Why Dreaming Big Is Not Always Good
I have an important question for you, and I bet you have dedicated your fair share of thought to it throughout your lives – which way of thinking is better, dreaming big or being satisfied with small things? Since I held the first belief my whole life, I believe I am qualified enough to talk about why it can be even more harmful than being unambitious.
My whole life I thought I was gonna be huge. Not just your typical A-student type huge, but world-famous huge. I probably had some predisposition to think so, because I was a talented kid and did really well at school, frequently scoring at the top of the class.
Over time, however, my motivation turned into something unhealthy. I started to believe that I was entitled to success, and I grew more and more frustrated as I faced the real world. Well, the truth is I didn’t contact it a lot until going to university and leaving my hometown, where I had lived in a safe bubble believing that success in the big city is waiting for me to come.
The first ominous sign came when I didn’t get a perfect score at the entrance exams. I still scored really well – 195 out of 200, and got into the university, but I wasn’t the first one anymore. Which seems pretty logical now – there were thousands and thousands of kids applying to the same university – but back then I felt that I was missing something. I couldn’t enjoy my triumph because I didn’t get that perfect score.
The pitfall, however, came almost three years later when I first got a B on a history exam, a subject I absolutely hated. Then I started to feel like a failure. Now you are probably wondering, “What does it have to do with dreaming big?” Here’s my answer: I always dreamed big, and this made me overlook small successes and feel entitled for admiration and victory.
I believe you can guess what happened next. I grew more and more frustrated, as I realized you had to work, and most often, work hard, to achieve what you wanted. You even had to withstand failure and rejection – something I wasn’t used to dealing with at all. The only opinion I had about failures is that they diminished my previous accomplishments and my value as a person and that successful people never fail and never have to deal with the pain of rejection.
Dreaming big is good, as it helps a person set far-reaching goals and do bold things. But it can only work if a person has healthy relationships with failure, tryouts and taking tiny steps. The success that seemingly comes overnight takes years to achieve, but no one wants to mention those years – they are a boring time of exhausting, routine and continuous hard work. Sounds bad enough for a movie, right?
Don’t teach anyone just to dream big – teach them to dream big while taking small steps. This is always better than staying in one place and wishing to be teleported to the valley of success.