What is a BIG?

Everyday Drudgery

Many of us are fine-tuned to a routine schedule, which aside from a few exceptions stays consistent for a long duration of our lives. Between managing work, family, friends and most importantly ourselves, we adopt a schedule to cope with time management. So it comes as no surprise when our days transform from spontaneous and fresh to rigid and dreadful, sometimes causing us to mindlessly wander from one point to another.

For example, think about the first time you got a job that required you to commute every morning to a new location. Everything was new, the roads, the trees, even the traffic patterns were alien, and therefore much more intriguing. You carefully observed your surroundings, paid attention to street signs and made note of restaurants and other neat shops on the way.

Now fast-forward two years later – chances are your daily commute requires little to no thinking. You’ve memorized the quickest way to get to work, you know exactly when traffic slows down and picks up, and you might even know the traffic light patterns down to a tee. You’re still able to get to work every morning, but you are no longer engaged. Your state of mind is unreactive, dull and lethargic, operating on a steady cruise mode.

Sometimes this automation can be good. It can help us perform tasks more quickly, and multitask more effectively. But living in this drudgery is the worst! That’s what makes us dread Mondays! And feel like life is passing us by. Nobody wants to live in that! But what can we do to change it?

The trick is in adjusting your mindset so that every new day and situation is one that demands full attentiveness. Let’s get into that.

Getting In Tune

Being BIG is entering into your optimal operating state. I (Allan) first introduced the concept of the Optimal Operating State in my book, “Bold Moves”. Reaching your Optimal Operating State involves being able to identify and prioritize core values. With so much external stimuli being thrown our way at any given opportunity, we tend to turn ourselves off. In doing so, we trek down a dangerous road, one that further separates us from achieving an ideal state of mind.

David Foster Wallace, an American novelist, further broke down the importance of an Optimal Operating State during his commencement address to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College, later titled “This Is Water”.

This is Water by David Foster Wallace

This is Water on Vimeo.

Wallace proposed that the ability to consciously perceive others around you as the true key to education, and thus freedom. Otherwise, as mentioned above, an idle state of mind kicks in. Being able to fine-tune your natural default setting, the way your mind reacts to everyday mundane activities like driving or shopping, is an important step in being able to think BIG.

Resourceful Vs. Unresourceful

History has proven again and that humans will go to great lengths to secure resources. We understand oil holds a significant value, as do trees, arable lands and water in their ability to greatly improve society and give certain civilizations or countries a position of strength. In the same way, we all have daily opportunities to harvest resources that will improve our personal and professional lives. Leaders are most successful in managing and utilizing their resources well.

So if leaders are typically resourceful, does that mean the rest of us are unresourceful people? No!!! You may suffer from an unresourceful state of mind, but that doesn’t mean that you are an unresourceful person. You just need to learn to use your resources well. We train ourselves how to manage money or food well, why can’t we learn to manage our minds well, too?

BIGGER is Better

Thinking BIG requires you to take control of not only your conscious thoughts, but also your subconscious thoughts. Instead of dreading a trip to the dentist, thinking BIG allows you to reframe the experience in a positive light. Thinking BIG encourages positivity and manages negativity. It allows you to set realistic goals in an effort to be better, and to enjoy the journey along the way.

Now it’s your turn. Tell me in the comments:
What would it look like for you to be BIG?


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