Go Big or Go Home!

by Rhoberta Shaler
Article courtesy of MediaPeak, mediapeak.com

"Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir man’s [or woman’s] blood …. MAKE BIG PLANS. Aim high in hope and work…." So wrote Daniel H. Burnham in the last century.

The important next step to making those big plans is to break them down into "do-able" chunks, chunks that can be done in one day. That is what gives you a definite sense of accomplishment, isn’t it? The big plans are necessary, the baby steps, imperative!  My daughter shared a marketing tip with me the other day.  She said, "Go big, or go home". I thought about this quite a bit as it seemed so brash and arrogant. Great slogan, but what about the little guy? Then, it all made sense. If we are to live our dreams and visions about how we want our lives to be, how we want to be remembered, what our contribution to our daily world could be … then, it IS true. Go big or go home.

Have a vision. Have a master plan for your whole life as you presently see it. What would you like to be doing, experiencing, being or having in your life, sometime in your life? What are the things that are most important, significant and valuable to you? That’s big!  After you have created the "big picture", then you can decide what you would like to create immediately and pay attention to that.

Timing is one difference, of course, between short and long term goals. Another important difference is  that with a good master plan, short term goals lead to long term goals which fit perfectly into the master plan. And the good news is … you are in charge! You can change your master plan, and your approach to it, as your interests and priorities shift  and grow. You are not locked in. A master plan is a plan for joy and passion, not a plan for duty and obligation.

It is useful to break your goals down into three categories: current, near future and far future. Once you have put your future goals into your subconscious mind, they are begun. It is not only action that is required. Keeping your goals in the forefront of your mind is key. Thoughtfully craft your current goals. Know how you will measure your success and plan for it.

Think big! Think limitlessly. Think "out of the box".  People are often limited by their minds’ unwillingness to stretch. Remember what Napoleon Hill said: "…if you can conceive it, and believe it, you can achieve it!" If you find yourself surrounded by people who are "thinking little", it might be difficult to find support and acceptance of your big plans. You may have to include some new associates who want to play in the big pond, too! You have probably heard that if you want to run with the big dogs, you have to get off the porch! 

Reflect on your biggest view of your life–your master plan.   Is it big enough for you? Does it cause you to stretch to get your arms around it? If not, think a little bigger and see where it takes you. If it does, be sure you have planned the route that will take you there. Then, follow it. As you embark on each task today, ask yourself, "Am I on the road to my vision by doing this?"  Go big or go home. That one little phrase keeps me on my toes.

(C) Rhoberta Shaler, PhD. July, 1999 All rights reserved Rhoberta Shaler, PhD, Speaker, Author, Executive Business Coach, is committed to building capability and cooperation within organizations and individuals. Invite her to engage, educate and energize your group. Visit her site

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