I learned about the theory of goal setting in school and like many of us, learned about the mechanics of goal setting on the job.
When my middle daughter, Grace, was seven years old I surprisingly experienced first-hand the power of thinking big. It came at the hands of someone quite small. Grace loved to play catch with Dad. The object we threw mattered little- a tennis ball, football, one of those squishy balls - but the challenge of consecutive catches mattered very much to her.
There was always the same goal, and only one goal, when we played catch - to break the existing records for consecutive catches.
I remember one day my focused little daughter said, “Dad, let’s try for 100 in a row.”
Since our best at that point was 50 I kind of politely chuckled and said, “Sure honey.” A few days later, we did it!
So, next she said, “Dad, let’s go for 300 in a row.”
Well, my daughter was learning about thinking big, but I still had a lot to learn. I thought to myself, “Gee, we just hit 100. Why not try to 125 or maybe 150 in a row? But 300?!” Of course, out loud I responded with another uneasy chuckle and a “Sure honey.”
You guessed it. It was only a few days later that we hit 300 catches in a row. I was really impressed and quite content. My daughter was neither impressed nor content, but she was a lot smarter than I. “Dad, let’s go for 500 now!”
And to myself I thought, “You have GOT to be kidding me!”
Sure enough, that very same day, we caught 500 throws in a row. You’d think I would be a believer by now, but when her sparkling eyes looked at me and said, “Dad, let’s go for 1,000 in a row!” I am embarrassed to admit that my internal response was the same.
Less than 24 hours later we hit our current record - 1,017 catches in a row!
Our record was over 10 times bigger that I had originally thought we could achieve. Thanks to my seven year-old daughter, I have finally learned to think BIG.
We are only as big, powerful, lucky or successful as we think we are. What are you thinking about now?