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  • Dr. Brian Kleinberg

Are You Dreaming Big?

“Believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart.” - Steve Jobs

I recently read Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. This is a fascinating biography about one of the most influential human beings of the past 50 years. There probably isn't a home or business in the world that doesn't contain one of the products that Steve Jobs inspired and conceived. 

Steve Jobs was a complex person. There were multiple layers to his personality. He was a genius, a dreamer and an impresario. He was a marketing guru who understood in 1977 that a technology was being born that could change the way people live their lives. He wanted to be the progenitor and creator of this technological revolution. He was not shy about that fact. He also had a very acerbic and difficult side to him which caused him to destroy many relationships on a personal and business level.

His close colleagues in the early days of Apple used to say that he had, “a reality distortion field”. This reality distortion field caused him to make statements about simple facts or big dreams which were impossible to verify or believe. But in some ways, this aspect of his character allowed him to bring the best out of the people he was working with and create dreams that were bigger than reality itself. It almost seemed that if he planted his dream and continued to nurture and breathe life into it, anything seemed possible. And he was willing to create chaos and mayhem among his colleagues and peers to make these things happen. This is probably not advisable for most of us in our businesses or careers and we wouldn't get away with it in most cases. But the idea of having a big dream and continuing to make it a reality is a takeaway message from his life that we can all learn from. 

Nobody could argue the success of Steve Jobs. Despite numerous challenges, failures and emotional stress, Jobs continued to pursue his dream of making a difference in this world. He did not lose sight of the goal no matter what got in his way. He has a lot of memorable quotes, but I really like the one above. There may be many dots in our path that have to be connected. The strongest goal that you can create for yourself is one that's connected to your heart and not just your mind. 

In our business lives and careers, we are challenged on many levels to deal with roadblocks and obstacles which may be making our road to success almost impossible to achieve. We all have days where we feel that the business project that we’re involved in, the company that we’re working for or even the dream that we have is simply not going to reach the level of true success that we are aiming for. I therefore challenge each of you to ask yourself these questions: Do I have a stated goal or mission statement in my life i.e. something really worth pursuing? If my dreams constantly seem to be cut short, if I'm not achieving the goal that I have set for myself, what is getting in the way? If I recognize the external factors and challenges that are slowing my progress or getting in my way, what steps can I take to remove these impediments? If I recognize that I am getting in the way of my own dreams or goals, what do I have to do to overcome my own barriers? If I can see that the goals and barriers that lie in front of me are part of the process, what steps do I need to take to constantly recommit to my purpose, to my ultimate dreams? 

Successful business people are often described as visionaries or dreamers. This is not by accident. Steve Jobs was a visionary and a dreamer. He left an incredible legacy. You may be reading this post on one of the legacies he inspired. There were no stop signs that stopped him, and there were no obstacles that he didn't see himself overcoming. He refused to dream small and he always dreamed big. How big are your dreams and how hard are you willing to work on fulfilling them and becoming the success that you really want to be? Keep dreaming big!

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