THE HUGE POWER OF THINKING BIG
Shoot for the Moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. This quote (by Norman Vincent Peale) might be a little cheesy, but it doesn't make it any less accurate. I feel like it's particularly fitting for this post, even though it was originally meant to be about positive thinking. To me, it really sums up the huge power of thinking big.
Some say that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. Full disclosure - I used to think that was a huge crock of shit! But in the past few months, I've come to really see it as the ultimate truth.
So today, I want to focus on the 90% called mindset. More specifically, how we set ourselves up for success by betting on the full extent of our individual potential. No half-assing it, no limiting ourselves. I know that sounds totally crazy. And that's because it is.
But before I take you on a journey of personal stories and thorough analysis of why you (and me) should always be thinking big, I wanna share one last quote with you guys. It's from an old Apple ad (1997 if we're being specific) and it goes like this: "Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."
I was obviously way too young in 1997 to remember many things, let alone a TV commercial. But the first time I saw this one, when I was in college, I had shivers. It's just the kind of stuff that makes you believe, even for one second, that you could make a difference. And truth is, you absolutely can. You just have to believe you can. And sometimes, even if you don't fully believe you can, you should still aim for it. And take action to get there. Who knows, you might very well surprise yourself.
To make my point here, I want to share a personal adventure with you guys. Because I think it's such a great example of reaching a goal you didn't even think was possible. A few months ago, Sasha and I went to Red Rock Canyon. I personally LOVE exploring deserts around California and this one is quite spectacular. After a few hours of walking around, taking pictures and having BBQ, I half-jokingly asked Sasha if he wanted to climb the main wall. For reference, that's a giant natural wall of rock, about 3000 feet high in elevation. He practically laughed at my face, saying it would probably take us a whole day.
I, for one, usually play it safe when it comes to big life projects, but I'm never one to refuse a physical challenge. So I bugged him a bit, and he finally agreed to go as far as we could and get back down before sunset. Smart man - he didn't want to get stuck on a giant rock, in the dark, in the middle of the desert, with no reception and a bunch of rattlesnakes. So up we went, the two of us and our little adventurous chihuahua rat boy.
After a while, we got a little thirsty, which made us realize we forgot our drinks next to the car. Rookie move. A little while later, we discovered that the side of that giant ass wall isn't made of solid rock, but more like pieces of dried clay that sunk like sand every time we took a step. The elevation got steeper and steeper, to the point where we had to take turns carrying the dog. If you've ever tried rock climbing without equipment, now imagine doing it while carrying a little live being. I'm telling you, the pressure is real. You keep thinking God forbid I drop that poor thing.
But then, after what felt like maybe a little less than an hour, something happened. I say it felt like less than an hour, because I have no idea how long we were actually up there, since neither of us had brought our phone. Sasha's was dead, and I didn't want to loose mine on the wall, so I felt it in the car. There was no reception anyway, so what the hell! But yeah, after a while, we looked down, and it felt like we were so high! Like, way higher than the entire wall looked from below... And we were only about halfway there.
Instead of being discouraging, that view was so motivating! Not only were we proud of how far we got (and so quickly!) but it gave us a taste of what the view must be like from up there, on top of the wall. The second part of our hike went by quite quickly, and before we knew it, we made it to the top. There's only one word to describe what we saw from up there: Breathtaking. But I don't wanna go too much into it, because this little story is not about the view on top of Red Rock Canyon. It's about what Sasha said when we were back at the base of it: It's crazy how sometimes, something seems so impossible, and once you start, it's so much easier than you thought. I can't believe we made it.
Sasha is a huge believer in having the right mindset, but I could tell even he was impressed to experience it in such a tangible way. We just proved to ourselves that we could do something that seemed impossible, just because we believed we could. At least I did, which brings me to an interesting little side note...
I feel like in personal life like in business, it's super important to have partners that fuel us, taking our ideas and making them bigger. You know how we all have that one friend with whom we talk and one up each other's crazy ideas, building each other up? Like one person will say let's take a trip together, the other person will say fuck yeah, let's do Mexico! And before you know it you're planning a full-blown vacation?
Well, get more of those friends. And don't settle for a life partner that's anything less than that. And if you're starting a business, make sure you do it with someone like that. Lastly, be that person for the people in your life as well. Because we all have moments of doubt, when we need someone else to drag us on that mountain. Sometimes I do it for Sasha, sometimes he does it for me - OK, most of the times.
Especially right now. I'm currently working on starting a big project. One that isn't really related to The Hungarian Brunette, it's a complete separate thing. But still in the blogging/influencer/style industry. When I had the idea, I was travelling by myself and I immediately called Sasha. I needed to tell someone, just in case I forgot. In the beginning, it was to be a tiny project to do as a sideline. Something small, non-disruptive and under the radar. But then Sasha asked me THE question: Why don't you find a way to include X and X in your project and make it a huge scalable business? Why would you invest so much time and energy into building something so small? Basically, he told me I had a really good idea but I wasn't thinking big enough.
And you know what? He was damn right. Now that I've reframed my mindset, I know I'm onto something massive that could really disrupt the industry. Something that could be magical and be my life-long project. And that's way more motivating that working so hard for something that will never have the opportunity to grow, because it's been framed to be small from the very start. By thinking big from the very beginning, I'm allowing myself to build this new project in a way that covers all the basis for potential growth... Even if I will start small in the beginning.
Which brings me to my final point: Thinking big doesn't mean you shouldn't start small. After all, Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook as a mere directory and Jeff Bezos started his business by selling cheap books on the internet. You might have heard of it, it's called Amazon. Rings a bell? Thought so. If you have any idea of how massive and avant-garde Amazon is, it's easy to imagine that Jeff Bezos didn't start his business by thinking small. And there are countless more examples out there of huge companies that started small. Because that's the smart way to do it: Launch fast, fail fast!
And here I said the magic word, the scariest of them all: FAIL. Most people who have a tendency to think small do so because of one thing only. Their fear of failure. But since failure is unavoidable at some point, wouldn't you rather fail quickly, when you have almost nothing on the line? Or later, when you've invested your whole life in your business and you have infrastructures and employees? I sure as shit know what my answer is!
So I guess the key here is: Think big, but start small. But never forget to think BIG picture somewhere in the back of your mind. So even if you reach halfway, you'll still be pretty damn high. Much higher than if you aimed low anyway. And truth is, once you start getting there, even just halfway there, you'll realize how far you actually came. And the motivation coming from that realization will probably give you the fuel to go the extra mile. Because once you start making the dominos fall, they're really hard to stop! How many dominos you have (or how big they are) is only determined by how big you're thinking!
I would love to hear your stories, guys. Please tell me about the times when thinking big really made the difference for you! I'd love to read and share your inspiring stories! You can always leave me a comment below, or come chat on Instagram!
Love, Jenny xx