Expect a mediocre life, and I guarantee you'll succeed.
But that's not the only way…
You can also "Think Big" and set yourself up for a legendary life with massive achievements, high-quality relationships, thriving health, and a legacy built for future generations.
The difference between these 2 lives starts with a very simple concept:
All success or misfortune in life starts with a simple thought.
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Of course, that's not all it takes to reach a massively successful life. But thinking about it is the first prerequisite.
"All things are created twice: first, a mental creation; second, a physical creation. The first creation is vision”. – Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Second, physical creation.
Everything you purposefully manifest in your physical life is first created in the form of a thought. This is WHY thinking big is so important; it's the first (not the only) separation between mediocrity and massive success.
Your thoughts create your reality.
Thinking big is a powerful way to create a BIGGER reality. The best way to make your present better is by making your future bigger. By increasing your expectations for the future, you are increasing your "pull motivation," which is being propelled forward by something you really desire and has been highly studied in recent years as being much more powerful than push motivation, which is avoidance of pain.  
While everything around us indicates that having a high ambition can lead to a better life, most people don't think big.
If you limit your thinking to a familiar and mediocre ceiling, this automatically sets a limit to what you will set out to achieve in life because you will get stuck in the same repetitive patterns of thinking, and you'll attract the same familiar results into your life.
The explanation for someone who knows the benefits of thinking big but actively chooses to think small is that "thinking big" brings terrifying challenges.
Yes, thinking big is powerful, but it is not easy.
I've been experimenting with this mindset for over 3 years now. I have personally faced several challenges and setbacks, but I stepped up and kept pushing my way to thinking big and envisioning a top-tier life for me and my family.
And this is what I want to share with you today.
What the challenges to thinking big are, and how to overcome each of them.
Challenge 1: Feeling Frustrated by Not Reaching Big Goals and Ideals
"Don't set big goals. You are just setting yourself up for bigger disappointments." – most people say.
If you're like most people, you've definitely heard that phrase before. Society has a special ability to discourage people who want to go after their dreams. It's too dangerous, it's a recipe for failure, it's guaranteed disappointment. Or so they say…
Imagine that you're thinking big and setting highly ambitious goals, but things don't go according to plan…
"Now, all of a sudden, you have to face the tough reality. You look at yourself in the mirror and have to acknowledge you have failed to achieve your big goal. You have failed; you ARE a failure and should be ashamed of your performance. Now your motivation is gone, and you are in shambles.”
There is another way to measure your success.
You see, people think setting big goals is setting yourself up for disappointment.
And I understand. This is exactly the case if you are shortsighted and can't control your emotions and perspective. This makes it quite natural that you'll hear people disincentivize you, because they can't control their own emotions.
But not you.
You are here, reading this, because you are capable of thinking clearly, exercising control over your emotions, and understanding that it's all a matter of perspective.
Solution: Measure the Gain, not the Gap
The solution for feeling frustrated about not teaching your goals boils down to a very simple concept I want you to understand:
Measure the Gain, not the Gap.
“The Gap and The Gain” is a concept coined by Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach, that has been popularized in a recent book written in collaboration with Dr. Benjamin P. Hardy.
The central idea behind this concept is that you always have an option when measuring your progress. When faced with any situation in life, you actively choose how to interpret the situation.
- You're in the GAP every time you compare yourself to an ideal (goal).
- You're in the GAIN every time you measure yourself to your previous self.
How you measure your progress has a strong implication on your overall perception of life. You can have the exact same goal as someone else and achieve the exact same result, yet still feel completely different.
You're probably seeing where I wanna get…
If you always interpret your progress by comparing it against your big goals and the people you admire, then you are in the GAP. And the GAP is a place of frustration and lack of confidence, where you feel as if something is missing.
On the other hand, there is the GAIN.
You are in the GAIN when you shift your perspective to measure your progress, regardless of what your goals and ambitions are.
When you make a habit out of measuring your wins instead of your shortcomings, you will maintain and increase motivation. As your confidence grows, you are able to keep pushing towards that big goal you haven't achieved… yet.
Moving from the GAP to the GAIN is a simple and powerful mindset shift.
Challenge 2: Interpreting Your Goals as Destinations.
Another challenge of thinking big and setting big goals is that you might mistake your goals for a destination.
Goals are not about what you will achieve. They are about who you become.
"What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as who you become by achieving your goals." – Zig Ziglar
This means that reaching your EXACT goal is less important than who you've become and the progress you've made.
We've already seen that measuring your progress is the solution to feeling frustrated by not reaching your goals. But there's more to that.
Your goals are NOT a destination.
Your goals are a direction.
The purpose of a goal is to provide you with clarity on what is important to you. This doesn't mean that achieving that goal is the only possible positive outcome that can occur.
In fact, reaching your goal is most probably not the best possible outcome for you. There are millions, if not billions, of other scenarios where you are better off than if you achieve exactly what you have planned to achieve.
But how can you be open to these possibilities if you are too caught up in micro-managing your goals as a literal destination you have to achieve?
Solution: Practice Healthy Detachment
The solution for this challenge is all about learning how to let go.
A concept that perfectly complements being in the GAIN is having a Healthy Detachment.
Simply put, a Healthy Detachment is a mindset where you don't depend on an outcome to be happy.
You are happy regardless of what happens.
In other words, you are emotionally detached from the outcome. If it happens, GREAT! And if it doesn't, that's OK, too!
You are completely motivated and committed to making your goal come true, but at the same time, YOU DON'T NEED IT. This allows you to aim ridiculously high and expect fantastic transformations without the downside of feeling super frustrated if that doesn't happen.
It's a powerful mindset that allows you to be heavily committed to a target goal but healthily detached from the outcome.
You have let go of the need to control the outcome.
In a way, this is all about trust.
You can have your opinions and desires, but at the end of the day, you must trust that the Universe, or God, knows what's best for you. And let's be honest, we are not the best ones when choosing what's best for us.
So it should be rather intuitive to trust that the Universe knows much better than you what's the best that could happen in your life.
Challenge 3: Not Feeling Ready for Success
One of the most fascinating theories I've ever heard about is The Upper Limit Problem.
The Upper Limit Problem is a concept identified by Gay Hendricks in his book The Big Leap, in which he identifies a remarkable trait that every human being on Earth shares:
We have an Upper Limit of Positive feelings we allow ourselves to feel.
Every time we feel so good to the point we go past this Limit, we WILL find a way to feel bad as a reaction. This sends us back to a lower level of positive feelings, one we are comfortable with.
You probably want an example by now:
Remember all those stories of lottery winners who went back to poverty after a few months or years… Well, that's a classic Upper Limit Problem.
These people are not ready for that money; the amount of positive feelings generated is TOO MUCH TO HANDLE, and they inevitably will end up back with no money, where they feel comfortable.
Of course, this is an extreme example, but I think you've grasped the concept now.
Now imagine what this feels like to YOU: Do you feel you deserve all the positive effects and feelings that will emerge when you reach your BIG goals?
The answer, most probably, is: NO, you don't.
And that's totally normal. That's exactly the way I feel right now. I live in a constant battle to elevate the feeling of deserving what I am striving for.
We've become used to imposter syndrome and undermining our own value.
And this is the problem. Imposter syndrome sends a terrible message to our unconscious mind and sets bad boundaries for the Upper Limit of Positive Feelings we can handle.
Solution: Awareness, Emotions, Thoughts and Action
Awareness of your Upper Limit Problem is the first step to transcend it.
From now on, become aware of these occasions where you have a spike in positive feelings, and then notice HOW you make things worse later.
This could be an argument with your spouse, a heavy dose of procrastination, worrying thoughts, and even an injury.
Whenever you notice you've had a negative behavior, REFLECT!
Try to find something GOOD that happened before and may have sparked this negative action. This is the beginning of your understanding of your own negative patterns. So you start understanding that it's OK to feel good and eventually avoid the need to compensate for good feelings with negative behavior.
The next secret to elevate your feeling of deservingness and increase your Upper Limit of Positive Feelings comes from a simple combination:
Positive Emotions + Positive Thoughts + Positive Action.
"Assume the feeling of your wish fulfilled" – Neville Goddard
". After" is the central component of growing past your Upper Limit Problem. After all, it's about positive feelings…
But that's not all. You must also associate the positive feelings with your positive thoughts (thinking big).
And most importantly, you must back up this feeling with action.
Consistent action will elevate your Upper Limit because you are proving to yourself that you deserve more.
Challenge 4: Lacking the Patience to Achieve Your Vision
Humanity is suffering a patience crisis.
Everyone is getting used to instant gratification, and this is seriously damaging our ability to strive for huge accomplishments.
I'm no different. I thought I'd make a living writing and creating online in a few months…
This attitude was an utter lack of patience from my past self. I wanted to reach my BIG goals immediately, and this became a huge source of frustration. If you want to go big and not feel frustrated, better adjust your expectations.
It took me more than 18 months to finally earn enough to pay a monthly bill.
Not saying you will wait years to reach your big goals, but keep in mind that patience is key. The goals that come from "Thinking Big" are hard and take time.
Respect the time your goal takes. Be patient.
Solution: Start small, focus on the next milestone
Dream Big, Act Small.
Small and consistent action is MUCH more important to your progress than having a grandiose vision.
It's essential to focus on small objectives to move your life forward, otherwise, you become impatient with not reaching your goals.
Always shift your focus to the next milestone.
Humans are driven by achievement. If you spend 3 months without "checking off" any important milestone, you will become discouraged and impatient. Make sure to set intermediary achievements and create projects to finish them off.
Slow and steady wins the race.
Challenge 5: People Around You Don't Want You to Succeed
This one is a hard truth to swallow.
When you take risks and aim for legendary achievements, you remind people of their failures and lack of courage.
You, 100% guaranteed, will be discouraged.
Humans are social beings, which means we are wired to compare ourselves to other humans. This means that people around you compare themselves with you, and as a natural instinct (of people controlled by their Ego) they want to be better than you.
This is NOT because they are evil people. It is a survival instinct.
(Of course, people can control their instincts and elevate themselves above them, but some people can't, and you absolutely will deal with someone like this in your life.)
Sometimes, your closest friends or family will try to stop you from thinking big.
And that sucks!
But there's a way to respectfully overcome this challenge…
Solution: Increase your confidence
Yes, the solution could be "f**k everybody", but that's not actually solving the problem, much less with the respect that people deserve.
Instead, you have to trust your own decisions more than you trust other people's opinions.
And this comes from a place of high confidence.
The ideal response to someone who tries to hold you back is to respect their opinion, understand they are coming from a place of scarcity, and decide that you trust your own path more than you value their opinion on the subject.
You guessed it… This is easier said than done.
This is only possible if you have confidence in yourself. Confidence to know that your dreams are possible, confidence to confront others, and confidence to explain to them that you believe in yourself.
If you are confident in what you are doing, NOBODY will take you from your path.
Find ways to improve your confidence, and you will stop changing your mind because of other people's opinions.
You are capable of achieving any f**king thing you set your mind to.
If you've come thus far, I believe in you, and I'm sure you are capable of achieving extraordinary success in your life.
I hope you're better prepared to face the challenges that come when you increase the level of your thinking and move up your aim to shoot for the stars.
Keep going, my friend. You're on the right path.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fis Fraga is a digital writer and creator. He helps people cultivate a productive and fulfilling life using the help of Knowledge Management and Systems Thinking. You can learn more about Fis Fraga's work at: https://www.fisfraga.com