Thinking BIG!

Nov 17 08:13 2010 Stephanie Parson, PhD Print This Article

Isn’t it time to transform the business of your life and the life of your business?

As each moment passes we see a changing and challenging world – one that is becoming more complicated and unpredictable. Each day we are faced with decisions about environmental pollution,Guest Posting technology shifts, financial instability, family instability, unsatisfying relationships and other phenomena. Thinking BIG even during, especially during, such circumstances allows you to make better long term decisions which will impact generations to come!

Transitioning to a mindset of Thinking BIG will require a SHIFT in the way you look at life! It will require you to think about how you think now – your assumptions, your logic, your inferences and even how you make decisions. Only thin will you be in a position to understand where your thinking succeeds (Thinking BIG) or where it fails (thinking small).

Depending on the various influences which affected you (your team members) when growing up, most people enter their adulthood with pre-conceived notions about their ability to succeed. Most fall into one of the following three categories: resigned to mediocrity, not worth the trouble or moving upward. Where do you see yourself? Where do you see your team members?

Those who are resigned to mediocrity don’t believe they have the ability (or drive) to succeed. They are stuck in a safe but unfulfilling, dead-end situation with very little hope of realizing their dreams. Those who are enthusiastic and optimistic at the beginning of their careers and yet eventually settle into a “good job” but no longer seek the top level fall into the not worth the trouble category. This category is more concerned with protecting what they have and often portray a level of insecurity within their role. The final category holds a very small minority of people; these people maintain a moving on up attitude. Nothing stops them from achieving their goals in their respective fields and enjoying everything which life offers. This category of people understands that lofty goals are achievable … and move towards that very achievement!

If I were to poll the top twenty-five people in your life (a 360o type assessment) what category would they put you in – resigned, not worth the trouble or moving on up?

You know people who begin new jobs or entrepreneurial ventures wishing and a hoping for success; starting out with good intentions, full of energy, optimism and know how! In fact they are brimming over with optimism! And yet these dreams do not materialize because deep down inside, the most important element is missing – their own belief that they are allowed to Think Big … Dream Big … Achieve Big! This strong conviction of belief is the foundational element/driving force behind every successful person. It is the unshakeable faith that the achievement of something BIG is possible which spurred our greatest accomplishments! Flying in an airplane is a common day occurrence; however, it is only possible because the visionaries thought BIG – they truly believed that flight was possible! This is the attitude of Thinking BIG – the attitude which enables today’s world.

In fear, the majority of people consciously consign themselves to mediocrity. They come to work … they do their job, or at least go through the motions – just to receive a paycheck. They watch others receive promotions and key growth opportunities. They don’t believe they are capable (or worthy) of achievement in their professional (or personal) lives so they stop Thinking BIG. They don’t bring their energy, passion, desires, creative ideas and innovative ideas to their family, their community nor their organization. All because there is something about their mindset (thought processes and/or belief system) which prevents them from Thinking BIG!

Don’t fall into that rut! Change that attitude by training your mind to focus on the positive. Eliminate failure from your vocabulary. It’s a terribly negative word. Don’t be afraid to have great aspirations. Big dreams occupy the same space in your head as small dreams. So begin Thinking BIG NOW!

The virtue of Thinking BIG develops only with practice, and the first step toward practice is to understand the features of good thinking: humility, courage, empathy, integrity, perseverance, ability to reason, autonomy and fair mindedness. Humility means you are free from arrogance and prejudice. Courage means that you are intellectually open to the ideas of others and brave enough to change your mind when other ideas are superior to yours. Empathy allows you to put yourself in the position of those who oppose you and enables you to see things from their point of view. Integrity simply means demonstrating consistence between your words and actions. It’s the opposite of hypocrisy! Failure to persevere is fatal to Thinking BIG – perseverance requires working through the layers of life’s complexity to find the truth. Your ability to reason means that you are not guided by blind assumptions, faith, tradition or emotional impulses. Autonomy means that you can rely on yourself and your own thinking – have an independent thought. And fair mindedness simply means that you can equally respect all points of view whether you agree with them or not!

We all want to generate exciting new ideas which will revolutionize our sphere of influence and for some of us – revolutionize the world --- and yet many do not succeed! Is it because they use the wrong methods of thinking … thinking small instead of Thinking Big? Let’s dig deeper to understand what thinking small means. Thinking small enables you to keep doing the same thing over and over. Although there are times when we have to do the same thing over and over – this environment will not provide an environment where we (our family, our teams, our organization) to come up with the electrifying new ideas which are needed to propel our lives, our organizations and our legacy to the next level!  

Thinking Small

Thinking BIG

Focuses on the short term

Looks to create lasting change

Has a narrow focus

Sees with intense, far reaching vision

Works in silos

Introduces ideas which start a fire  in all areas of influence

Gives customers (family, community) what they’ve always had

Transforms the expectations of their customers (family and community)

As a leader your goal is to incorporate Thinking BIG throughout your organization which will assume that ongoing change is the norm. You will need to become the guru of Big Thinking – being as openly creative and ambitious as children are before they learn not to be creative, not to question and not to assume that you (or your team) cannot become advocates of Thinking BIG! You must believe and lead your team members to believe that there is not a problem which cannot be solved. That their goal (and your expectation) is that together you all will make things better than you found them. I smile here because that is what was instilled by my parents – always leave things better than you found them!!!

You must create an environment where minds are expanded on a daily basis despite the world’s pressure. In fact you must create an environment where the approach to Thinking Big is fun and energizing! Everyone has an inner ability to Think Big – create and cultivate that potential within your organization!

You can assist others to engage in activities which promote new mental connections. Try blending or alternating activities such as:

·  Holding a meeting, then breaking and taking the participants to a museum.

·  Incorporating play into work, giving your people ways to be physically active and time to follow their own interests. (Google gives its employees 20% of their work time to pursue independent projects)

·  Empowering teams and individuals to make their own decisions

·  Making your company as transparent as possible. Allowing information to flow freely and tear down barriers which might grow into silos

·  Make a random list of things — then, take your major product or service. Find a way to force your product into a combination with each thing on the random list

·  Think of ways to collaborate — Ponder the possibilities with each company (team/person) you encounter

·  Think of the most ridiculous possible combination — Make it your starting point in a thought experiment

·  Examine how customers use your product — what do they combine it with? Could you make a better combination and create a new product or service?

Your goal is to promote an interdisciplinary mindset so that people of different backgrounds are at ease working in interdisciplinary teams whose members continually connect ideas in new ways. The purpose of Thinking BIG is “to assist you in recognizing and overcoming your loser’s limp; to open your mind, stir your imagination and make you think; to arouse your curiosity and create a healthy dissatisfaction with your status quo; to arouse the sleeping giant inside you” (Zig Ziglar); AND to walk out your pre-ordained destiny. Starting Today choose to THINK BIG!

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About Article Author

Stephanie Parson, PhD
Stephanie Parson, PhD

Business Strategist, Trainer, Author & Speaker, Dr. Stephanie Parson is the president of Crowned Grace International. She and her team deliver over 35 Leadership: From Ordinary to Extraordinary™ (L:FO2E) workshops around the world.  Workshops focused around their leadership methodology: Lead Self, Lead Teams & Lead Organizations.  Over 2000 global leaders have attended one or more of Crowned Grace’s L:FO2E programs. Dr. Parson has also held executive level roles at Walt Disney World (Vice President), Parsons Brinckerhoff (Vice President & CIO), The Seagram Company (Director) and as a commissioned officer in the US Air Force. For more information, contact Dr. Stephanie and her team at

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