Remember that moment when you were 6 years old, and you thought you were going to be the first person to ever create teleportation? No? Only me? The point is when we were young, we thought we were going to change the world. We had these big dreams of becoming the next president, astronauts, buying mansions, driving in flying cars, and all that jazz. They seem like a very long distant memory. Because one day we walked into some teacher’s classroom and she told us, we had to be realistic. Whatever that means. And so we realistically dropped the overzealous dreams, immediately switching them up for snooze worthy but ever secure goals.
We’ve been practicing one thing really well for the last several years of our lives, and that is, how to drop any idea that seems too big to handle. The moment we announce it to mom, or the bestie, they give us that affirming umm-that’s-nice-but-let’s-be-real look. Causing us to feel that endless moment of shame for ever having thought such a thing.
Achieving ambitious ideas and goals often comes down to a simple science. When Elon Musk decided to create a dope looking electric car, he was up against the entire conglomerate that is the car industry. And yet, he was able to popularize the Tesla over the last several years. Ever thought about retiring at 30? Well, Tim Ferriss, the guy who practically invented lifestyle design, did just that. Ever wanted to become an actor with absolutely no acting experience, well Kevin Hart, infamously fans funny guy, did just that. Ever wanted to launch a top selling make-up line when no one knows who you are? I can name someone who has done that too! The point is, if we’ve got a big idea, it’s actually possible to tackle it. And surprisingly it comes down a few elementary things.
1. Don’t share your dream with dream killers.
I bet you didn’t know that often the people closest to us are the ones who are LEAST likely to support an ambitious dream. Why? People like our parents, spouses, and best friends want us safe from everything! If Freddy Krueger is coming after us, they will be right there with a spiked bat. This also means, that if they think we’re going to fail, they will kill that idea so we won’t have to go through the pain of failing. They mean well. But they’re not what you would call that ideal candidate for sharing your ideas with. So focus on finding people that you know will LISTEN. Which brings us to the next point.
2. Your validation is good enough.
There is no need for other people’s validation. When we share information with someone, it’s not because we need them to say “YASSSS!” it’s because we’re looking for resources. We’re looking for them to share information about where to start, or give us a step in that direction. Asking other people for their opinion on your idea is a slippery slope. It’ll start off as your idea, and mutate into a sprinkle of this person, and that person to the point where you’re looking at it like, “this was my idea?” Before you Frankenstein your dream, remember that you were the person who came up with the idea, and you need to protect it.
3. Make it bite sized.
Popping up around the world is a vicious attack on our dessert pallets. They call it gourmet milkshakes! When you order it, the waiter plops down in from of you a beverage that is arguably larger than your head. A smorgasbord of frothy ice cream, syrups, candy, cookies, cakes, and donuts, all preciously held together by a straw. Now How does one begin to consume such a product? Easy! In bite sizes. Listen, your ideas is big! So there’s no need to go at it in one swooop. Chop it down into reasonable pieces that you can actually handle. Start with the donut, then try the cake, and before you know it, you’ll have finished the entire dessert.
4. Make it fun.
Even as kids, we got participation ribbons for just showing up. So don’t stop rewarding yourself after every bite. Come up with little prizes to make yourself feel good for getting closer to actually achieving the idea. Treat yourself to some pizza, or put a gold sticker on a piece of paper, hell, do a little dance. But give yourself a reason to keep going.
5. Document your progress.
It feels so dang good to physically see when we start from the bottom and make it to the top. It doesn’t matter if we’re recording, writing, and taking pictures of the process, the point its we need to see the progress. We need to see the dates, we need to see the time, we need to see the before, and we need to see the after. Why is this even important? Because a key element in actually sticking to something, is motivation. And progress is one hell of a motivator. No one wants to do something and not see a result. In 1950’s a hollywood studio decided to go from strictly making films to building a family based theme park. The brains behind that idea was none other than Walt Disney. A lot of people thought it was insane, but to get people excited about the process, he documented it in a television series where he showcased conceptual drawings, and the construction of the park. Where would this idea have gone had he not done this? Who knows. But when the world saw it go from drawing to real life, they were astounded, enamoured and supportive which added steam to that idea engine. It got other people to see it less as something impossible, and more as something doable.
So here’s your homework, think about which element really hit home for you, then share the one thing that you’ll start doing first.