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If You’re Not Happy … Maybe You’re Not Dreaming Big Enough

2011 August 12
by Marquita Herald

My concern for you is not that you fail at anything … my concern is that you will succeed at something that doesn’t matter. ~Shelene Bryan, Founder

DreamsDid you know that it doesn’t take any more energy to dream bigger than it does to dream small? Too often we limit ourselves to small dreams because …

*  They feel safer or more “realistic,” less likely to result in the pain of failure.

*  Lack of self-confidence or disappointments in our lives that have left us feeling “why bother?”

*  Because of what other people have told us to believe about life and ourselves.

Limitations are excuses for predetermined failures. There are no limits when it comes to your dreams, so why not dare to dream a BIG, bold beautiful dream!

If you’re not happy, maybe it’s because you’re not dreaming big enough to make your heart sing and drive you toward succeeding at something that matters.


The idea is to dream big and focus on those dreams. Focus on them and believe in them … and believe that you DESERVE them. Only then will you be inspired to do whatever it takes to make your dreams a reality.

Anything IS possible you know …

  • If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one. ~Dolly Parton
  • The greatest dreams are always unrealistic. ~Will Smith
  • Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be. ~ Karen Rayn
  • Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal. ~Pamela Vaull Star
  • Dream of lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. ~James Allen
  • Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men. ~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
  • Dreaming is an act of pure imagination, attesting in all men a creative power, which, if it were available in waking, would make every man a Dante or a Shakespeare. ~H. F. Hedge
  • Dreams are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you. ~Marsha Norman
  • The world needs people like you to dream of something great and then pursue it with all your heart. ~Chris Widener
  • You have a masterpiece inside you, you know. One unlike any that has ever been created, or ever will be. If you go to your grave without painting your masterpiece, it will not get painted. No one else can paint it. Only you. ~Gordon MacKenzie
  • Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born. ~Dale E. Turner
  • You got to sing like you don’t need the money … love like you’ll never get hurt.
    You got to dance like nobody’s watchin’ … it’s gotta come from the heart if you want it to work. ~Susanna Clark & Richard Leigh
  • Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. ~Howard Thurman
  • The greatest thing is, at any moment, to be willing to give up who we are in order to become all that we can be. ~Max De Pree
  • How are you going to spend this one odd and precious life you have been issued? Whether you’re going to spend it trying to look good and creating the illusion that you have power over people and circumstances, or whether you are going to taste it, enjoy it and find out the truth about who you are. ~Anne Lamott
  • There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ~Maya Angelou
  • Throughout the years of your life you will face many challenges, remember that you can climb the highest mountain, drive through the roughest storm, soar across the bluest sky, or even sail across the roughest waters. It is only destined by your attitude where you will end up in life. The most important thing is don’t let yourself get lost in the crowd. ~Angela Duvall
  • Think about your future possibilities and the fact that your potential is virtually unlimited. You can do what you want to do and go where you want to go. You can be the person you want to be. You can set large and small goals and make plans and move step-by-step, progressively toward their realization. There are no obstacles to what you can accomplish except the obstacles that you create in your mind. ~Brian Tracy
  • Don’t live down to expectations. Go out there and do something remarkable. ~Wendy Wasserstein
  • Life is short, live bold! Be heard, be you, dream big, take risks, don’t wait! ~Misty Gibbs

So here’s the question I’ll leave you with … take a look at your current goals and dreams. Are they “realistic” dreams that feel comfortably safe … or are they BIG bold dreams that will test your courage and force you to grow in ways you cannot begin to imagine today?

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41 Responses
  1. September 13, 2011

    Hi Marty,
    I love dreaming and I couldn’t agree more that it takes the same effort to dream big as to dream small. I do believe that sometime s dreamers forget there is a road paved with stones to get to realize dreams. If we start young, I think it is easier than when we are older since there is a sense that we need to get on with it and we may have missed opportunities earlier in life!

    However my dreams today remain big but I am focused on having goals and a plan to deliver my dreams. I love to help others to realize their dreams too!

    Be blessed,
    clare recently posted..Welcome to September – Month of Cell Cleansing and Rejuvenation!My Profile

    • September 14, 2011

      Welcome back Clare … thank you so much for taking the time to share your insightful thoughts! I really appreciate it.

  2. August 21, 2011

    I totally agree with you Gart, there’s no limitations in dreaming. However, the thing is, if you want to achieve that dreams and that will make you happy then go for it. Money can’t buy happiness. And I think having a true happiness makes us to become a better person.
    Tony recently posted..Why Raise An Entrepreneurial Generation?My Profile

    • August 23, 2011

      Hum, I’m guessing “Gart” was meant to be some form of Marty … never mind Tony, sincerely appreciate you taking the time to stop by and comment :-)

  3. August 21, 2011

    Hello Marty,

    When I think about it, my dreams aren’t really big dreams, I’ve been limiting myself to what I think is achievable to avoid disappointment. Ooops, that won’t help me reach the really exciting stuff will it?

    Thanks so much for this post Marty! Regards from Julieanne
    Julieanne van Zyl recently posted..Tutorial for Creating Your Own Lead Capture PageMy Profile

    • August 23, 2011

      Welcome back Julieanne, and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. You know the only one who matters when it comes to assessing the size and value of your dreams is YOU.

  4. August 16, 2011

    Everything is created twice, first in the mind, then in reality. It’s unfortunate however that most are stuck with the first creation (dreams). Without action, persistence and dedication, any dreams can never be manifested in reality. :-)

    • August 17, 2011

      Welcome Walter, and thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Great observation, taking action is critical to achievement. If you think about it, making dreams come true isn’t a single step, it’s a carefully crafted formula, with the most important ingredient being US :-)

  5. Galt permalink
    August 15, 2011

    When we dream BIG, we become big! There is no limitation in dreaming. But let’s face it, when we dream let us also put it into action.
    Galt recently posted..How to Help Someone Having a Panic AttackMy Profile

  6. August 14, 2011

    Really sound article Marty. I’m definitely on for dreaming big and setting high goals. I’ve always admired people, who were not afraid to turn their most daring dreams into reality, even if their goals seemed unrealistic to others. Those are people we read about in newspapers and motivational books. We look up to them, respect and admire them for their determination and willpower, but very rare we think that we are capable of doing same things. It happens, because most of us underestimate the word “realistic”. High goal doesn’t automatically equal unachievable.

    Only when you go beyond your current capacities, you can find out what you are capable of.

    Thanks Marty…

    Jeffrey Sooey recently posted..Careers in Wellness Coaching: Real AlchemyMy Profile

    • August 15, 2011

      Welcome Jeffrey and thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts! So glad you liked the article and I appreciate your insights.

  7. August 14, 2011

    Hi Marty, Wonderful post about dreaming big dreams. The reasons you gave as to why we don’t dream big are very valid. Another one might be is because the people you are in company with most of the time don’t have any dreams or are just content where they are at. I lived that way for most of my life. No more, I have aspirations!
    I like your last quote “Life is short, live bold! Be heard, be you, dream big, take risks, don’t wait!” ~Misty Gibbs
    Thank you for inspiring us!
    Bless you!
    Lynn Jones recently posted..Precious Memories of Days Gone ByMy Profile

    • August 15, 2011

      Welcome back Lynn … you are SO right on with your observation about how the people around us can influence our dreams. I certainly have people like that in my life, and sounds like maybe you do to. Thanks for sharing!

  8. August 14, 2011

    Hello, Marty,
    Dreams are necessary to the life itself as they represent a form of planning. Nobody has the right to ruin our dreams or to wake us up from them, and neither to prevent us from reaching them. Of all the quotes you gave here, I think I am most fond of the one by the great poet and writer Goethe “dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men”…isn’t it inspiring?
    Oh, and answering to your question, I believe my dreams and goals are always realistic-if I wouldn’t believe so, I don’t think I would ever make them happen. The power of dreams is true only if you trust them and follow what you visualized.
    Kristina L. recently posted..PhantomPlate Coupon CodeMy Profile

    • August 15, 2011

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts Kristina. Great insight – regardless of how big our dreams, we have to view them as “realistic” and possible or we’re defeated before we begin!

  9. August 14, 2011

    Hey Marty

    Dreaming big and achieving those dreams goes a long way in achieving happiness.

    Thanks for the motivation today.

    Peter Fuller recently posted..How to Attract your Niche to your Blog – Day 5 of 5My Profile

    • August 14, 2011

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts Peter – always look forward to your visits. Hope you’re having a great weekend :-)

  10. August 14, 2011

    Dear Marty,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. People refuse to dream big because they are scared. The problem is that they only see the consequence of dreaming big. They don’t see the reward. You have to always do a Risk Adjusted Benefit to Cost Ratio. Take the benefit you gain and divide by the cost it takes to get there. Then you multiply by the risk. If that number is better than 1, then it is worth doing.

    • August 14, 2011

      Hi Gary,
      Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to share your thoughts … and I’m so glad you enjoyed my article. It’s funny, I got so IN to writing this and the quotes I actually revisited and tweaked some of my own goals! Hope you’re having a terrific weekend :-)

  11. August 13, 2011

    Dear Marty,

    your post makes a lot of sense and I love the quotes.
    Thank you for putting it together.

    I can relate to each one of the reasons why we may be limiting ourselves.
    Everyday I am working on undoing old conditioning and telling myself that the disappointments of the past are the past. I have learned to be content with a very simple lifestyle and I also know that there is a part of me that is longing for more. Gradually I am allowing myself to want things after having trained myself to not want and to appreciate what I have instead.

    Thank you for the inspiration!
    Love and Joy
    Yorinda recently posted..What is the Meaning of Freedom?My Profile

    • August 14, 2011

      Aloha Yorinda,
      Always appreciate your thoughtful comments :-)

  12. August 12, 2011

    Isn’t in interesting that it takes just as much energy to dream big as little!! And of course we limit ourselves by what we have lived in our lifetime.. We need to get rid of those “shackles” that keep us dream bound. I love your quotes and some I haven’t seen before so that you for sharing.
    Holly recently posted..Announcing……. Taking a Break from Exercise isn’t a Bad Thing!My Profile

    • August 14, 2011

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts Holly and I’m glad you enjoyed my article. Ah the quotes, while some quotes are too good not to revisit from time to time, I’ve made it my mission to start collecting new quotes, and especially quotes from ‘LIVING’ people. Hope to see you again soon …

  13. August 12, 2011

    I like the unreachable dreams! They make the dream worth dreaming!
    Andy Nathan recently posted..3 Cool Tools For Your Search TrafficMy Profile

    • August 14, 2011

      I think the best part about dreaming those really BIG dreams is that even if you don’t make it a-l-l the way, you are pretty much guaranteed to achieve more than you’d ever have thought possible; and that in itself is motivation to keep dreaming BIG!

  14. August 12, 2011

    Wow what a great assembly of quotes on dreaming! I like that.
    I find Will Smith an interesting guy – he has done some inspiring videos which can easily be found on YouTube. But I’m not sure what to make of his particular quote: “The greatest dreams are always unrealistic.” I can see how it fits with your thesis to dream big. But I have to question, why does being “realistic” get a bum rap?
    I think it’s useful to remember that dreams can change -and do change- throughout life. I find that it is more motivating for me to set goals that are high, but not so high that they are like a Cinderella fairytale, than to make my dreams or goals too big. If I dream now like I did as a teenager, I would not know how to backtrack and create the steps necessary to get there. I want my dreams to be exciting, but not “pie in the sky.” I feel that either extreme –too high or too low– can end up being limiting. Does that make sense?
    Richard Goutal recently posted..Networking is the Key to Your Online SuccessMy Profile

    • August 12, 2011

      Hi Richard, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. So sorry your experience has led you to feel “being realistic” get’s a bum rap, I think only you know the goals and dreams that are important and challenge you to grow and that’s all that matters. But the truth is many people settle for a standard of living far below what they’re capable of achieving. I coached entrepreneurs for nearly a decade and saw this time and again, especially with women. In the end, those of us who endeavor to provide inspiration can only offer encouragement and information because ultimately it’s up to each of us to write our own life story.

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