Lessons of 2019 – April.
This is the fourth part in a new blog-series about the lessons I’ve learned this year. Read the full into in the January post, but basically I’m sharing the stand-out lessons from the last year in the hope that they will inspire and encourage others, and I also want to urge you all to be intentional about capturing and retaining the lessons that will make you a better person. Here is April’s lesson…
April’s Lesson: Dream big but start small.
This lesson has come to me from various sources and with slightly different wording, but I like Craig Groeschel’s take on it best: “Dream big but start small.” Most of us miss this through one of two mistakes: we’re either unwilling to dream big or unwilling to start small.
Some of us don’t want to even dream big in the first place. That’s the safe option, the one least likely to disappoint or hurt you. We’re afraid to set ourselves up for a failure by dreaming too big or reaching too far for something. So, we settle for small dreams instead, achievable little goals that are nice in their own way but they’re not what we were born to do.
Or we did dream big dreams and we gave up on them because of hardships or getting knocked back along the way, or because life just has a way of hammering big dreams down into smaller compromises through sheer busyness and relentless pressure from other things.
If that’s you, I want to encourage you to dream big. Don’t be afraid to go for it. What dream would you chase if you weren’t afraid? Don’t settle for smaller dreams.
Or there’s another group who do dream big but are unwilling to start small. We want the success straightaway and have flawed expectations about how dreams come true. We all want the glamour and euphoria of a big dream come true, but few of us are prepared to put in the hard yards to make it happen. We see dreams coming true for other people all the time: prizes being won, fortunes made, creative success, entrepreneurial breakthrough. But what we don’t see is the small start each of these people made. The long years of working for it, the endless hours of practice and the sacrifice of time, money and energy.
Big dreams don’t just happen. They don’t start big or go straight from vision to reality. They have to be worked for, and more often than not they are the result of hundreds, if not thousands of smaller steps. Everything starts small and then builds up. Those prepared to hang in there for the long-haul are those who will see it develop into something bigger.
As it says in the Bible, “Who dares despise the day of small things” (Zechariah 4:10). Worthwhile things start small. We shouldn’t despise small things because they are small, but instead should invest in them patiently so that they become the great things they could be. In Zechariah’s day it was the grand edifice of a new temple that needed first foundations: for you it might be the bestselling novel that needs the worst word on a blank page, or the transformational business idea that needs its first connections. Big dreams are made of small steps.
If that’s you, don’t be scared to start small, and don’t give up because you think these small beginnings will never amount to that big dream. They will, if you keep going. The prize comes to those who persevere.
I hope this post encourages you to chase your dreams and that it helps you stay the course during the waiting. We should all dream big but be prepared to start small. If you dream small, you’ll miss out on the big possibilities. If you don’t start small, that big dream will forever be out of reach. Dreams will remain just dreams unless we break them down into the small steps by which we realise them, but in the first place we simply need the courage to dream at all.
Dream big, but start small.
January’s Lesson: Don’t Worry About Tomorrow, God is Already There.
February’s Lesson: Inconsistent Parents Raise Insecure Children.
March’s Lesson: Thank God for what He is going to do, even though you don’t know how He is going to do it.
Come back tomorrow for May’s Lesson. Even better, subscribe to my blog by email and never miss another post.