Why Big Dreams Work

Setting seemingly unattainable goals is the best way to succeed, stay focused and execute in business living happily and fulfilled. Jim Collins, in his book co-authored with Jerry I. Porras, Built to Last, posed the idea of a BHAG. Establishing a “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” that visionary companies use to inspire bold missions as powerful ways to stimulate progress. The thinking behind such an approach is that to generate exceptional focused growth, a “moon shot” goal is needed. The manned lunar mission led to countless innovations in manufacturing, technology, computing, and new human physiological and psychological understandings resulted from this endeavor. Once a dream is achieved and discoveries made, they lay the groundwork for more and more innovation.


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Using dreams to hone your attention demands that you filter out whatever is not required to achieve them and move forward with singular focus. The people, conversations, distractions, and diversions that might normally pull you away from the path, are no longer relevant. Your commitments and activities become aligned with the bigger project. Only the actions that will move you a step closer to the dream and achievement of the smaller goals become important.


As in the case of Jobs, Musk, Gates and all big dreamers, such thinking fostered the setting of a target that could ONLY be achieved by reaching clear milestone markers en route to fulfilling the dream. What is evident is that the bigger the dream, many small achievable goals must be accomplished to make it happen.