The Art of Dreaming Bigger
Ep. 132
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    This week, I wanted to talk about the art of dreaming bigger and why it is so important. The reason you aren’t clear about what you want in life stems from the fact that you’re constantly limiting yourself. You’ve stopped dreaming. You’ve settled for what’s “realistic” even though deep down you know there is more. Part of finding that dream life is letting yourself set bigger goals to create a clear vision of what you want. You need to allow yourself to want things that seem intangible and then create small, actionable goals to reach them. Let me teach you how.
Show Transcript
Hello, everybody. Welcome back to another episode. I am so excited to have you here at my first solo episode of 2021. I want to thank you guys so much for all the kind messages you send me. I'm so glad that the podcast is helping. And if you want to do me a favor, I would love if you shared it with someone, if it does help you, if it has been changing your mindset, I promise you there's somebody in your life who also hates their job, given that 80% of people do, I'm sure that, you know, other people that could use some of this and not feel so alone or crazy or stuck. So the best way that you can help me and the podcast is to just share it. You can text it to a friend. You can tag me if you post it on social media.

I love to see that and reshare it. Yeah, I would really appreciate that. So thanks for that today. I want to talk about the art of dreaming Baker and why it's so important. I am doing the goal-setting workshop this month. And so I figured maybe I will spend a couple of episodes really diving into how to set better goals and visions and just allowing yourself to want for things because it's so hard for so many of us. And it really is a lot of the problem of why you aren't clear about the thing that you want in your life. So today I want to jump into how to dream bigger and why it's so important when we're younger, there is always something exciting, waiting for us in the future, right? We are always dreaming of the next bigger thing. When you're in high school, you are dreaming about college or the job you're going to have or what you're going to become.

When you're in college, you start thinking about the impact you're going to leave. When you get out into the workforce, you are dreaming about marriage and kids, but at some point maybe, you know, in our twenties are in our thirties, we just kind of stopped. And that might be because the dreams that we had, didn't turn out the way that we wanted. And we feel a little bitter or burned by, you know, dreaming so big and ending up somewhere that maybe we didn't want to be for whatever reason, because of the way our society is set up. We just end up in this day to day, year to year rut. And there might be small goals here and there, but there aren't these big dreams that we have for our lives. There's no real wish. You know, it's just like what? Get to retirement. And then maybe you will enjoy your life.

Or maybe you focus on that one vacation a year. So that's it like you have this one precious life that you've been given and it's relegated to one vacation a year, like a one week period or a two week period and a couple of moments here and there, right? Maybe we look forward to the holidays or something like that. But there isn't that excites us. That motivates us. That gets us up, you know, in the morning ready to hit the ground running. We don't have that type of drive because we've stopped dreaming. We sort of have just resigned ourselves to this, this is life. I'll just take my piece of the pie. I'll just keep going through the motions. And it's fine. You may have goals, but again, you're just looking for incremental change. Maybe I'll lose some weight this year, or I want to make a little bit more money.

Maybe I'll go for that promotion and pay off my debt or whatever that dream is. But we wonder why we aren't motivated to kind of go after it. It's nothing that excites us. So many of us don't have hobbies. We don't chase our curiosities. We don't let ourselves be full humans, right? Multifaceted humans who have desires and wants and interests and things that we just allow ourselves to look after because they are fun or because in some way they're going to fulfill us. We've just decided that work isn't fun. I'm an adult. I have responsibilities. I just have to get it done. And you know, I'm going to look forward to that glass of wine at the end of the night or getting to Friday so that I can lay around and watch Netflix. And that's the totality of, you know, decades of my life.

And one of the biggest things I see when people come to me because the biggest reason people come to me is that they know they're unhappy, but they have no idea what they want to do. They just know that they hate what they are doing and they don't even really know who they are anymore. They've sort of lost touch with who they are and what it is that they want when they're not to all the voices around them from their family society, you know, all the other stuff. And I always say, the reason that you can't figure it out is because you're playing too small. I can't tell you how many people that I talk to that start out telling me what they want and preface it with something like, well, I don't need a lot. I don't actually even care about money and it's not that I need the job to be, you know, whatever X, Y, and Z.

I just like, it would be nice if I can make 80,000. If I could replace my salary, if I could make six figures or a hundred thousand, I know that won't happen right away. Or I know in this career that I want to go to, that's not really possible. I don't need all of that. I can kind of scale back, you know? And you can't even express what you want without trying to brace yourself for the fact that it won't happen. You've already decided that it's not possible and that you don't need that much. And that you're okay with dislike slice of the pie that I have. I'm just fine. It's okay. I don't need too much. I don't want to be greedy. I'm just going to take this thing and be grateful. Now there's a difference of having gratitude for the things that you have and really delighting in your life and loving your life and still wanting more.

We have this misconception that if you are striving for more if you want to push yourself if you want to blow your own mind if you want to see how full and amazing and incredible of a life you can have that somehow you're saying like, you're not happy where you're you are. And that couldn't be further from the truth. I am unbelievably grateful for my life. I honestly wake up most days and think, how is it possible that I can be as blessed? How is it that I can have a life that is so perfect for me? And that doesn't mean I don't have negative emotions, or I don't have days where I wake up with anxiety because I do. But I'm just saying I really, really live into the practice of gratitude because I have seen how much it changes my life.

And it's just generally the way that I want to live into it. But let me tell you, I have some really big audacious goals because I don't need to get to those goals in order to make me happy. I am happy now. I would be perfectly happy staying here, but I know that I have one life and I just want to see what I can do. I want to see how much I can push myself. I want to say how much I can grow. I want to see what I can experience. What is out there that other people get to experience that I haven't. And why is it that they can? And I can't, when I started asking those questions of myself, when I started realizing I don't need those dreams in order to make me happy, I can be fully happy where I am and still want that everything changed for me.

And so I want you to take this attitude of, I'll just be happy for this slice of pie that I have. And I won't seek anymore. Because if for whatever reason, if I have more of a full life and somehow that's taking away from other people, or that's going to make other people resent me, or that's going to mean that I'm not happy in my life. I want you to put that aside because it's a story you're telling yourself. Now, the reason that we do that, the reason we tell ourselves that story, the reason we dream really small, the reason we become more quote, unquote realistic is because, well, two reasons, the first is self-preservation. You don't want to feel hurt if you don't get to that thing. So we've all had dreams that didn't turn out, right?

Or we have been given the message that if you try something and you fail, that's bad. So you should not go after things that you think you're going to fail at, right? Even well-meaning messages, let's say when you are younger and you try out for the soccer team and you don't make it right. If you're going to try it again, your parents might've said, Oh honey, why don't you, why don't you try basketball? They don't give you the message of, yeah, keep trying, how much more do you need to practice? Who do you need to become in order to get on that soccer team? What do you need to do in order to make sure that you make it, like, try again? What's the harm. The harm is, is just your ego, right? It's just the feeling that you're going to have, the disappointment that you have to sit with.

If you try and you don't make it again. And so that's why we do it. We've all had it. And so we've all decided that, well, I don't want to feel that discomfort. I don't want to feel that disappointment of going after something and then not getting it. So, you know what, I'm just not going to go after it. I'm just going to tell myself I'm going to convince myself that I don't even want it. I'm fine with what I have. That's it, this is good for me. I'm grateful. And then we wonder why so many of us are restless and frustrated and feel like you have a deep knowing within you that there's something more that you want more. I mean, I can't tell you how many people. I hear that from where it's like, I don't know what it is, but this can't be it.

This is not the way my life is supposed to be. And I just know that like, this is drama is great. It's fine. It pays the bills, but there's something more for me. You have that inkling. And the reason that you can't get there is that you're not letting yourself even dream of it because you're so scared of the disappointment, whether you get it or not. And the way I've started looking at my life and the way I see people now. And when I, when I talk to them, it's like, there are two types of people. There are people who will shoot for the moon so that they can land among the stars. Right. Getting to the moon is not the goal. Think: How big can I dream? And how much can I go after it to see where it's going to take me?

That's just the guiding light. That's my North star. And I'm going to go for this huge, big audacious goal. And whether I get there or not, it means nothing about my self-worth. I don't need to attach a story to it. I don't have to think that failure means there's something wrong with me. I can just decide that this is a goal that's going to help me grow. It's going to help mold me. It's going to teach me a ton and we'll see where I land. Right. So you either are like that, or you're like, I'm going to shoot for the top of this tree because I know for sure I can get there because I know how, right. I've climbed a tree before I've watched other people. You can watch it on YouTube. I'm pretty sure I can figure out with enough training.

And, you know, I can put some pads under me if I fall. I'm pretty sure I can get to that top of the tree. So I'm just going to go for that. Listen, there's no right or wrong way. I just know that when you get to that top of the tree, it's not going to be enough. You're still going to feel like, okay, this is a beautiful view, but I'm pretty sure I can get higher. I would like to see it from higher than the top of this tree. And so you just have to start deciding what type of person you want to be in the last couple of years in my time, like in entrepreneurship and seeing people that have created incredible businesses, like multiple six, figure seven, figure eight-figure businesses. What has been the most surprising thing for me is that I don't mean to say this in a mean way, and it's going to sound to me, but there's nothing special about them, they're not smarter than most people.

They're not more equipped. Lots of them don't have any more resources. I mean, some of them do not. There isn't a thing of privilege, but they're just bold enough to go for it. I remember the first time I had an experience with this and it was actually what led me to entrepreneurship because I'll talk later in another episode about kinda my mindset before I ever jumped into entrepreneurship. But if you know me, I was the person who told you that you, I would never go into business. I never cared about money. I hated everything that had to do with business. I refused in law school to take any business, law classes. I don't know. I was just like, I'm not interested in this. And I had just basically shut off that entire world for myself, for whatever reason, whatever stories I had going on.

I talk about this when I quit law and I didn't have any idea what I wanted to be doing. And I started going to meetups and I started going to startup tech events. It was kind of like shark tank types, dial meetups, where people were pitching. And it was just really exciting and really fun. And it was so fun to watch people have products that they were so excited about. And I just remembered after going to them for a while, I kept being so astounded by the people that were pitching because I would talk to them. And then I would think to myself like I'm smarter than that guy. And I'm not trying to say this in a mean way. If you're in the startup scene, you know, that it is heavily dominated by the bro types. As I like to call them young, overly confident in men, and that's nothing wrong.

I mean, that's why they're starting all these companies because they have the audacity to go after it. Right. And obviously there's a lot of socialization that goes in that. And there's a lot of it in the patriarchy how they are basically given that confidence from when they are born, but it doesn't matter it's that they have thoughts that lead them to want to get on that stage and think that they can ask for millions of dollars in funding and think that they have the qualifications to run a company when they have literally done nothing that qualifies them for that. And every other person who, like I knew at the time I went to a law school that I was surrounded by the most brilliant minds. And so I know people that are so qualified and smart, and yet they're just in their own heads.

It was about what is possible for them, or like, Oh, I don't have all of the experience for that. Or I can't do that. I don't know what I'm doing. And that's the way I was. And it wasn't until I started being around those people, thinking like, what do they have that I don't have? There's nothing that these people have that makes them more qualified to do this than me. At the time I had a law degree, I had proven to myself that I was smart enough to have a pretty good career. That was the first time that I started actually even entertaining the idea of like, maybe I could start a business. Would I ever want to? When I started thinking that way, and I started allowing myself to dream a little bit more and more and more, and that has obviously changed over the last six years.

And now I dream super big. And again, what I've learned from going from my photo booth business to online space and now being in masterminds and in groups with tons of online entrepreneurs, yes, there's a very brilliant people. And then there's also people who are just willing to put in the hard work. They're just willing to go after that dream. They just know that it's possible if it's possible for other people, why isn't it possible for them? And so they don't limit themselves. And I'm telling you, I know it's easy to brush off and it sounds cliche or it's... Anything is possible. And we want to believe that we know other people have some quality and I promise you that they don't, it's all a thought, it's a decision. It's just a decision to say, like, I can figure this out. There's no reason why other people can have these great businesses online.

And I can't do it. Like everything is online. I can figure it out if they figured it out. And so even why I mentioned my impossible goal on the last episode of last year, where I did a year-end review, I talked about how my impossible goal this year is to have a million dollar business. Now I actually am almost certain that I'm not going to hit that this year. And in that episode, I talked about the fact that like, it doesn't matter, the point of the goal is not to actually hit the goal. Right? The point of the goal is to push me to think about who I have to become in order to have a million dollar business it's to push me, to take actions that, if I was somebody that was running a million dollar business, what would I be doing? What team would I have in place?

What offers would I be putting out there? How much would I be charging people? What value would I be providing? Right. I say that goal one to show you that the point isn't that I'm going to get there, like I need to get to a million dollar business because then I don't know, somehow I can feel better about myself or I won't have any problems because I know that's untrue. I'm going to get there and have the same brain and have the same worries and probably have a lot more stress and have a lot more worries because I have a whole new set of problems. But the point of the goal is to get me to grow. In addition to that, the reason I say it is because until I started hearing my mentors and my teachers talk about things like this, I didn't even think it was possible to dream about that.

So until I started hearing people say, I'm going to have a million dollar business, I'm going to have a $10 million business, or I'm going to have a hundred million dollar business. I remember thinking, are we to say that, are we to want that? Because I was very much of the camp of like, well, if I could just make a hundred thousand dollars, it's fine. Like, that's fine. I can be, you know, balance my time with my kids and I can bring in that income. And that is fine. It is fine. Right. But I knew deep down, if I can have a a hundred thousand dollar business, why can't I have a million dollar business? Why can't I grow it like that? It's just a series of steps and skills that I have to acquire. And whether it takes me one year or three years, or five years, or 10 years who cares.

Right. And it doesn't mean my goal won't change in that time. But if I'm committed to seeing how big of a life can I have, what rooms can I get myself into? What community can I connect with? How much value can I provide? What impact can I have? What experiences am I going to want to have? I start dreaming bigger and bigger and bigger. And it's amazing to me when I first started on this journey, I remember listening to a Tony Robbins tape and he put 10 minutes on the timer and said, I want you to write down all of your goals for your life in all areas. I remember after a minute, I had nothing else to write. And I was like, Hey, are people still writing? What else is there? I wrote a goal, you know, for my personal life, maybe for my health.

And then I wrote a goal for business and I said, okay, I'm done. And I think about that now. And I think how limited I was thinking how limited I thought the possibilities were like, I just will take this piece of the pie. And it wasn't until I started expanding and really realizing that there is no limit, I can experience whatever I want. If I'm willing to put in the work, if I'm willing to take the time, if I'm not in a rush to get there, if I don't delude myself into thinking that getting there is going to somehow make my life magical. And you know, I have to get there because that destination is great rather than I'm getting there. Because in that journey, I'm going to change who I want to be. And it's going to make me more into the person that I want.

I could now write for an hour about the goals that I have, because I have so many in so many aspects. And here's the thing I know for you too. And the people I talk to and the people I coach, I see it. If you just give yourself permission, if you stop limiting yourself, if you stop thinking that it's ridiculous to want something. If you stop putting that shame on wanting something and you start opening yourself up to what is it that I actually would want if I could have anything, if there was no limit, if I didn't care about time or resources or anything else, what would I want to experience? You could start coming up with some pretty amazing things. And that's the first step in figuring out what it is you actually want out of your light. And here's the thing.

When you start doing that, you run into the second reason why we don't set these big goals, because our brain loves to go to the, how, like, I don't know how to do that, right? Let's say I want to have a million dollar business. I have no idea how I'm going to do that. And that's usually where we stop. We decide, well, that's crazy because I don't have the first clue. So I'm not going to pick that goal. Our brain loves to live in confusion and overwhelm. And when you don't know how you're going to do something, right, you instantly feel overwhelmed. It feels too big. So we shut down because that keeps you safe. Your brain's only job is to keep you safe and alive. It does not care if you have the most amazing, brilliant life. And so I want you to understand that nobody knows the how, of course you don't know the, how, if you knew the, how you would have already done it by now, right?

If I knew how to have a million dollar business, I wouldn't be here talking about having a million dollar business and would just build it. And when you think about that, think of all the people where like, something comes naturally to them. Somebody let's say somebody is just naturally athletic and really into fitness and works out all the time. Right? They typically don't have goals. That's like, I want to work out three times a week. Right. They, I mean, they already know how they're going to get themselves to do that. They don't have to work past all the mental block. They already work out five days a week, right? So you don't end up setting that goal. We set goals for things that we are not good in, or that we need growth in. And that don't maybe come to us naturally that we don't know the, how so.

I don't want you to stop because you don't know how to get to that big audacious goal when you are stuck in figuring out the, how you don't even let yourself get to the what. And this is what I see is that the biggest problem in finding clarity is that people can't tell me what they want to do because their brain so quickly goes to, well, that's not possible because you don't know how to do that. So I'm not even going to suggest that as something that I want. And if you can just put the how on pause for a little bit, you're in still going to go there and that's fine. It's still going to freak out. That's what brains do. But if you decide that I don't need to know the how, if I didn't care about the how, if the, how would reveal itself later, if I would learn the, how, if I could guarantee that I would learn the, how, what would I want to do go to that place?

Because from there you will start uncovering the dreams that you have within you. They're there. They've just been buried for a number of years, right? They've been buried under all the cynicism and doubt and fear and social programming and everything else where people told you it's not possible and that you've hit it. Every one of you has an interest or a curiosity or things that you think would be so amazing to experience, but you haven't let yourself dream. And until you're really ready to allow yourself to open up to all the possibilities and allow yourself to dream bigger, you're not going to uncover the thing that you want, because you're going from, Oh, I'll go from this little slice of my pie to just a little bit more like, I'll just go to the next step. But the next step is not going to make you happy because it's not that much different.

I see this all the time where people say, oh I'll just get a job doing this other thing that's only slightly different than what I'm doing now. And hopefully, things will magically change and I'll be happy. And then they get to that new job and realie that it's more of the same. Before you start jumping around I want you to start deciding what you want to experience in your life and what you want to go after. There's a term called lifestyle design. And it's about figuring out what you want for your life and your lifestyle and then purposefully desigining it. If you don't know of the Happy Lawyer Project, you should follow Okeoma on Instagram because she is one the best examples of people leaning into lifestyle design.

She is all about lifestyle design and I've learned so much from following her, but she is a lawyer. And as I said, I mean, she runs the happy lawyer project. And she really started out on this mission to show people that, you can be happy in your job. And she was in a big law firm in New York and her and her husband just did, started sitting down in deciding what they wanted for their long-term vision, where they wanted to live, what they wanted their kids to grow up in what experiences they wanted to have. And I'm going to try to get her on the podcast, the Sierra, because I think her story is so amazing, but she went from having debt, living in New York, working at a big law firm to taking steps towards the life that she wanted. And the life that they wanted was to live abroad, live in a tropical area with their kids.

And she has tons of other dreams of opening up a hotel and doing all these other things. And she slowly started working at it. They moved to a, to Dallas where the cost of living was less so they could pay off their debt. They have since moved to Costa Rica. And she has a job at a startup as a lawyer. She works remotely from Costa Rica. And I mean, she's living the dream life that she wants. Her kids are out in the jungle all the time. They are out in nature. They're at the beach all the time, and she's still working as a lawyer and she's still working towards her dreams of building the hotel that she wants. And she's just a great example. I think so many people have just decided that, no, this is it. I'm a lawyer and I have debt.

So I have to stay in this situation. And I just wanted to tell you that that's just a decision you've made full stop. Even if you have debt, even if you have kids, even if you have a spouse that doesn't want whatever, if you haven't had these conversations, if you don't sit down and decide what you want now, not everybody's dream is going to be to move to Costa Rica, right. But sitting down and saying, what is my dream for my life or this one precious life that I have, what do I want to experience? How do I want to live? How do I want my kids to live instead of living on autopilot of what everybody else has told me, I have to do. I want you all to spend some time dreaming Baker. I want you to think about if I didn't have to think about the, how, what would I go after?

If I could design my dream life, what would it look like? If I could work on things that would excite me? What is my dream day look like? And here's a caveat. I think a lot of times we think it's sitting on the beach and drinking pina coladas all day, and that's not typically it. I just want to let you know that we all get bored very quickly. And I think a lot of us that are maybe burned out off work. That sounds great. And it would be great for two weeks a month maybe. And then your brain needs growth and it needs challenges and it needs to be working and not working in the sense of working in a job. But I'm just saying, working towards something. And so I would push you to say, if your dream should be to have rest and relaxation and vacations, but I wouldn't stop it.

I just want to lay on a beach all day because I can almost guarantee you that is not what you want to do ultimately after the second month. But think about what it is that you want to be experiencing, what it is that you want to be going after, decide for yourself, decide if you weren't restricted by what your family wanted or what everybody else wanted. What is it that you would want to do? And then start getting to work going after that. And we will talk more about how to do that in coming episodes. I hope you guys dream big. I hope you shoot for the moon because you are entitled to the most amazing mind-blowing life. And I promise you, you can have it.

If you're willing to go for it. I hope this helped. And I will see you guys on the next episode. Thank you so much for listening. I can't tell you how much it means to me. If you liked the podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes. It'll help other people find the show. If you want to connect or reach out, follow along on Instagram and Facebook at lessons from a quitter and on Twitter at Twitter podcasts, I would love to hear from you guys and I'll see you on the next episode.