Friday, May 25, 2012

Seven Solid Steps to Thinking Big

steps to thinking big 300x199 Seven Solid Steps to Thinking Big
One of my old bosses had a funny habit. He would always walk into his office asking a secretary, “So what heroic exploit do I have planned for today?
At the time this question seemed a joke to me and I did not give it much thought. Only years later after I had changed several jobs, started my own websites and learned a thing or two about human psychology I started to see the real connection between Thinking Big and Accomplishing a Lot.
Oh, have I mentioned that this boss of mine was one of the most productive, creative, intelligent and,definitely,the strangest person I have ever worked with?
He passed away a few years ago, but every time I think of him I catch myself smiling.
Today I want to ask you a question – What heroic exploit have YOU planned for yourself?
Anything daring? Anything fascinating? Anything that will push you out of your comfort zone?
Then maybe it is time you took a few minutes to turn your mind loose and imagine how you can make this day more memorable, more exciting, and more gratifying.
It really is a pity to live in a Universe full of unlimited possibilities, infinite ideas and thousands of new life experiences and not plan something heroic.
So how about we make a tiny mental effort, set our fears, doubts and excuses aside and start thinking BIG.
Here are 7 Solid Steps that can help:

1. Remove physical boundaries.

Psychologists have recently discovered that the popular self-help phrase “the sky is your limit” is true on a lot more levels than we can imagine. It turns out that just being in a room with higher ceilings or, even better, walking outside, has a consistent impact on people’s thinking. This impact is directly transferred to mental processes. The higher the ceiling in the room is, the more effective we are at creating connections, recalling facts and thinking big.
Try it! Maybe all you need to do to improve your creativity is simply change room.

2. Write your plans on A3 paper or a white board.

This is another trick that helps to expand your thinking. Many creative people instinctively do it right. Some of them have wall-size boards where they brainstorm and write down their ideas. You can do it too, when writing down your plans or your goals. Instead of filling your agenda with a column of tasks, take an A4 or better A3 piece of paper and mind map your to-do list on it. You might be surprised how much easier it is to identify priorities and find the best order to do your tasks.

3. Connect with the right people.

People you spend time with, have the power to belittle your dreams or to open your horizons.To become a big thinker start connecting with extraordinary people, who will inspire you and frequently push you out of your comfort zone.
For example, if you need business advice, write to someone who you consider a business guru. If you are thinking about changing jobs – send your CV to the top-of-the-list companies. What is the worst thing that can happen?
I recently read about an experiment, where a company posted two separate ads in a newspaper for the same position and with the same skill description. The only difference was the salary. One ad offered almost twice the pay of the other one. Guess what happened? Ten times more candidates showed up for the lower-paid job!
Something to think about…

4. Pay attention to your words.

I believe it was Eleanor Roosevelt, who said “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”
It does not mean that in order to become a big thinker, you have to start any small talk by sharing your ideas. It simply suggests that the more your conversations evolve around gossip, corruption, cataclysms or any other topic that stirs negative emotions in you and the people you talk to, the less likely you will be enriched by the communication.

5. Look for the potential.

Train your mind to imagine the possibilities. Give yourself permission to dream big. Learn to see people not as they are, but as they can be!
This might not be something they teach us in college, but this is one of the most important life skills that we will ever need.

6. Practice adding value.

For many of us it may be challenging to think big when it comes to our personal career and plans for the future. However, when we switch our focus from ourselves and concentrate on creating value for others we suddenly find strength, creativity and vision that we never thought we had. As if the whole Universe is collaborating with us to help us achieve our goals.
Truly great thinkers always concentrate on adding value to the world or as Steve Jobs would have said it “putting a dent in the Universe”.You can do the same:
  • Practice adding value to things.
  • Practice adding value to people.
  • Practice adding value to yourself.
Think improvement in everything you do. Think high standards in everything you do!

7. Start Small.

Dreaming big is a great start. The challenge, however, is the transition from the big picture to daily actions. This is where most people get stuck. Every great venture starts out small. Some of the most lucrative companies in the world such as Apple, Mattel and Amazon started in a garage. Starbuck’s Coffee was founded with $18,900 by two high school teachers and a writer. AndMother Teresa began to fulfill her mission of serving the poor by taking a nursing course and teaching children of the slums how to read and write.
No matter how huge or overwhelming the goal may seem, it can be always broken down to simple and very do-able steps.
So what heroic exploit have you have planned for yourself today?
And what is the first step that you can take?