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.]

Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com