“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.” ~ Marianne Williamson
We tend to play it safe. We set goals we are certain to hit rather than swinging for the fence. We accept our limitations. Let’s increase next year’s sales by 5%. Let’s go for 15%!
But what if we didn’t? What if we went for a 50% increase? 100%? What if you set a goal to top five million a year as a travel professional? What would your business plan look like, what tactics would it include? The travel professionals who do so have a strategic and tactical plan to back them up, certainly, but they started with a big, big, goal. Naturally, it is hard to think beyond just survival in the time of Covid, but isn’t there the possibility that thinking big is important to that effort as well?
What stops us from aiming higher than we do? In the quote above, Marianne Williamson is suggesting something radical. It’s not that we think we can’t achieve our biggest goals, but rather we feel we don’t deserve to do so. It’s as though we are not only thinking inside the box, we are living there as well, if living is what it is.
I was challenged this weekend by someone frustrated with my unwillingness to think big. The challenge presented seemed impossible, unworkable, outsized. My vexed friend reminded me how a tiny little man named Gandhi decided it was time for the British empire to leave India and then proceeded to show them the door.
I am fortunate to have friends.
What if our plans were so much bigger than ourselves all we could do is set them on their way, never hoping to see their fruition? Can you imagine a goal so big you will not live to see it come to pass? If so, you are thinking big, really big.
“A society grows great when old people plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” – Greek Proverb.
Interestingly, a selflessness is often inherent in big thinking. How poor would the world be if everyone thought small?
What is the biggest goal you can set for yourself? Play along for a moment and create an outsized goal for each of these: yourself, your travel practice, your family, your community, the country, the world.
End poverty if that excites your passion. Think big.
Please understand, I’m not a wishful thinker; I don’t like most “inspirational” speakers and I’m no fan of “positive thinking.” I just think we stop short of our potential as a rule rather than as an exception.
Here is an almost certainty: you will not achieve all of your goals. But if that is true, doesn’t it make sense to go big and create a lot of outrageous goals to ensure you hit a few of them?
This really is a column about your travel practice; it’s just some ideas are bigger than their beginnings.
Do yourself, your travel practice, your family, your community, and the world a favor and cease from placing limits on yourself.
Live deep. Think big.
“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – St. Francis of Assisi