome through mental discipline. By training yourself to focus on what’s right in front of you.

It’s okay to dream big… it’s not like you could stop it if you wanted to.

But, you have to realize that if you’re EVER going to actually realize one of your big dreams, you have to start focusing on the small, mundane tasks that need done right now!

As you can probably guess, I’m a dreamer myself and I’ve spent years battling this. I still battle it today. In fact, I’m battling it right now as I write this. But, through coding, I’ve also learned directly the death-trap that thinking too big can be.

I’ve watched grand visions that were like children to me fall flat and die… not because they weren’t great ideas… but 100% because I couldn’t focus in the moment and get shit done!

It’s painful, but it’s taught me that, as a dreamer, your biggest challenge isn’t thinking big enough… it’s getting too wrapped up and carried away in your vision and forgetting that you actually have to do stuff right now to make everything work.

You will feel like your short-changing yourself, at first. It will feel awkward and you’ll tell yourself that this can’t be right… that you’re limiting yourself. Ignore all that nonsense.

Because, one day, you’ll generate enough discipline and focus on one project that you actually get it done. And, suddenly, the original vision you had that you thought you had killed with discipline and focus… will spring to life.

But, this time not as an imaginary thought in your head… but as a real living thing right in front of you! And, you’ll realize that all the awkwardness and pain of being disciplined and focused was worth it in order to have this moment.

It’s entirely possible, but you can’t get around the need to focus…

So, stop thinking big and get to work!

Are You a Dreamer?

If so, share your experience with me. What challenges have you faced? What solutions have you developed? I’d love to chat about it. I don’t take comments here anymore (that’s part of my discipline process) but by all means hit me up on your favorite social media and let’s chat!

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