Archive for October, 2014

Think big and success will follow

October 5, 2014

Any achievement is preceeded by conceptualization, visualization and then followed by action. If you think big, you will achieve big. I have found time and again that whatever you think – big or small – the universe conspires alongwith you to make it happen. I am not saying there are spiritual forces at work here, but by thinking about something, you open up your mind to observing possibilities and opportunities that will get you there.

Have you ever noticed at times, when you learn a new word, you suddenly start seeing it everywhere, as if by coincidence. The frequency of your encountering the word hasn’t changed, but by learning it, you have now trained your mind to be cognizant and aware of it and hence you now spot it far more often than you did before. The same principle applies to all our thoughts. If you think you can achieve something, really believe it, visualize it, dream about it all the time – then your mind will automatically, sub conciously and conciously spot opportunities and solutions that otherwise would have been invisible to you.

Here is another interesting thing I have observed. Whether you pursue something big or small, you will face hurdles and problems that will require creativity and effort to solve. And the amount of effort it takes your brain to solve problems you encounter when you are pursuing something big versus pursuing something small is nearly the same. Infact your brain is just like any other muscle and once you have routinely exercised it to solve bigger problems, the incremental effort required to solve the next big problem is negligible. Whatever you practice routinely becomes second nature. I have seen this on many occasions in my life. For eg – We hire many software developers each year, and one area we test aggressively is the ability to solve complex logical and analytical algorithmic problems. Time and again we have seen that this is not a test in capability. The students who excel at problem solving are merely the ones who chose to spend more of their time on solving complex problems, as opposed to simpler ones. The difference was not in working harder, but in what they chose to work on. You can choose to spend your time and your life “thinking small” or “thinking big” and both will take the exact same effort but yield completely different results. Sergey Brin, Larry page, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs and many others are no different from the rest of us. They have a similar physiology and a similarly gifted mind. However they chose to spend their life thinking about and solving bigger problems and hence achieved bigger results.

Lastly, stretching beyond your limits is what expands your limits. We know this principle well when it comes to building muscle. It is those last reps, and that extra weight, just beyond our phsyical limit, that actually builds our muscle. Our brain works in the same way. If each time, you do not stretch yourself, incrementally beyond your previous achievements, you are not expanding your capability. Thinking big does that automatically. It stretches you beyond your present capabilities and makes the insurmountable achievable.

In summary – just the exercise of thinking big increases your odds of success due to –

  • Automatically opening your mind to spotting solutions which were otherwise invisible to you
  • Causing you to spend your time in solving complex problems as opposed to simpler ones thus exercising your brain and tuning it to being able to solve complex problems easier
  • Stretching you beyond your present capabilities and expanding your limits

I will leave you with some nice quotes on thinking big –

“Most individuals over-estimate what they can achieve in one year, and under-estimate what they can achieve in 10 years”
– Bill Gates

“If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big”
– Donald Trump

“Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution.”
– David Schwartz

“I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.”
– Marissa Mayer

“The universe has no restrictions. You place restrictions on the universe with your expectations”
– Deepak Chopra

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
– Walt Disney

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