In a recent LinkedIn article, Robert Herjavec, bestselling author and shark on ABC’s Shark Tank, said, “If I could share any advice with my 22-year-old self, it would be very simple: Dream Bigger.”
That humbling yet powerful piece of advice is something that most people even beyond the age of 22 would have loved to engrain in themselves at a young age. Because at 22, how many of you were aware of all that raw potential, and able to foresee the greatness that was to come? (Unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg, in which case disregard this completely and keep on keeping on)
But I’m not him, and I’m not ashamed to admit that it took me some time to understand that I was capable of so much more if I just put energy, creativity and perseverance behind the idea of something that seems unattainable.
Just a few months ago, I was discussing my future plans with a coworker. I love to write and I work in marketing and advertising, therefore, a natural progression from my entry level position would probably be copywriter. I glorified that position making it seem like that was the only path I could take that could combine both interests of mine – writing and advertising.
I put all of my eggs in one basket, when all of a sudden, they threw a curveball at me and said, “what about a creative director?” I wanted to kick myself. Why hadn’t I thought of that? Why wouldn’t I think highly enough of myself to push beyond copywriter and become creative director? Why? Well, for a multitude of reasons that I’m sure you all can relate to:
1. I’m not good enough – only genius people get those positions. I know my place on the totem pole and I’m comfortable with setting the bar low.
2. I’m not lucky enough – only friends of David Ogilvy become creative directors at advertising agencies. I’m friends with my cat and that’s enough for me.
3. I don’t even know where to begin – this is probably the most tragic excuse of them all. While you’re worrying about where to begin, time is being time and ticking right along. Even if you just moved one step per month in the direction of your dreams, that’s better than the twelve steps you missed in a year because you were paralyzed by fear.
If you can overcome these immobilizing ways of thought, you can see the world through an entirely different lens, a lens that offers up new possibilities. I’m understanding more and more each day that fighting for dreams that seem impossible are actually fairly possible…if you just believe.
Forget about how you’re going to get there, or how others did it, or how it’s going to play out, just believe in yourself and your ability to grasp at something that is beyond your understanding.
It’s those initial dreams you had when you were young that will fuel those solidified plans of action in the future. So, dream big, dream hard, and believe in yourself. We have no Magic 8 Ball to tell us any guarantees in this life – the sky is the limit.