In Good to Great, Jim Collins talks about having Big Hairy Audacious Goals—a goal so huge that it takes your breath away.
Admit it. You have one, even if you’ve never shared it with anyone else.
There’s the problem.
It’s time to cast your fears aside and reveal your big dream to the world. No matter what it is—your business plan, your retirement goal, your dream job—start telling people about it. The first step is to take that dream and turn it into a concrete goal by writing it down. At this point it doesn’t matter if you’ve got all the details worked out, what matters is that you’re taking the first steps toward turning your abstract, amorphous dream into a workable reality.
You can change the intangible to the tangible by giving it voice, giving it life. This is what writing it down and sharing it with others accomplishes. Writing out your dream helps you begin to see what is and isn’t possible and lets you know where you’re falling short of reaching your dream. Words give shape and meaning to your thoughts, setting those thoughts up to be shared with others.
Sharing your dream with others helps you formulate a plan to fill in the gaps where you’re lacking, or where you need a broader perspective.
Is it scary? Absolutely! You’re making yourself vulnerable by revealing something that may have been a secret, so make sure you choose people you trust, people you look up to, and people you believe have the skills and knowledge to help you launch your dream.
Getting it On Paper (or Screen)
Getting started is often the hardest part of writing down your big idea. Writer’s block is a real issue that’s much easier to overcome than most people think. Here’s how:
Give yourself permission to make mistakes.
When you begin writing down your goals or ideas, don’t buy into the lie that tells you that it’s got be perfect the first time. The whole point of this exercise is to hash out your idea in ways that you’ve never done before because it’s been locked up tight in your head.
So stop right now and get out a piece of paper and write down your big idea or goal.
One of the hallmarks of a Big Hairy Audacious Goal is that it’s long term, meaning you’ll be living and breathing that goal for years to come. One of the keys to reaching your ultimate goal is to realize that you’ll be constantly recreating yourself, the steps toward your goal, and the goal itself in the days ahead.
You will change and grow as a person as the years go on, so doesn’t it stand to reason your goals and ideas will morph and grow as well? If your goals don’t change over time, that’s stagnation—a certified goal killer.
The constant need for change is another scary part of having big ideas. Just realize that you have to make a commitment to your goal far beyond the first few steps. You have to be willing to take the next hundred, then the next thousand, then the next several million.
Last of all, convince yourself of the fact that you should never truly arrive at your goals. Sure, you may set a goal for yourself and eventually reach it, but hopefully you’ll have already set a new, more audacious goal long before you get there. Never stop moving toward the next goal.
I’m Jeff M. Miller, and I help ordinary people who are stuck in a rut change their behaviors so they can be extraordinary. I’m an entrepreneur who retired from my full-time job in my early 40s to work from home. I’m a financial counselor, life coach, graphic designer, and passionate believer in helping others improve their lives a little more each day.