The Danger Of Thinking Big

I understand that by saying what I’m saying, I’m bucking a lot of conventional wisdom as it relates to  the self-help field. In all truth, I’ve been going through what I call a “deprogramming.” That is — I’ve been on a mission to unlearn most of the stuff that I learned during my time of studying the self-help field. I’ve already tackled the so-called Law of Attraction, now I’m gonna tell you why “thinking big” as they call it is actually detrimental. Why have I been on this mission? For two reasons. #1: Studying that foolishness did absolutely nothing for me. I didn’t begin to see any results in my life until I let go of the self-help garbage and began to use a common sense approach. #2: When I drinking the kool-aid of the self-help field, I used to write a lot about the teachings of that particular field, so I feel obligated to correct some things.

The question that you may naturally have is: “What’s wrong with thinking big? Surely, you have to think big in order to get to a higher place than you currently are.” On one end, you’re right but only half right. We’ve been taught by the motivational field for many years to set some big goal, to focus on it obsessively and seek ways to accomplish it. That sounds fine but haven’t you noticed that a lot of people have bought into this stuff yet very few are actually successful? You see these people flooding social media timelines with motivational quotes and so on yet it’s pretty doubtful that these people have accomplished anything except being able to quote verbatim popular motivational quotes. There’s a reason for that. While these people may be thinking big, just as I was during my kool-aid drinking days, they’re not thinking realistically. When I say thinking realistically, I’m not referring to the typical defeatist attitude that is so prevalent in our present society, I’m referring to the ability to apply objective analysis. You know, that “realistic” attitude that encourages conformity instead of thinking outside of the box….I’m not referring to that.

To illustrate my point, I remember a conversation I was having with a few people about this very subject, that of thinking big. I mentioned how detrimental I think the whole idea is and one guy challenged me…because he obviously didn’t understand what I was saying. My point was that (and the point of this article) — it’s perfectly okay to set a big goal but you won’t get there unless you do it gradually by setting small goals.

For instance, let’s say that you want to lose 30 lbs. Do you go from your current weight to -30 lbs.? Of course not, you do it one pound at a time. In your case, you may have to set a goal to lose 5 lbs. first, then 5 more lbs. and so forth. The reason being that it would be pretty difficult to see yourself going from where you currently are to where you want to be considering how big of a leap it is, but it is easier to see yourself as 5 lbs. lighter. Trying to jump from your current weight to losing 30 lbs. may be a daunting task, causing you to have very little belief and confidence which will lead to you eventually giving up.

The same goes for making money. If your goal is to reach a million dollars, it’d be pretty difficult to see yourself having made a million dollars if you’re starting from almost the bottom. It’s cool to have a goal to make a million but to get there, it’d make more sense to set smaller goals. For instance, why not go for $10,000 first? After reaching that goal, go for $100,000…and on it goes. If a person suffers from impatience and greed, then setting gradual goals as I’ve mentioned, will not appeal to that type of person. Instead, they’ll continue to attempt to go from zero to a million, being continuously frustrated as they make little to no progress despite years having gone by.

You have to remember — a big thing is nothing but a collection of little things. When thought of in that way, the idea of setting a bunch of small goals in order to reach a major goal makes a lot more sense. It’s okay to think big, but you need to think small in-between. In other words, no more trying to walk a mile in one step.

As we all know, in order to accomplish anything, you must believe that you can and have the self- confidence to act accordingly. However, it’s hard to have such confidence and belief when you’re setting outrageous goals. I will reiterate — it’s much easier to get to a level of high belief by setting a smaller, more easily attainable goal and continuously building on each success. Before you know it, you will have reached the ultimate goal.

Sean T. Carter is an experienced investor, entrepreneur, research and writer for The Opulent Group, a company formed to serve the needs of up and coming entrepreneurs, investors, and scholars who wish to reach opulent goals and stay consciously afloat in these fast changing times.


One thought on “The Danger Of Thinking Big

  1. Mixing self-help with small goals is a good strategy. Check out the tipping point by Malcolm Gladwell; you probably have checked it out already.


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