BLOG_2019_08_22_Being Big in Your Life

If Not Now, When?

22 AUGUST 2019

Picture a graveyard...
Under the big oak tree in the far corner, there’s a granite headstone. Look closer...  See the name engraved? Yep, it’s yours. So you’re sitting there, looking at your own headstone. There’s your year of birth, and the year you—heaven forbid—pass.  And between them, there’s a little, coy hyphen. Now, here’s the good news: that hyphen is what you get to play with!


Let’s take a moment to think analytically about that hyphen. There are two things that anyone who aspires to be big must face.

Note: I didn’t use the phrase “playing big” but “being big”: get the difference? We don’t want to just “play” we want to “be”!

The first thing is to know what you want to do (we’ll get to the second in a moment).  Or, in the words of poet Mary Oliver, “Tell me, what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Determining what you want out of life—your career, your business, your relationships and your free time—is a surprisingly hard process for many of us.  It’s much easier to abide by the rules and plans of others than to look within ourselves and see clearly what we are meant to—and would really, really enjoy with the whole of our being—do.

Here are four starting points for discovering your brand of Being Big:

What are your threads?  Everything you’ve done and loved up to this point is a thread running through your life.  Those threads are always with you, and you can choose to pick them up again at any time.  Adored math as a kid, but your parents pushed you into sales?  Or maybe you feel you need a change to light up your life.  Maybe it’s time to take some classes and explore. 

Who makes you jealous?  Envy is actually a wonderful way to unearth some of our big, deep desires.  Who have you been jealous of recently?  Steve Jobs? Lindsey Vonn?  Oprah Winfrey? Denzel Washington?  Maybe it’s actually a clue to your being big.

What have you always wanted to do?  Complete this sentence: “If money and time were no object, I would totally want to…”   Work in Paris?  Create and market my invention?  Start a business?  Travel the world?  You could start today with an online search on how to go about it.  

What are your forbidden fruits?  Sometimes we tell ourselves certain things are off limits, when really, it’s just a mirage created by our own limiting beliefs.  What thing seems off-limits to you but might be great fun if it weren’t “forbidden”?  Acting in a play?  Buying a telescope?  Writing a book?


Once you are firmly pointed in the direction of your own bigness, you will undoubtedly meet face-to-face the second thing about being big.  As any hero will tell you, once you start heading in the direction of being big…once you take action toward your goals…the second thing undoubtedly shows up.  And that thing is fear.

Here’s the secret about being big: you still get the socks scared off you on a regular basis. (Perhaps even more often!)  But it no longer stops you. Spooks you, absolutely. Makes your knees go weak, without a doubt.   But when you’re living big, fear ceases to be a reason to quit. You are courageous, because you figure out how to move past, through, over and under your fears and even ask for help if needed.  In other words, you don’t let it stop you…

…because you have big things you want to do with that little hyphen of yours! 

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