A How-To Guide in Dreaming Big
“So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.” –Christopher Reeve
There’s an old saying that goes: “Man plans, God laughs.”
Things very rarely go according to plan. No matter how meticulously we think ahead, the path toward our goals is always subject to roadblocks and detours. But while the journey might rival Pan’s labyrinth, the BIG dream — your ultimate goal and your vision — lives unmoving at the end.
“When I was 18, I was reading about Y Combinator in Silicon Valley from my house in Barcelona. I would always see it as something that’s so out of reach,” shared Journey guest Anna Piñol. “I would have never imagined that I’d be where I am at today. [I realize now that] you really need to be careful about the dreams you choose because maybe they will come true.”
Anna is the CMO and co-founder of grocery-delivery service Jupiter. Anna’s dreams have required her to leave her home, travel around the world, settle into a new country, learn to fight off self-doubt, AND dive deep into entrepreneurship.
It was — and still is — a challenging journey. But in Anna’s opinion, it’s actually the process of initially defining your dreams that might just be scarier than the path it takes to reach them.
“For a long time, I thought that you needed to get ready and prepare a lot and then you would be able to do whatever you want… I changed my perspective in the last years,” says Anna. “Don’t wait to be ready to do what you want… Understand that most likely you’re going to achieve what you are aiming for, so dream as big as you want.”
Sometimes — or as Anna would argue: oftentimes — what we dream does come true. The path is rarely pretty and it’s never easy, but in the end, if you have the determination to see things through, you can achieve what you set out to do.
And that’s why goal-setting is so scary… because if you let fear and doubt lower the bar, it’s the lesser goal that you will achieve.
So how can you not only identify that big dream, but find the perseverance to chase it? Here are some key takeaways from our conversation with Anna.
Find Your People
“I was meeting classmates that had these big visions and big ideas,” said Anna. “For me it was shocking at first, but it started to be very inspirational. At some point I realized the effect that that was having on me and gave me confidence to achieve what I had wanted to achieve always, but never have been able to be vocal about it.”
Anna’s friends and business partners have created a community of support that has inspired her to escape her shell of self-doubt. They have encouraged her to not limit herself, and to embrace the path toward her bigger dreams.
Direct Your Emotions
“What has been the hardest has been this battle with yourself trying to manage these emotions. Trying not to be super happy when things are going very good and at the same time trying not to be very down when things are not going well. You need to run this as a marathon. Things take time and are hard otherwise, everyone would be doing them.”
Fear and self-doubt are dream-killers. Those emotions can shut you down and shackle you to lesser dreams. Instead, monitor your emotions closely and direct that energy into a passion that fuels your success.
Think BIG, Dream BIG
“What is key to success is every day making the right decisions about what you’re going to be focusing on and what does the team need to focus on… You’re going to get completely overwhelmed and sidetracked if you don’t have a good system to prioritize what’s important and what’s not.”
By surrounding yourself with people that challenge you and embracing a positive, driven mindset, you’ve put yourself on the path to success. But you can’t actually make any progress up that path if you don’t have a plan. You have to find a balance where one hand is reaching for the big dream and the other is doing the smaller day-to-day tasks to get there.
Bottom Line: As Christopher Reeve shared at the top of this newsletter, with the right drive and motivation, reaching your dreams is inevitable. That’s why it’s so important to make sure they are worth reaching. 🚀
To listen to the full episode of The Journey with Anna, tune in here.
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