How do I dream bigger?

Dan Miller —  October 30, 2012 — 8 Comments

Last week I received this question from a podcast listener:

“How do I dream bigger? I am 29 and have outgrown my prior big dreams by God’s good grace. Once one has achieved what they previously thought impossible, how do you stretch your dreams to be even bigger and better? The ultimate goal is to achieve His will and I am being stretched to recognize exactly what that is as big goals are achieved quickly.”

Personally, I can’t imagine reaching all my goals.  If you’ve achieved what you previously thought was impossible, it’s Dream Big1time to set some bigger goals.

In this month’s issue of SUCCESS magazine Sir Richard Branson responded to a question about whether he’s ever encountered a challenge that’s too big.  Branson says: “I think in life you’ve got to dream big by setting yourself seemingly impossible challenges.  You then have to catch up with them.  You can make what people believe is impossible possible if you set big enough targets.  Flying from New York to Australia in, say, two hours.  Can we do it in our lifetimes?  I’m determined to try.  If you don’t dream, nothing happens.”  Branson’s accomplishments are legendary and he is now selling tickets to take people into space for $200,000.

I once heard Mark Victor Hansen say he wanted to clean up the oceans of the world.  Daniel Bolz is committed to building a Statue of Responsibility on the West coast, matching the Statue of Liberty on the East coast.  I have a friend who committed to give $1 million this year to his favorite organization. My friend Calvin Lehew decided he was going to revitalize the city where we live – Franklin, TN.  Earlier in life he had set as a goal to be a millionaire by the age of 35.  He hit that goal two years early and then set his sights much higher.  Today, downtown Franklin is referred to as the Main Street Capital of the Southeast.

On a practical level I would encourage you to set bigger goals – aim for something audacious.  I set my goals so I have about a 50-50 chance of hitting them.  If you read 12 books this year make your goal 20 for next year.  If you made $50K this year set your sights on $100 for next year.  If you help one child through Compassion International, imagine how you could help 100.  If the downtown

Stretch yourself to do more than you “know” you can do. 

The Bible tells us – “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov 29:18) Those who have outlived their dreams typically go directly to nursing homes to wait to die.

What are doing to stretch your dreams for 2013?

  • Arlena

    Is 32 goals for 2013 too much? The list is split among the 7 areas of success. Also my goals aren’t extravagant. They are a stretch just because I find it difficult to stay consistent. I either give up or I’m in ready set w/o the go. So 2013 is to push me out of my comfort zone.

    • 48DaysDan

      Arlena – no, 32 is not too many. Just be clear on what they are and keep reviewing them. Make sure you’re making deposits in each of the 7 areas every day and you’ll be amazed at a difference a few months can make.

  • Jen McDonough “The Iron Jen”


    “Stretch yourself to do more than you “know” you can do.”

    VERY TRUE! We never know what we are capable of if we don’t go outside our comfort zones. Your friends sound like amazing goal setters! On a side note, good reminder for us “achievers” to see it is OKAY not to hit EVERY goal EVERY time. I am not being sarcastic, but in fact, being very sincere when I say it is nice to be okay with that.
    Live Beyond Awesome.
    Twitter: @TheIronJen

    • 48DaysDan

      Jen – absolutely. I would be mortified if I actually hit every goal I set. I’d know instantly that I hadn’t set them high enough.

  • Jared Latigo

    My number one goal for this year: Bring in enough money on my own so my wife doesn’t have to work. I plan to be there by May 2013.

    Just wait…it will happen. :D

    • 48DaysDan

      The first step is writing it down. If you believe it will happen amazing things start to line up. Keep us posted.

  • Karen Putz

    Dan, after reading this, I took a look at my goals for this year and I realized I set some of them pretty low– almost as if I only wrote down goals that deep down I “knew” I would accomplish. I’m setting higher, loftier goals for 2013. Thanks!

    • 48DaysDan

      Karen – I like your thinking here. I feel like if I know I can hit them they are goals but just items on a check list. I want GOALS to inspire and stretch me.