Archive for May, 2010

A Tolerance for “Big” Thinking

Friday, May 7th, 2010

I read a quote by Donald Trump recently that has been a refrain in my mind the last few weeks:

As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.

At first I liked the line because it’s humorous and flip. But as I continued thinking about it, I began to wonder: How big do I think? Do I think big at all? Could I think bigger, and if not, why not? What’s holding me back?

There are a couple of areas in which I’ve tried to think big.

The first is the universe. When I try to think about the Big Bank Theory and a continuously expanding universe, my mind gets overwhelmed pretty quickly. I get stuck on the question, what was there before the Big Bang? And the idea of a constantly expanding universe is also hard for me: what’s on the other side of the leading edge of the universe’s expansion? When I try to go in either of these directions, my mind bounces away and I think of something else smaller and more easily encompassed.

The second area in which I’ve tried to think big is my own life. What I’ve noticed is that when I think somewhat big thoughts, I have had a tendency to discount them or minimize them almost immediately. Recently I’ve been working on an exercise in which, when I think a big thought, instead of shying away from it in a fit of “I can’t”, “I don’t deserve to”, or “I oughtn’t”, I keep thinking about it all the while feeling the discomfort it generates in me.

Now I wonder if I couldn’t do that exercise one better and purposefully start thinking of things that are even bigger than whatever it is that happens to make me uncomfortable. Sort of like a conscious effort to expand my mind and to increase my tolerance for “big”.

I plan to get more practice in “big thinking”, which will lead to “big doing”. I plan to make my big dreams for myself and others come true. That’s what I’m going to do.

What about you? What big things can you think?