“Make no little plans”

Joanne and I just returned from several days in Chicago – our annual pre-Christmas jaunt to relax, enjoy the lights, and celebrate Joanne’s birthday.  We ate at our favorite restaurants, strolled through the decorated stores, browsed in art galleries, enjoyed the Donny and Marie Osmond Christmas Show at the beautiful Oriental Theatre and talked with friendly people everywhere.  Having done this for many years now, we are quite familiar with the Magnificent Mile, the Water Tower and other notable landmarks.  The primary architect behind the beautiful layout that preserved the Chicago lakefront was Daniel H. Burnham.  Burnham presented his most ambitious work, the Plan of Chicago, in 1909.

Burnham is noted for one famous quotation which is still seen at multiple places around Chicago, including at the base of the Willis (Sears) Tower:

“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die.” Daniel H. Burnham

Now there’s a challenge – make no little plans!  As we start a New Year make sure that the plans you are making are big enough to excite and motivate you.  Risk more, stretch more, and make more mistakes.  Remember, the cautious never reach new shores or climb big mountains.  If there were not the possibility of failure, the thrill of victory would be missing.  If you want to travel more, double or triple your income, invent the next Frisbee or launch the next Starbucks, you must set big goals.  Greatness and a unique calling are not reserved for pastors, celebrities and artists.  All of us have in our heart the image of the person we can be and the life we can live.

I’m planning to complete two major book projects in 2012 and four additional 48Days products. I also want to book 36 significant speaking events this next year.  I want to purchase a very meaningful sculpture and get down to my college weight of 165. I might also add that I always set my goals so I have about a 50-50 chance of hitting them.  I like to “dream big” and then enjoy the process of incremental success.  So if I “only” produce 1 new books and 3 additional products, that will still be light years ahead of the average guy on the street who’s dreaming of writing a book someday.

What are your “big plans” for 2012?

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