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Big Dreams Are Really Many Small Realities

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My friend has big dreams. When he talks about them his eyes light up, a smile creeps over his face, he becomes confident, animated, and he stares with a satisfied look off into the distance. But there are a zillion people out there with big dreams, though only a few have the humility to start from the bottom, realize that they are nobodies, and take one tentative step at a time through the darkness.

People are not standing in line to finance a well meaning visionary on these grounds alone. Big breaks never come, they are chased down. If you want to run a big, unique bar/ restaurant, start out with a taco cart. It’s the zillion steps, stumbles, and falls along the way that are going to get you where you want to be, not some sling shot ride that propels you straight to the end goal.

Success isn’t an all or nothing pursuit, it’s a slow and steady dirge to the finish line. It isn’t a sprint, it’s not even a marathon, it’s an endless jog. Keep running.

For every Zuckerberg there are a thousand Bransons, who take the first small step towards big dreams with a small time magazine and a local record store. For every Branson there are a million nobodies we’ve never heard of because they lacked the humility to take small steps, the foresight to know they have to start from the bottom, the perseverance to climb, fall, climb again; because their daydreams about winning the trophy at the end of the race become a cerebral substitute for stepping up to the starting line and putting the dream itself to the test. Dreams need to be restructured into a string of obtainable realities to be won.

The conception of a big dream is often enough to hamstring most people from ever obtaining it. If you can only see the light at the end of the tunnel the steps to get there will forever be shrouded in darkness. Rather than idly staring off into the distance, wasting time wondering how you are ever going to cross that deep, nebulous abyss, shine the light down by your feet and keep it there. Take one step forward, then repeat.

Friend, you may never get there, but at least you could join me in the darkness, inching a little more daily towards the light.

Big dreams are really many small realities.

On Becoming Unstuck:

It is my impression that people who are successful in their pursuits, who actualize their dreams, who meet their goals tend to have one thing in common: they had the guts, the confidence, or sheer downright self-delusion to start out for a destination without having any clue how they were going to get there. There are few endeavors in life that can be fully planned, there are few big projects that can be taken any more than one step at a time, there are few dreams that can be had without going after them with full on reckless abandon.

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Filed under: Travel Philosophy

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3053 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Cincinnati, Ohio, USAMap