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How to Think Big

Learn how you can set big goals and actually attain them.

By
Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #181

 

Emma wrote in, “I started a small dinner dating service on the island where I live. I want to expand to our sister island, but I'm too scared!”

I also have trouble thinking big. I just attended reunions at Harvard Business School and MIT in one weekend. They think big there. The boy who woke up face down in the garden after our big party? He’s now a Fortune 500 CEO. The girl who always played the Bard in Dungeons and Dragons? One of the world's 10 most powerful women, says the Wall Street Journal. And the dork who always had something stupid to say? A U.S. Senator. After I finished wallowing in feelings of inadequacy, I plied my fellow alumni with martinis and figured out how they approach the world.

How to Think Big with Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals

The rich and powerful set huge goals. For example: Say Europa wants to be Empress of the Solar System. She starts kidnapping scientists immediately to build an army of space androids to conquer the asteroid belt. She probably won’t succeed. But if she falls short, her android army can still conquer Australia. And that’s not too bad.

Life lesson: If you fall short of a big goal, you may still get further than you'd get with a modest goal.

Why You Should Set Huge Goals

Huge goals also make other goals seem achievable. If your goal is to open a second dinner dating location, you’re thinking “that's hard!.” But if your goal is to build an empire of 32,767 dinner dating services, by comparison, expanding to your second location seems almost trivial. It's not, of course, but mentally, it seems much easier.

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About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.