I recently started reading a new book; No Dream is too High, by Buzz Aldrin. If you recall your history lessons Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon with the Apollo 11 mission. Right out of the gate the author said something that really struck me. In his own life, he was not satisfied with “the sky is the limit”; Buzz believed he and all of us can dream much higher than the sky.
How many of you are allowing yourself to dream higher than the sky? What does this mean? I have to admit, I am something of a space geek. I am fascinated by all things out of our world and have taken several online astronomy classes to learn more. So let me begin by saying the “sky” Buzz Aldrin is referring to is the pretty blue above our heads as we stand on our planet. It’s the atmosphere that surrounds us. To go beyond the sky is to break the bounds of the atmosphere and head into outer space. At this time in human history, we understand the universe to be infinite and expanding. Don’t ask me to explain that; suffice it to say there are NO LIMITS!
What is holding you down? Gravity is the force that anchors everything to this planet. It’s a result of mass and distance and the attraction between things. Try jumping up in the air and see how long you stay off the ground. I am going to go out on a limb and predict you will be back down in fractions of a second. Your body is attracted to the planet Earth and it will stay rooted to the ground without even trying. If you want to overcome that attraction you have to go to some extraordinary measures. You have to escape the attraction by heading out to space. In the same manner, pursuing dreams and passions for your life work the same way. You will stay rooted in the same place unless you go beyond the ordinary.
As in every endeavor, there is a first step. Step one IDENTIFY the limits you have set for yourself. It is my belief that no one sets your limitations, you do that yourself. In 1961, NASA was given a challenge to get an American Astronaut to the Moon. NASA itself thought it would take at least 15 years. They set their own limitations. A man with a bigger vision, President John F Kennedy, would accept nothing less than end of the 1960’s. Mr. Kennedy didn’t believe in limiting his country; he dreamed beyond the ordinary. His vision was captured and in 1969 Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the Moon.
Step two: DREAM BIG! Give yourself permission, every day if necessary, to imagine life beyond the ordinary. I encourage you to use whatever method speaks to you to put some dreams in writing. You may want to type them up and post the list somewhere. For example, some people will make a collage of pictures that represent their dreams and create a Pinterest board with the pictures. Use any way that speaks to you so the dreams are in front of you. Caution- never, never, never accept guilty feelings about the dreams not happening on your timetable.
Step three: Move from dreaming to DOING. It may be obvious but no one is going to knock on your front door and hand you your dreams (sorry sweepstakes hopefuls.) All astronauts go through many years of high level education and training. They then have to practice their skills over and over and over again. Your dreams will take work on your part. There is action involved. You may have to do the same tasks repeatedly. It may be helpful to have an accountability partner, someone you can trust, to walk alongside of you and keep you focused. You may make a mistake or two along the way. Don’t fret – just use those as learning opportunities and move on.
Step four: REWARD yourself. I am not only talking about when your dreams become reality but as tasks are completed, go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back. Find a relatively small reward that will allow you to bask in the joy of accomplishment and use that as fuel to complete more tasks.
This blog post is not only for you, dear reader. It’s also for me. I am also working on some big dreams right now and am so excited to find out what lies ahead. I encourage you to give yourself permission to dream and dream big. Practice moving past any limitations and doing what’s necessary. Set some rewards in front of you to keep you motivated. Let’s go beyond the ordinary!