A Kid’s Mentality…Dream Big or Go Home
Photo by Flickr user TylerKnott
Take a minute to reflect upon the past. Not the recent past, but when you were between the ages of 5 to 10 years old. When you were a little kid not yet a “grown up” you probably had a lot of ideas and dreams. Big, out of the ordinary, what the heck was I thinking sort of ideas and dreams. Your parents, while speaking about you, would say “my kid’s a dreamer.” Everybody thought you were crazy–except you. You believed in every idea and dream that you conceived in your mind. You could and would build a rocket ship, fly to outer space, and land on the moon. You would become an astronaut. You would become a fighter pilot. You would be the pitcher or batter in game 7 of the World Series in the 9th inning with two outs, bases loaded, and a full count. You could be anything. You thought the impossible was possible. ANYTHING you could dream of was a reality. Nothing held you back and nobody told you that it couldn’t be done.
“What the mind of man can conceive and believe, It can achieve.”
Let’s flash forward 10, 20, 30 years to the present. Where are you now? Did those ideas and dreams become a reality? In most cases, those ideas and dreams were tossed out the window many years ago. Why? Because we were told over and over that it wasn’t possible and that it couldn’t be done. Our optimistic outlook was challenged by pessimists. Eventually, we began to let the negative overcome the positive.
Why is it that we let others and our society dictate our beliefs, the way we think, and what we individually value in life? I just don’t understand. I’m a victim of it all as well. I used to dream big, I’m not afraid to admit it, and I’m not afraid to share my dreams. However, this is going to sound hypocritical to the last sentence, but I still dream big. The problem now is that I sometimes doubt myself, my knowledge, and my ability to become who I want to become. When I was younger I used to never doubt or even question what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be like. I vision my future and let me tell you…it’s pretty extraordinary. Will my dreams come true? I hope so… No. Wait. I know so. I’ll make the assumption that, in my opinion, we were all once big dreamers; gratefully, some of us still are. The problem today is that as we grow up and mature we set boundaries, which limit our success. We put up these invisible and imaginary walls, which stop us from achieving and becoming who we want to become. We set these boundaries and put up these walls that used to never exist when we were younger. Those ideas and dreams we thought were possible are now, for some reason, unreasonable or unrealistic. We lose faith in ourselves.
Many of us have heard or read about O.J. Simpson’s story. For those of you who haven’t here’s the short version of it. In his childhood, O.J. Simpson developed a disease called Rickets in his legs. This left him pigeon towed and bowlegged unable to be a normal kid. He had to wear braces on his legs and was the subject to constant ridicule by his peers. One day he met Jim Brown, a phenomenal running back, and told Jim that someday he would break all of his records. Guess what? Those records were broken.
Just because our society, or friends, or family tell us that something can’t be done doesn’t mean that it can be done. For many of us, life becomes a daily routine. There’s the expected, conventional way to do things and the, what is considered ‘risky’, unconventional way to do things. What we used to believe in is now a distant thought and breaking the boundaries is oddly looked down upon by some. There’s this understanding of how to do things the “right” way and rather than being our own unique individuals we let ourselves be governed by the explicit and implicit rules or social norms.
I think that sometimes people are afraid of what they’re capable of. That they’re afraid of success because they’ve grown away from it for such a long time they have forgotten what success actually feels like. Everyday we see people achieve something that we always dreamed of accomplishing. We see that 10,000 people completed an Ironman event–surely I could do it if they could do it. But now look at it. What if only 1 person EVER, was to complete an Ironman event–it was just THAT difficult. In this situation some people wouldn’t give themselves the light of day and would never try. Some people would say that it’s unreasonable or unrealistic to complete the event themselves or to see 100 people complete an Ironman event. They have the wrong mindset. The perspective you have to look at it from is that if 1 person was able to complete an Ironman event it can be completed by yourself as well as many others. If I was approached by someone and they were to tell me, “Hey Gregg, I have this business opportunity for you. There’s one million people doing this thing, but only 1 person is making millions while the rest of the 999,999 people are only making a couple thousand of dollars.” Some people would run away and never look back. I wouldn’t let that opportunity pass. If 1 person can achieve a level of success it can be achieved by someone else. It may require a lot of time, effort, and work but it isn’t impossible. It shows me that it isn’t unreasonable and that it isn’t unrealistic.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that you should never question your ability to succeed based on how many people have accomplished something before you. If something hasn’t been accomplished yet, then why can’t the first person be you?