Why You Must Dream Big

The first few hours of my morning are pure bliss. I arise early and sneak down to the kitchen table in my loft apartment. The sixteen feet ceilings and windows to the south help to free up space in my heart and my mind as I go about my daily routine.

I sit at the large table, without Internet access, surrounded by the lush green scenery endemic to the Toronto skyline in early June. The early summer sun naturally lights the sky and lifts my spirits. It’s a magical time of day.

I spend at least an hour to writing my daily Early To Rise essays and monthly newsletters. This is followed by thirty minutes devoted to daily inspirational readings and another fifteen minutes of seated meditation.

During these few solitary hours, everything is right in the world.

But each morning, before I start my magic time with writing, there is one even more important daily ritual that I complete at my kitchen table.

This my “Big Thinking” time.

I pull out my Big Idea notepad and spend ten to twenty minutes letting my mind unfurl the overnight inspirations buried deep within my subconscious.

First come the obvious, small ideas. Then with my mind warmed-up from these gentle impressions it begins to expand and dream bigger. Finally, after a few minutes of growing intensity, I develop a few moonshots, as Google’s Larry Page refers to ideas that sound next to impossible. But that is the goal, to dream big.

From this time devoted to strategic thinking always comes a solution to a problem in my business. Recently my big thinking time gave birth to a particular articulation of a new sales message that could deliver breakthrough results for one of our Early To Rise Success Systems. This could be the Big Idea we’ve been looking for, but it likely wouldn’t have seen the light of day without dedicated time spent to simply thinking.

I have no doubt this vital ritual would pay off for you, too. But it’s a habit that far too few people take the time to add to their day. After all, the world discourages big thinkers. It mocks the dreamers and wild thinkers. The mainstream media reports only on fear, loss, negativity, and scarcity. But you cannot let yourself be influenced by these vultures and dream stealers.

Instead, you must carve out time to think big each day, preferably in an inspiring environment. Your breakthrough concepts will only come if you have faith in yourself and believe in the abundance of the world.

If you want to achieve great things, you need to be politically incorrect. You need to set big goals. You need to dream big things. You need to close the door to your office, put the world on hold, tell everyone you aren’t taking any phone calls or emails, and then you need to just sit there and think – big.

It’s a lost art, thinking. But if you look back at the great leaders in history, like Winston Churchill, and the great philosophers, like Epictetus, you’ll see that their rigid schedules contained time for big thinking. The scheduled time of solitude was non-negotiable.

It seems almost ironic, given today’s opportunity to be constantly connected to news, or to be always mired in meetings, that the only real progress you’ll make in your day is when you are allowed to be thinking in solitude. But I promise you’ll achieve your fastest results when you can set aside uninterrupted time for sustained concentration on the biggest obstacles in your business.

This Big Thinking approach goes not only for your business, your career, or for making money. It will also work if you want to change your health, find your dream relationship, or fix any bad habit in your life.

Don’t think small, think big, because this in turn will cause you to take big steps in the right direction.

Research from the weight loss world proves that your long-term goal setting should include achieving massive dreams. After all, the same steps will be taken to lose 30 pounds as will be for 5 pounds.

So why not set the bigger goal?

Because the politically correct – and wrong – mainstream media tells you it’s not possible, right?

Well, listen to the facts and see what they say about dreaming big and getting results.

Dutch weight loss researchers found that setting big goals leads to faster results.

In their cheekily titled study, “Ain’t no mountain high enough? Setting high weight loss goals predict effort and short-term weight loss,” the scientists wanted to test the modest goal theory. They explored whether the amount of weight loss individuals strive for is associated with more positive psychological and behavioral outcomes.

Over four hundred overweight and obese participants trying to lose weight were surveyed about their weight loss goals and progress over a two-month interval.

According to the researchers, “Many participants set goals that could be considered unrealistically high. However, higher weight loss goals predicted more effort in the weight loss attempt, as well as more self-reported short-term weight loss.”

In plain English, the study revealed that those subjects that set the biggest weight loss goals achieved the best results. Why? Because their big goals encouraged them to put in more effort.

Dream big. Work harder. Achieve more.

That’s a politically incorrect approach to success you won’t hear in the mainstream media, but that is what will work best for you.

If you follow proven and ethical blueprints for success, there’s nothing wrong with getting rich quick, or burning fat fast, or accelerating your relationships with others.

That’s politically incorrect these days. First of all, to dream big is discouraged. To want more than average is frowned upon.

The external world tries to hold you down every single day. But it’s only by getting out of your comfort zone, by dreaming and believing big things, that you’ll actually be able to accomplish what you want – because it will compel you to take the massive action that success requires.

Don’t let anyone hold you back. Don’t let anyone stomp on your dreams. At Early To Rise, we’re here to encourage and support you, no matter what the other people in your life try to do to your dreams.

As Dave Kekich tells us, it takes just as much effort to go after big dreams as it does smaller ones, so why not go all in? Why not go for it? Why not set the bar high in life? Why hold back? Why be satisfied with average? After all, the average person doesn’t get far in life, so why set average – or modest – goals?

Think big.

Don’t be satisfied with the norm if you want more. It’s okay to want to achieve special results. The world needs folks who dream and achieve big things.

Get outside your comfort zone. Hang around others who think big. Find support from others who support your big dreams and who dream big as well.

Starting tomorrow, set aside at least fifteen minutes where you can work on the biggest obstacles in your life and put together a plan to solve them.

Don’t let anything get in your way of this magic time.

And don’t forget to think big.

When is your best big thinking time and best big thinking environment? We want to hear your tips.

[Ed. Note: Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise and the author of Financial Independence Monthly and Turbulence Training. Craig and his colleague, Richard Saunders have come together to bring readers the newest issue of the Franklin letter. This month you can learn how to properly manage your time like Winston Churchill. Get the latest Franklin letter now.]
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  • My best big time thinking comes while slowly saying the Lord’s Prayer each morning before arising from the bed. This has led me to success as a teenage horse trainer and trick-roping singing cowboy showbiz entertainer, professional consulting engineer for 50 years, award-winning author, successful book publisher, rope-spinning humorist, and enrichment speaker.

  • Royce Hilgartner


    I enjoyed your article “Why You Must Dream Big” very much. It completely aligns with my beliefs and values. I have been reading and following Grant Cardone, books, online courses, youtube videos, and the book “If you’re not first you’re last” says exactly what your essay said, in fact it could be an executive summary for his book.

    This what I need to hear every day, dream big, work hard. I watched the secret and they make it sound like all you have to do is set goals and wish for something to happen. The fact is action is the key, and lots of it. “The 10x Rule”, another book by Grant, says most goals are not achieved because you underestimate the amount of work need to achieve your goals.

    Action, working, planning, execution is the only way to go. The politically correct police can spend their time trying to destroy this movement, but good luck. There is a movement for people to achieve again and it is awesome to be part of it.

  • Deb

    A daily two mile walk in a local park do he trick for me. I pray, plan, meditate, and enjoy the beauty of my surroundings as each season progresses. There are no demands or distractions and I can truly dwell in my own mind.

  • Great article! I agree wholeheartedly. I can also relate to needing a place, a special place, to “Dream Big.”
    My daily ritual does include an inspirational phase,but I have never included a Big Dream phase,and just from reading this article, I can see how having a daily Big Dream phase of the day can help me solve a major challenge I currently have in my business.
    I thank you for sharing this valuable and timely information.

    Barbara J.

  • SJ


    I love the positivity of your message here!

    I try to put aside some time to “dream big” each and every day myself. Over a decade ago my dreams lead me to quitting my job and starting my own business.

    Though, of course, things were difficult and and there were bumps along the way, here I am ten years later with a job I love, working for a boss I love (after all you have to love yourself) and making a decent living.

    The only thing I would add is that along with dreaming big, you need to “plan big” and make your dream into a “goal” which can be turned into reality.

  • Hello Craig,
    I loved your article and the scene you described. I have always been a “big thinker” (can’t help myself). I also do not have as much time as I want to just “think”.

    I meditate every morning and recently have been in the habit (not as consistently as I want) of just being quiet and holding my pen in my left hand. I then just start writing in my journal and ideas, direction, and solutions often come. The left side controls the creative right side…

    The other thing I do is have pen and paper available EVERYWHERE. My desk, my car (stickies are great here), the bedroom, the bathroom (inspiration in the shower :)) ), my purse. When I’m on a walk I carry my cell phone with me as my walks are great for inspiration also and I just talk into my phone. Too many times I have missed road exists when I’m driving because I am lost in thought (that isn’t good!).

    Thanks again for sharing…

    • ttcert

      Happy to help!

  • Thanks for the article. i find that late night is also a good time to think and meditate, because outside noise gets fainter and fainter. Thinking big works like a big fly wheel. The bigger the fly wheel the greater the momentum and so small distractions, problems and worries simply get thrown off.

  • David Shawn

    My best “thinking time” is on my mesh raft–floating in the pool or jacuzzi. Meditation at its finest!

    • ttcert

      Very nice!

  • Mike

    I think in the car. 30 minutes to and from work. I find it more productive than listening to the radio.

    • ttcert

      Me too, Mike. I don’t listen to anything most of the time.

  • priyabrat

    Great article craig..thanks for posting this nice motivational article.

  • “Your breakthrough concepts will only come if you have faith in yourself and believe in the abundance of the world… If you want to achieve great things, you need to be politically incorrect. You need to set big goals. You need to dream big things.”

    I love this article! I get very motivated when you remind us of the importance of thinking big and not being concerned with the opinions and shadowy doubts of others. I find that the more we get closer to our inner light shining and taking bigger steps on our paths to our dreams, we attract more and more attention to those that are not taking those steps and that naturally wish to share their negativity so that maybe we may cease on our path and make life easier on their conscience. My instinct tells me that the doubting mind (including our own) seeks us as we gain more and more momentum on our path. My meditation practice has shown me that the doubtful mind is like a child that needs love, and has not the language yet to simply ask for it, but to bully it out of the faithful and achieving mind.

    What wonderful food for thought you’ve given me.

    My best thinking time is early in the morning, when I first wake, at about 5am, right before I sit to meditate. I spend 3 to 4 hours a day in meditation, many more in serving at the meditation center I live at, and several more in writing and illustrating. By far and away, the early morning hours have the most available “free space” in which to gather consciousness data and organize it with penetrating clarity… in those early hours before the collective grabs a hold of them and gets cluttered with daily routines and media frequencies.

    I recommend everyone throw away their television sets, or at least their subscriptions to regularly scheduled, televised programming. The internet can provide everything one needs for world news and relevant information; everything else is media that steals away the creative potential of the mind.

    I’d like to share a secret! My second best time for thinking, is in the evening, when the sun is setting and the sky is gold. They say that the great philosophers were neither scientists nor spiritualists; they were an alchemical mix of the two, and that they regularly meditated and gazed at the sun. I recently added sun-gazing, a few minutes a day, to my daily practice of thinking. I have found, to my surprise, how incredibly fruitful it has been to do this. Illuminating thoughts arise out of no where, and connect with each other in a way that they previously had not. There is something really simply and alchemical about the nature of light particles and how the sun can help our minds to calm, collect, and reset. Just as in meditation.

    Thank you for yet another great article Craig.

    • ttcert

      Thank you so much!

  • Raslandaz

    My big thinking time is 5.00am, when I am in the bathroom!![:-))