Trees by Catherine Just. Photograph.
The Change the World Mindset is all about having Big Aspirations (and using lots of capital letters even when you aren’t talking about nouns!).
When you think about what you want to be doing with your life, do you think big? Huge, even?
Thinking big is often what people suggest to us if we want to get somewhere in our lives. To be successful, you have to think big. That’s good advice. And it is definitely pretty important. If you don’t have large goals, you have less vision and end up complacent, plateauing instead of growing. But I also think it’s important to understand what those big goals are going to look like, and to have a more tangible version of each goal.
Stick with me here. I know many of you are contemplating that little x button right now. But trust me on this. I am not telling you to abandon your dreams. Neither am I telling you to change your dreams. I just want you to look into your soul and discover what your dreams actually are.
Back to the point. Let’s understand what those big goals are going to look like and get a more tangible version of each goal. This forces you to see where you’re headed and plan for it. And it allows you to actually take steps toward the goal because you know where you’re going.
For instance, many of us have thought at one time or another, “I want to be famous.” Ah, fame…. It’s definitely not an impossible goal (think of all the celebrities who have achieved it, not to mention the political, religious, artistic, and educational leaders out in the world). People do it. Why not you? But the likelihood is that you either won’t be famous like that, or you don’t *want* to be famous like that. But there’s still a pull on your heart for the word “fame”. There’s something about that reputation and influence that you want. So let’s make this goal a little easier to see and understand. It’s not necessarily that it’s more realistic, but just that it fits your plan, your life, your art better.
Now the idea of fame becomes being famous amongst a small set of people who love your art and your spirit. You’re already famous (or infamous?) to your family and friends, why not widen that reach? Make yourself famous to a niche audience who loves exactly what you create. If a recent buyer hangs your painting in their home, they begin thinking of you as famous. You’ve made an impression in their daily life. And then this usually spirals as their family and friends ask about your painting and you become famous to them, hopefully with sales following! But there’s no need to be written up as the most influential artist of the decade in a major magazine or journal. You just need to be famous to the people who adore you and your art, the people who will buy your art (and love it and hang it in their homes and let it inspire them).
How about money? Do you have a vision to be making a million dollar salary? If only, right? Think about this goal. Is there something specific about a million dollars that is so much more tempting than $900,000? Turn that goal on its head! What aspects of your life cost money (your home, car, food, entertainment, etc)? If you were going to feel financially fulfilled, how much money would you spend on these things? That’s the number you’re striving for. Was it just $2,000 a month that it would cost to live the life that would find you financially fulfilled? Then you only want to make $24,000 a year. That’s nowhere near a million dollars! Now your goal is more tangible. It fits your ideal life and becomes achievable.
Let’s do one more. This is a biggie. I talk to many artists who say they want to “change the world”. First off, that’s a bit ludicrous since practically everything you do changes somebody’s world! But aside from that, you want to make an impact and make life better for people. And that’s an extraordinary aspiration! I believe you can do it. But how do you quantify “making an impact” or “making life better for people”? What does that look like in your mind? I doubt you want to be Mother Theresa…. I’m guessing you’d rather do your little part (more like Angelina Jolie, perhaps). Could it be that your art isn’t going to “change the world”, but rather “change someone’s world”? Could it be that your art is going to reach that one person who desperately needs it? Maybe your art will save their life. Maybe it will save them from living a boring, uninspired life. Maybe it’s going to be the catalyst to their finding true love or the intensity of passionate spirituality. I think these are achievable ways you can change the world that don’t seem nearly as daunting as thinking of your goal as literally changing the entire planet in one fell swoop. Unless you are inventing something as culture-changing as the internet, it’s much easier to think about changing a life than changing the world.
So my point here is that your goals are your goals because you’re passionate about the purpose behind them, not necessarily the end result. If you really assess what you’re trying to accomplish, your goals are almost always in sight and you can begin to plan out actionable steps to reach them. Way less daunting!
What is your Change the World Mindset and how are you reassessing what it actually means to your soul?