by Rhoberta Shaler, Ph.D.
“Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir your blood… MAKE BIG PLANS. Aim high in hope and work.” So wrote Daniel H. Burnham in the last century. The big plans are important. They capture your vision. The next step is to break them down into “do-able” chunks, chunks that can be done in even one day. That is what gives you a definite sense of accomplishment, isn’t it? The big plans are necessary, the baby steps, imperative!
My daughter shared a marketing tip with me the other day. She said, “Go big, or go home.” I thought about this quite a bit as it seemed so brash and arrogant. Great slogan, but what about the little guy? Then, it all made sense. Each person has the opportunity to define “big” for himself or herself. If we are to live our dreams and visions about how we want our lives to be, how we want to be remembered, what our contribution to our daily world could be, it IS true. Go big or go home!
Have a vision. Have a master plan for your whole life as you presently see it. What would you like to be doing, experiencing, being or having in your life, sometime in your life? What are the things that are most important, significant and valuable to you? That’s big!
After you have created the “big picture” then you can decide what you would like to create immediately and pay attention to that. Timing is only one difference between short- and long-term goals. Another important difference is that short-term goals lead directly to long term goals that fit perfectly into the master plan. And the good news is….you are in charge! You can change your master plan, and your approach to it, as your interests and priorities shift and grow. You are not locked in. A master plan is a plan for joy and passion, not a plan for duty and obligation.
It is useful to break your goals down into three categories: current, near future and far future. Once you have put your future goals into your subconscious mind, they are begun. It is not only action that is required. Keeping your goals in the forefront of your mind is key. Thoughtfully craft your current goals. Know how you will measure your success and plan for it.
Think big! Think limitlessly. Think “out of the box.” People are often limited by their minds unwillingness to stretch. Remember what Napoleon Hill said: “…if you can conceive it, and believe it, you can achieve it!”
If you find yourself surrounded by people who are “thinking little,” it might be difficult to find support and acceptance for your big plans. You may have to include some new associates who want to play “big,” too! You have probably heard that, if you want to run with the big dogs, you have to get off the porch! Jump off that porch and get running!
Reflect on the biggest view of your life — your master plan. Is it big enough for you? Does it cause you to stretch to get your arms around it? If not, think a little bigger and see where it takes you. If it does, be sure you have planned the route that will get you there. Then, follow it. As you embark on each task today, ask yourself, “Am I on the road to my vision by doing this?” If not, make a correction.
Go big or go home! That one little phrase keeps me on my toes.
Other great resources for career and life planning:
- Using a Personal Mission Statement to Chart Your Career Course
- Using a SWOT Analysis in Your Career Planning
- Workplace Values Assessment: Do You Know the Work Values You Most Want in a Job and an Employer — and Does Your Current Employment Reflect Those Values?
Questions about some of the terminology used in this article? Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Rhoberta Shaler, Ph.D., is a motivational keynote speaker, corporate team builder and executive coach from San Diego, CA. She is the creator of The Consociate Way: Promoting Performance & Peace in Your Workplace. Improve Your Workplace Relationships with People Skills for Sustainable Success! Rhoberta works with organizations and individuals to improve communication & cooperation, build & strengthen teams, and manage conflict, anger and difficult people. Call her at SPEAKING ABOUT WORK, 1-877-728-6464 or email at RS@SpeakingAboutWork.com. Visit: SpeakingAboutWork.com for further information and free ezines. © Rhoberta Shaler, PhD All rights reserved worldwide.
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