In the midst of the chaos of home-schooling and working, I’ve decided to make time (not because I have time) for a 2021 BHAG: a BIG. HAIRY. AUDACIOUS. GOAL.
There are days where I am sitting in my office, attempting to concentrate, while little miss seven sits in the chair next with me. Today was one of those days: she hadn’t done her homework and froze in fear. She just needed connection and support. Not help – just physical presence (and occasional guidance).
I can’t concentrate!
Thankfully, I don’t usually share my office with her. On a normal day, she’ll do her schoolwork in her bedroom. But there are many days where she is out-of-sorts and needed “mummy time” and attention. Thankfully, I have the space to accommodate her and some days have no appointments, so I can attend to her.
But while working from home and overseeing online classes is hairy, it definitely not big and certainly not audacious!
In spite of the challenges this year holds, I still want to accomplish something monumental.
This year, I’m choosing to focus on translating the mBraining book from English to Spanish.
But the dream is bigger than just translating the book to Spanish, organising the publication and overseeing the entire process from start to finish. It’s a piece of a bigger puzzle.
Dreaming big is about seeing how this plays a part in creating something that I truly desire:
- I want to truly master mBraining: the neuroscience, the ancient wisdom, and the application in my daily life! I want to embody it, not just know it in my mind!
- By having it in Spanish, I open up a new world of possibilities for work in Spain and all of Latin America.
- I see myself, in the future, writing and publishing my own book. This process will teach me a whole lot of skills, including overcoming obstacles that I don’t even know exist at this moment in time!
Dreaming big gives me purpose and deep motivation.
They say that if you aim for the stars you will at least pass the moon! While falling short might not be glorious – perhaps it will be great. Perhaps I won’t make the deadline I’ve set for myself and will find myself still on this project next year. I hope not – but what if that was the worst that happened?
It’s more than just a high excitement and passing fancy: it’s a burning desire that stays lit, long after the initial elation has worn off! I’m still plowing my way through it, in spite of the challenges of balancing this with other challenges of life.
Scary: daring to be uncomfortable
Dreaming big is scary and uncomfortable. It challenges beliefs and limits, because in order to fulfill this goal, I have to grow past the limits of my excuses!
They say it’s lonely at the top – and I’ve been at that top where it’s lonely! While as an introvert, I like alone time – it’s hard to be in a place where you feel little support. As you grow, you leave people behind and it takes time to build new relationships & friendships that grow with you. You have to find those people and invest your time in building those relationships.
What others say is impossible, you redefine as “I’m possible” – difficult and challenging, but no longer impossible. Scary nonetheless. You find yourself doing more than you ever before believed possible, passing your personal limits.
It’s uncomfortable because you fail. You brush yourself off and get back on your feet, only to fail again. Hopefully better! You are no longer starting “from scratch”. Now you start from experience and graduated from the school of hard knocks.
Make this fear your friend and companion, rather than your enemy. Allow the fear to motivate you to take action: each and every day. Know that fear shows the way: right through the middle of what you are feeling is usually the shortest distance to reach your goal!
Audacious: Who do I have to become?
Daring to face your fears makes you audacious. It creates within you a courage to become more than you’ve ever been.
You will have challenges and obstacles that right now you cannot imagine if you choose to follow a BHAG. And you have no idea who you will become as you face those challenges.
Audacious you will find new talents and develop new skills and abilities. You’ll become someone who works harder and more consistently.
But you have no idea who is watching you and being inspired: it’s not just your children!
“All the greatest men are maniacs. They are possessed by a mania which drives them forward towards their goal. The great scientists, the philosophers, the religious leaders – all maniacs. What else but a blind singleness of purpose could have given focus to their genius, would have kept them in the groove of purpose. Mania … is as priceless as genius.”— Ian Fleming
A new awareness
In order to develop the new habits necessary to reach your destination, you will develop an awareness of those habits and personality traits that are getting in the way and holding you back.
You’ll notice the gaps in your network and support structure when you need to ask for help and you don’t know who to ask. And in order to pursue that dream and goal, you will have to expand your network, build new relationships and fill in those gaps.
This same awareness helps you notice “where the time goes”, so that you change your priorities. Those little time wasters suddenly pale to insignificance, and you stop giving them attention. Whether you start working to a schedule, time-blocking or just improve your focus: how you invest your time takes on a new meaning.
Perhaps the most important part of awareness is that you listen to yourself – that quiet inner voice. You rise above the people-pleasing and what others might think of you, and you start to pay attention to “this is what I truly desire and where my energy needs to be directed”. You become the hero you’ve been looking for.
The journey, not the destination
As you work towards a big goal, bad moments are simply that: moments. Even bad days, when you don’t get anything done, are just one day. And rather than give up because of one bad day, BHAGs create within us a resilience to continue.
This journey will bring out your creativity in ways that you couldn’t imagine: because you begin to recognise that creativity is essential in problem-solving. Creativity is so much more than art, poetry, or prose! It shows up in how your organise and how you deal with challenges.
Perhaps you start small: exercising daily for 15 minutes, taking time to write daily pages in journalling, or making time for meditation. As you do this, you start to see the small results, which motivate to do more.
The reality is that translating 350 pages of a book is like eating an elephant: You do this one small bite at a time. I’m developing consistency, rather than allowing myself to do it “when I feel like it”. And I’m seeing the benefits of many small incursions, rather than trying to do big chunks.
Much like riding a bike or driving a car: having a BHAG teaches you to focus on where you want to go. Look in the direction of the results you desire and drive in THAT line. As you alter your focus, you look at all of life through a different lens, from another perspective. Priorities take shape as you focus on the desired outcome.
Along the way, you discover what you are truly made of. That’s what a BHAG will do for you!