Go Big or Go Home

The phrase, “Dream Big,” is heard a lot these days. So often, it has become somewhat cliché. Its strong message has been diluted and, much like decaffeinated coffee, it no longer energizes the very ones for whom it is intended. That really is too bad!

As a young professional, I was often told to “dream big” and “go for it!” The advice inspired and encouraged me. It affirmed my ideas and provided the fanatic chant I needed to push me towards my goals. 
 
Back then, I would think, “If she (or he) thinks I can do it, perhaps I can. There is no harm in trying, I guess. Oh heck, what do I have to lose?”
 
Clearly, thinking like that — often  — is the reason I’ve accomplished the things I have, and not thinking like that — at other times — is the reason I didn’t follow through on some things I now wish I had. 
 
Never underestimate the power of positive feedback!
 
Early on, my “cheerleaders” were people I knew well, liked and admired. Thus, I was eager to listen to what they had to say.  I was grateful for their attention, but I was very young and not one bit savvy. Truly, I was clueless when it came to the long-term value of the gift they were giving me. 
 
Now, as a woman of a certain age, I know it well. And, with much appreciation, I try to give back in kind  — to be available to young people who seek my input, to offer information and advice based on my own experience and to be candid about the mistakes I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned. 
 
At the same time, I try to connect these Gen X, Y and Zs with others who will reinforce their ambitions and to warn them about naysayers who will sabotage their ambition and success. 
 
These days, another phrase, “Go big or go home,” has become my mantra for mentoring others. I am committed to going big with my engagement, giving it all I have to give. Young people deserve nothing less from me — nothing less from any mentor.
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