And these things are good. These are goals.
But if this is where we start, then we probably won’t ever get to these places.
Around the same time the ancient nation of Israel was being taken into captivity by the Babylonians, there was a Chinese philosopher named Lao-Tze who wrote down this thought:
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
In other words, big dreams aren’t enough. They’re important, but if we only focus on the big side of things, we’ll never get there.
Here’s an example from my life.
I’m working writing a book right now. It’s a book about the eight different ways fear can secretly slip into our lives and influence us. My goal is to expose the signs that fear’s slipped in and then show what we can do about it.
The book is my big picture.
Lots of people want to write books. Trust me, I’ve googled it. It’s insane. When I decided to write this book, I realized why most of those people never follow through. The task is huge. Who’s going to design the cover? Why exactly do I “need” an editor? Who’s going to publish this? And what about printing? Oh, and then there’s all that writing…
I understand why most people who have a book in them never get it out.
It’s a journey. And like most journeys worth taking, it’s hard. Sometimes…too hard.
On my blog here recently, I’ve been writing on fear. And when it comes to Big Dreams, the first pinch point is the moment you transition from having a dream to walking toward that dream.
The distance between these two points is vast. If you only focus on the dream itself, then that gulf between you and it usually fills up (and pretty quickly) with fear. The challenges are just too big.
But what if following your dream is the same thing God’s put in your heart? What if you know this is what you’re here on this earth to do?
Unfortunately, just having a dream doesn’t automatically make it a reality. King David knew this, too. Centuries before his nation turned away from God, he wrote these words:
If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.
Long before they forgot it, he taught his people the path to success.
David was a man who knew about defeat and comeback. In only a few years he went from a nobody-kid to a folk hero. And eventually he’d become king. But before he did, he became a fugitive of the state. Later, after years of sitting on the throne he was chased off of it by his own son. But in the end, he made his way back. And when he died, it was at a ripe old age and as king once again.
What David knew about success (and the fear of failure) was this. The biggest battles are still fought one day at a time. And sometimes–one hour at a time.
This principle works because it takes what’s too big and makes it manageable.
Winning day by day is what I call “little dreams.” None of them are the big dream and none of them are complete, but they’re all a part of the big dream.
Big dreams are like libraries. A library isn’t one big book. It’s thousands and thousands of regular, normal-sized books. All together, they make up the library. But you can still only read them one at a time.
That’s how big dreams happen: day by day, hour by hour.