I was watching auditions for The X Factor. One of the thousands of people who showed up for a chance to become a star was asked what she thought about the seemingly impossible odds of winning the competition. In response, she said, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.”
I immediately wrote that down. And then I thought about it. I thought about how most people play it safe. They give up on their childhood dreams and reconcile themselves to the pursuit of sensible goals.
What fun is that? How likely are we to achieve greatness when we settle for so little?
I have a dream. Something I’ve wanted to do since I was a wee pup. (No, not sing.) But I decided a long time ago that my dream was not possible, that even trying would have to wait.
I talked myself out of following my dream because the whole idea was frightening. What if I fail? If I don’t try, I can’t fail, so it’s better that I don’t even start.
The fear we feel when we contemplate our dreams tells us our dreams are important. If we didn’t care deeply about the dream, there would be no fear. We would shrug it off as a passing fancy.
What dreams are you afraid to pursue because you are afraid or because they seem impossible?
Chicago architect Daniel Burnham famously said, “Make no small plans for they have no power to stir men’s blood”.
Make no small plans. Thing big and take big chances. Get excited and get busy, because even if you are a spectacular failure, you’re still spectacular.