Updated September 4, 2021 . AmFam Team
Dream Big! That’s quite the goal, isn’t it? But what does it even mean to dream, let alone ‘dream big?’ And why is it so important to have aspirations?
Take it from one of the most inspirational dreamers we know — Mitch Matthews.
“We are all put on the planet for a reason. And for so many of us, I think that reason gets buried. So, I love dreams because I think they are like little clues. Little clues as to why we’re here and what our purpose is,” he says.
Mitch may know better than anyone that allowing yourself to dream can be life-changing. In fact, it was his willingness to dream that sparked his life’s goal and mission.
Back in 2006, Mitch was struggling to keep his entrepreneurial dream afloat. Everything that could go wrong seemed to within a matter of weeks, and his dream began to crumble. But, instead of giving up, he decided to ask for help. He and his wife hosted a gathering at their house with 30 of their closest friends and they began writing down their dreams and taping them up on the walls. They connected and worked together to help encourage each other and offer up support. Before he knew it, dreams were being achieved left and right, and what started as a small party in his home turned into a movement — it turned into the BIG Dream Gathering.
Now Mitch and his team travel to colleges across the country in an effort to inspire people to dream and put their goals into action. When asked about the purpose of the BIG Dream Gathering, Mitch had this to say:
“If you think about it, dreamers are the ones who change the world. So we want to create a culture where people give themselves permission to dream, but also remind them that they have the ability to help and encourage others to go after their goals.”
Feeling inspired yet? Us too. But it’s one thing to feel compelled to dream, it’s a whole other thing to act on it! So, Mitch has some nuggets of wisdom to offer. Here are his three tips that’ll help you get your dreams off the ground and running.
Take small steps. Sounds simple, right? Yet so many of us get caught up in the grandeur of our goals and are too scared to take that first step, afraid that we won’t have the time to accomplish it. “I’m not a huge fan of blind leaps of faith, but I am a huge fan of small steps of faith over time,” says Mitch. “We think we don’t have much time, but if you give yourself 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week, that’s over 50 hours in a year! Everyone has a 15 minute window where they’re waiting in a line or waiting for a meeting to start — don’t waste those minutes, use them!”
Remember your ‘why.’ Odds are if you have a dream, there’s a driving force behind it. And what is that to you? “I remind myself all the time that I have to think of my why,” says Mitch. “For me, part of my why is that I believe I was put on the planet to help people uncover their dreams and go after them. So when I’m tired and feeling introverted, that’s what pushes me to keep helping people even when I just want to take a break that day. Find your why and keep it top-of-mind — you’ll be surprised at how motivating it can be.”
Give yourself permission to experiment. “I’m a recovering perfectionist. So, my natural proclivity is to wait until something is perfect before I start,” reveals Mitch. “The problem with that is dreams are not achieved from stagnation! And if we wait until our situation is perfect, we’ll be waiting forever. So, I encourage people to give themselves permission to experiment. Even if you don’t have everything you need to achieve your greatest dream, what are some things you could do right now that will move you in the right direction? It could be researching, it could be making a connection with a similar minded dreamer, it could be stepping outside of your comfort zone even just a little bit. Whatever it is, do something small and start today.”
So, no matter how confident you are in your dream or how sure you are of the next steps, allow yourself to start here. Because if there’s one thing that’s absolutely true about the BIG Dream Gathering, it’s that people come to Mitch and his team on all ends of the spectrum — some know their dreams inside and out, others aren’t quite sure what they’re going for. But Mitch always gives the same advice. After all, “when you go after one dream, you may run into another dream that could be even bigger and better. And had you not started dreaming even the smallest of dreams, you may have never discovered your purpose,” concludes Mitch.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to dream big.
Need more inspiration? Check out Mitch’s podcast, DREAM. THINK. DO. (Opens in a new tab), and become empowered to dream fearlessly.