Dream Big, But Don’t Beat Yourself Up

By David Geller   |   September 18, 2016

Dreaming big … it’s the American way.

I want to build a $100 million company.
I want to change the world.”
I want to sail around the world in an 80-foot Hatteras.

Big dreams empower us. They help us think creatively, focus our resources, and plow through obstacles. When we pursue our dreams, we feel alive, engaged.

But here’s the rub: Big dreams are BIG. Huge, perhaps. They’re incredibly hard to achieve. So without superhuman powers, we’re likely to miss the boat on many of them. Sure, we built a successful company, but it’s worth $30M, not $100M. We serve on boards, raise money, and write checks to important charities, but change the world? Not exactly. Our 40-foot cruiser takes us up and down the coast, but when we pull back into the marina, that yacht in the end slip just taunts us.

Now we’re frustrated and discouraged: we’ve failed. We beat ourselves up for not achieving the grandiose dreams we envisioned. In our heads, we might hear Bob Seger:

“Beautiful loser
Where you gonna fall
When you realize, you just can’t have it all…”

(If your musical taste runs eclectic, you might also hear Beck warbling his first Grammy-nominated single:“I’m a loser baby … so why don’t you kill me.”)

What a waste of our precious time!

I know – we’ve heard it before, but we obviously need to hear it again. We can choose NOT to capsize our lives. Instead of feeling badly about the Giant Goals we HAVEN’T achieved, let’s focus on the Big Ones we HAVE accomplished. Let’s REALLY DO IT – let’s change our mindset and feel good – proud, even! Let’s stop beating ourselves up and sulking over the very few who have done more. Somebody always will.

Yes, dream big. Just remember: real joy comes from the experience and making an impact. Revel in it and sing Van Morrison:

“Hark, now hear the sailors cry,
smell the sea and feel the sky
let your soul & spirit fly….”

David Geller

About the Author

CEO David Geller co-founded the firm in 1991 and led the creation of Behavioral Wealth Management. Recognized on numerous prestigious "top financial advisor" lists, David is an in-demand speaker for professional groups and JOYN workshops. His writings have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Huffington Post.

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