HOW TO DO BIG THINGS
In addition to being a prerequisite for growth, doing big things is also a lot of fun. But how do you do them? What steps do you take?
Thankfully, much of the work required to do big things relates to the mindset of deciding to do them. With that in mind, consider these suggestions for your own pursuit of meaning and adventure.
Do not model your definition of big things on what other people have done. This is why your big things are YOUR big things. If something matters to you, that’s all that matters.
Decide for yourself:
a) what the big things are
b) how you’ll determine the success or act of accomplishing the big things.
You decide. You be the judge.
An old-but-good standard for determining whether to pursue a big thing comes from thinking about long-term regrets. Twenty years from now, will you regret not attempting a big thing? If the answer is yes, or even “I think so,” there’s your reason. Proceed.
Decide on your big things without concern of feasibility. Don’t worry about how you’ll accomplish big things. Think first and foremost about what your big things actually are.
Do not pursue half-measures. To change my career, I looked into what I would like to be qualified in and gave myself 12 months to get as much of that study complete as I could. I completed 2 Psychology degree modules, 2 counselling degree modules, a practical counselling skills certificate and a diploma in Life Coaching.
I paid for everything myself and did all the work myself, including finding volunteer clients and took a step back in my life and moved back in with my folks so that I could not work and commit all my time to my new future.
This decision was the best one I ever made for my own self development. I met amazing people, I learned new skills and I became much more comfortable with my new career and the person I was becoming.
The more big things you do, the easier it becomes to do other big things. Accomplishing one big thing will give you confidence for other attempts. When you see someone who is successful at doing lots of big things, know that there is probably a long list of other things that have helped them get where they are. The only problem is that you need to keep raising the stakes.
Bonus: Think long and hard about what you are afraid of. Your big things may relate to conquering those fears in some way.
Create an unconventional safety net. In 2011-12 I used my 2010 redundancy payment to establish my training and future travel pot of money. I opened a separate bank account for work and another for my future travels money, exclusively for helping my design my future and travels around world. At times, I have lost connection with those funds and not kept on top of money coming and going out and felt my anxieties rise until I sit down and update my log and understanding of where I am at.
Lesson learned: having a safety net in the form of a specific bank account which I’m actively managing helped me to feel more secure in pursuing a big thing.
Plan everything around the desired result. Think about what you’d like to accomplish and plan backwards from it. Four years ago I sat in a hotel lounge in Mexico City and thought about living a life where I experienced living in different countries and cultures, an expat lifestyle. It’s been a long journey, but I’ve worked on myself until I was able to start working on the practical elements of making the goal a reality. There are now only a few months left before I move and start my adventure, and it all came about from planning for a desired result and taking each challenge as it came along, including the ones created by my own self-limiting beliefs.
Stop thinking that big things are risky. Not everything that is big or significant is risky. Often, complacency is the real risk! Remaining stuck is risky. Having the chance to do something and turning it down out of fear is risky.
Bonus: stop thinking that failure is normal. Who’s to say you’re going to fail? Do not assume that failure is in your destiny. You could very well succeed.
Lastly, accept that some people will not understand the significance of your big things. They just won’t get it, no matter what you accomplish. You can spend your time seeking external approval, or you can decide in advance that you’ll do big things regardless of what anyone else thinks.
Thankfully, most of the time other people will come along who do get it. Strange but true.
Disclaimer: I am no expert or guru. Every day I hear from all kinds of people in our community who are doing much bigger things than me. Whatever big things I do, I’ve learned about from others.
You too can do big things. You can overcome fear, critics, and (worst of all) your own resistance to push through and pursue something magical.
So what are the big things you are working towards? I’d love to hear from you so add your comments below or get in touch @velvetevolution or email@example.com.