Tag Archives: Dream

Dream Big Long-Term, Work Small Short-Term

When it comes to setting goals and trying to figure out how to reach them, I’ve done my fair share of experimenting (you can see some of the strategies here: The ‘I HAVE To’ List).

But of all of the methods I’ve tried, and all of the ones I’ve failed at, there are a couple of things that have stood out as being helpful, across the board.



Dream Big Long-Term

In “Measure What Matters” by John Doerr (which I recommend buying and reading, it’s like a $10 book with about 20 pages in it), he discusses setting objectives, or goals, at a level that requires more than the average amount of effort to achieve. He follows this up by stating that even if a person, or team, only achieves a percentage of their goal, say 85%, that this is still a success.

The thought process behind this is that we too often limit our potential by trying to set reasonable goals… yet it is the unreasonable goals that actually drive innovation and progress. If you’ve ever heard anyone say, “shoot for the moon and you might land on a star”, this is what they are referring to, and it’s more than just a simple saying.

Setting big goals with an aggressive deadline will quickly put you into a different level of drive and this is exactly where you want to be, to achieve your goals.

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The thing that trips most people up though, is that they become very impatient to reach their bigger goals. Many people expect to hit the gym for a week or a month and then decide to give up, because they aren’t where they thought they should be. Peoples expectations on how quickly they should find success is terribly misguided and is often the cause of people who give up too soon.

This is what makes Dream Big Long-Term valuable. It tells us to continue to aim extremely high, so that we can continue to innovate and grow, but it also reminds us that we need to be running the race with the tortoise mindset and not expect to reach the finish line so quickly.

You can’t fast-forward to an achievement you haven’t earned.

Work Small Short-Term

While we need Big Dreams to set us on the right path, being a dreamer alone won’t get you where you want to go. And while our expectations should concern the Long-Term, if we’re not making enough happen consistently in the Short-Term, we’ll never get there.

That’s why Working Small Short-Term matters and it’s all about staying consistent, quickly. We can have a goal to win a race, but the only way to reach the finish line is to start taking steps. And the person or team that can show up every day, no matter the obstacles, and take another step, is the one who is going to reach the finish line.

Working Small Short-Term means looking for the Little Victories and trying to obtain as many of them as possible, as quickly as possible. The thing that tends to slow down a lot of people, when trying to reach their goal, is getting too caught up in trying to make the right decision.

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Maybe they over think what their workout routine should be, or they spend too much time trying to consider every option out there, and so they burn a bunch of time and energy on just thinking… but the thing is, no one can make the right decision always (unless of course you can predict the future).

Something that might look like a sure-fire, right decision now, might turn out to be a terrible choice 6 months later. You might think it’s a good idea to go to the grocery store, and then get hit by a car on the way. Suddenly that sure-fire choice just took a wrong turn. Life has a funny way of working like this, isn’t it ironic?

The point is, don’t get too caught up in trying to make the right, or even the best decision. Start taking actions and steps that you think might move you forward toward your goals ,and along the way you’ll figure out which choices work most of the time.


Should You Have One Big Goal?

Having one big goal. One big target for what you’re after in life. A dream.

That’s what it’s all about. Time after time we see athletes and musicians have one big dream to grow up and make it big. They have this one dream, their life is all about it, and they are 100% focused on this one thing to make it big.

And the rest of us try to follow suit. We try to have just one big dream, well and then the other demands in life, school, work, family, social responsibilities. They all seem to be getting in the way of our one big dream, yet these other athletes and musicians don’t seem to have that problem? Why not?

The reason why not is actually quite simple. This idea of having one big goal and one big dream and only that one dream…. IS…. A…. LIE….

Let it soak in for minute….

….

….

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This idea that you have this big target you’re aiming for and that’s the only thing that you’re about is a trick. It’s something that’s used to sell self-help books to millions of people that still can’t manage to achieve their goals. Funny how so many books are sold yet so few people don’t achieve their dreams. Don’t feel bad, I was one of those people.

David Goggins once said he had an NFL player reach out to him and ask, “How do you keep that dog mentality. Once I got to the NFL I’ve struggled to keep the fight in me” and David responded by pointing out that the person had a finish line in their mind.

Basically they had this one big goal and once they reached it, their dream was over. They’d crossed the finish line and now realized they didn’t know what do with themselves anymore.

photo cred: Adi Goldstein

This is the problem with one big dream or one big goal. Even if you manage to achieve it, once you do, you’re left wondering what to do next. The drive that existed on the journey is no longer there at the finish line.

So here’s the thing, life is a lot longer than most of us realize. What good does it do to drive hard for 10 years to spend the next 30 unsatisfied?

And even if you could focus in on your one big goal and drive it all the way to completion you’d suddenly realize that you now have nothing left to look forward to. You would have built your whole life on one thing and one thing only. And let me tell you about how life likes to take dreams that you have and shove them in your face.

Don’t back yourself into a corner on a single dream because that’s what you see in a Nike commercial. There is enough time in life to do it ALL. I promise you. Life is long and there is a ton of time to do things.

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So my advice is to go out and set multiple dreams. If you want to be a musician great! Go practice every day. Then think of what else you want to be. What other hobbies do you have? What other responsibilities do you already have? Play any sports? Great go work at being great at that too. Spread your dreams out and work towards all of them.

Quit putting all of your chips into a single bet because that’s what the media has been telling you to do.

Go live a full life and DO IT ALL!

If you’re not doing something different every day, you’re wasting your life.

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

My mom used to ask me this all the time. “What do you want to be when you grow up?

Of course at a young age, you always wanted to be something cool right? A Police Officer, a Ninja, a Transformer… I can remember drawing pictures for school assignments that asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up.

And there were no boundaries… no limitations… if you wanted to be a Transformer when you grew up, you sure as shit could put it on the assignment and be good to go. In fact, teachers and parents encouraged children to dream big.

photo cred: Steve Libralon
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It’s interesting how while we are young and naïve and were asked this question we didn’t put any limitations on what we could be. We would dream up and imagine the greatest thing our young minds could think of. There was no limit.

And then we grow up and we realize we can’t be a Transformer… More than that though, we grow up and we stop dreaming. We recognize the foolishness of the idea of trying to be something that isn’t real but we take it a step farther and we start doing this in all parts of our lives.

We start believing that dreams are just that. Dreams… fiction… unobtainable. And so we stop dreaming. And what this does is it puts a cap on everything else that we do in life. Instead of shooting for the highest achievement we can, we start shooting for just good enough. We aim for comfortable and easily obtainable. We try to do things that are “realistic” in our lives.

We fill our time with movies and games, shopping and home remodels, chores and yard work. We start to settle into life, we get comfortable, and we stop dreaming.

photo cred: Johannes Plenio
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But no one whoever did anything great, did it without a dream. Martin Luther King Jr. literally spoke of how valuable having a dream was. For him, the dream was the driving force of where things could one day be. And at the time, thousands of people believed that his dream was just that, a dream. But these were those same people who had forgotten how to dream big.

But if not for his dream, what would he have accomplished?

So don’t get caught up in the day-to-day of life. Don’t get so comfortable with taking things easy, that you forget to dream. So many people have so much unfulfilled potential in the world. So much more that they could give back. So much more that they could accomplish. So much more that they could do.

So dream big, dream bigger than you ever did as a child. Aim so fucking high that when you talk about your dreams to other people, they think it’s unrealistic. And then ask yourself, “What do I have to do to achieve this dream? What work do I have to put in today, to make this dream a reality?”

Then go out there and do it!

And if you’re a parent, you should continue this tradition and ask your kids the very same question. “What do you want to be when you grow up?

The American Dream is a Lie

There… I said it… The American Dream is a bunch of bullshit. The dream that you can work towards something, achieve great success, and then hang up your hat and drink Mai Tai’s on the beach on some remote island for the rest of your life, is bullshit.

photo cred: Sven Scheuemeier

“But wait Josh. The American Dream is what America is built on. It’s how we got our start.” Okay maybe… but… how has that worked out for you? Are you living the dream? Are you on the beach chillin with your feet in the sand everyday?

This idea that you can work hard for a short period of time in your life and then kick back and do nothing for the rest of it, is the biggest sham I’ve ever heard or seen.

This is one of the biggest problems with our past, current, and upcoming generations. The thought that we can make one social media post and go viral, we can scratch one lottery ticket and be a millionaire, we can start one business and then sit back and let the cash roll in, we can go hard ONE TIME and then the rest of life is going to be cake.

Bullshit. This is not how life works.

How many times do you hear of someone who won the lottery and then they are broke two years later? How many one hit wonder artists have you never heard from again? How many viral posts lined someone’s pockets for three or four decades? None. Not any of them. This is why the American Dream is a lie. This is not how you achieve anything worth achieving.

Trying to go hard one time is not going to get the job done. If you want to achieve something, if you want to hit your weight loss goals, start your own business, accomplish a massive goal… you better be ready to put in the work every… single… day…

photo cred: Chris Curry

Success exists in those that go hard every day. No matter how much money they rake in, no matter how many championships they win, no matter how much fame and success they achieve, the best of the best go at it every day. No excuses.

Abandon this lie that if you dream enough it will all come true. That if you get lucky, one day, you’ll go viral, land a big contract, and be set. Throw this idea away. If you want to do something bigger, if you want to accomplish something, you need to understand that you are in it for life.

If you want to lose weight, you best understand that you will have to change for the rest of your life. You will have to diet and exercise every day. It will have to become a part of you.

If you want to be a writer, you best understand that you will have to write every single day. You will have to MAKE TIME, sit down, and do the work, every day.

If you want to be rich, you best understand that you’re going to have to get up and Out Hustle every other person in industry, every damn day.

My advice is to stop dreaming, stop thinking you’re going to get lucky with a little bit of work and that you’re going to be able to hang up your hat for the rest of your life. If you want to get some where you’re going to have to get up and go to work over and over and over. And it starts with Little Consistent Victories that you win, every… single… day…

Don’t Manage Expectations

When I started on this journey to push to the next level of my life I knew where I wanted to go. I knew what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to get healthier. I knew I wanted to get stronger. I knew I wanted to write. I knew I wanted to read more. I knew I wanted to work harder. I knew I wanted to achieve more.

I knew I wanted to push more and more and more and more, not just to live a good life, but a great life. It wasn’t enough for me to be comfortable. It wasn’t enough for me to be just marginally successful. I felt that I need to maximize my own potential. So I hungered up.

I set out to figure out how other great people were living their lives and started taking bits and pieces from them and putting it into my life. This research and the subsequent changes in my life are where most of my blog posts have come from.

And I knew that I wanted to share these experiences because if I just did this quietly, to myself, I wouldn’t stay motivated. If my reasons were selfish, then I’d be Missing the Point. But if I could make it bigger than myself. If I could be honest and open about the work and open myself up for criticism, I could push farther.

And so far it’s worked. I’ve quit smoking, I just put in a 4 mile run. I was up at 4 am, I’ve made breakfast, I’m writing this post, and I’ll go hit the weights before I take my kids to school and clock into work.

At first glance that sounds insane. Three or four weeks ago I would have looked at that list and said, “there’s no way I can do that” OR, “oh maybe I could do that over the next couple of months I could slowly ease into this new lifestyleAnd that attitude, that mindset, is exactly why I’d never done any of those things before. The biggest killer I’ve had in working towards any of my goals was that I was managing my expectations.

It’s also one of the first things a lot of people said to me when I shared this with them.

  • “Don’t burn yourself out”
  • “Don’t expect that you can be like some of those other people”
  • “Some people just have a better advantage”

Whether it was myself or someone else, there was always a voice putting a cap on my potential. I’ve been just as guilty of it as well. I’ve told myself, “today I’ll just do this little bit” and “tomorrow I’ll do that part, today I’m just going to do this” and “okay I did enough, I can take a break now.”

photo cred: Isabella and Louisa Fischer

I was always trying to tell myself that by just doing a little tiny bit, that it was going to be good enough. Not great, but good enough. And the truth is… it was never good enough. Complacency and being comfortable is not how we’re meant to live. It’s very much in our nature to push and push to the next level.

The greatest human beings in our lives are those who came from terrible backgrounds but had the drive to say, “I am going to do the most.” Our most successful athletes, actors and actresses, politicians, scientists, business owners, and community servants never put a cap on what they could achieve. None of them managed expectations.

Martin Luther King Jr didn’t just say, “oh I did some good this week in my neighborhood so I’m gonna kick back and have a few beers.”

Steve Jobs didn’t say, “great we made an iPod, let’s go on vacation and plan retirement.”

Tom Brady didn’t win just one Super Bowl and then retire from the game.

Michael Jordan didn’t get MVP one time and then coast the rest of his career.

Great people don’t manage expectations and you shouldn’t either. Don’t set your goals and put a limit on what you want to achieve. If you want to get in better shape, set your ultimate goal, and then plan your routine around what you need to do to reach that goal.

If you have a goal to make a $1,000 dollars in sales what’s your work ethic going to look like compared to if you have a goal to get $10,000 dollars in sales? Ask yourself that question. What’s your work ethic have to be like if you HAVE to achieve greatness?

photo cred: Randy Tarampi

Don’t Manage Expectations. Don’t put a limit on what you can do in a single day. The Pursuit of Happiness doesn’t have a great moment because Chris Gardner’s character tells his son not to waste his time with basketball. It has a great moment because he tells his son he can do anything, no matter how big the dream. That is how you achieve.