Monday Thought: Why do we have to think big?
Monday thoughts: Why do we have to think big?
Hello to my first MONDAY THOUGHTS column. I thought it would be nice to have a weekly chat about a generic topic I am juggling around in my head. Monday seems to be a good choice. I love to digest feelings and thoughts over the weekend and conclude to new action plans on Monday.
As this is not a one-way road I would love to read your opinions on the topics. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below so we could have a little community exchange or feel free to send me a private message if you don’t want to make your point of view public. Either way thanks so much for reaching out to me. Your feedback is the biggest motivation boost for me to carry on and to help other Expats and Expat Partners on their journey. If you also have a topic in your head I should cover on this website I would be happy to hear.
Why do we have to think big?
Thinking big is a big thing for the Y generation and even more so for the Millenials. Today more than ever children in school are raised with the promise that they can become anything they want if they just think big and act boldly.
Living in the US this cultural identity is much bigger than back in Europe. The well established American Dream (from starting out as a dishwasher to becoming a millionaire) is something you will learn very early here.
I carry the thought of dreaming big, achieving something, create something outstanding for me since I quit my job and moved to the land of opportunities.
Looking back I realized that I started to see that promise not longer as an uplifting, liberating and motivating thought but it started to become a pressure. I began to question this culture.
Why should we think big? Why is a normal job not enough anymore? Or even just to be normal? Average? Happy with the status quo? Why should we educate our children that they not only can become anything they want but at the same time indicating that this has become part of our social expectations on success?
At universities, Millenials who are entering the job market right now are taught that they should break with the old employer/employee relationship and think outside the box and at the same time they are judged for having a different mindset about the working environment and lifetime goals. (If you want to learn more about that statement I can recommend you this TED Talk)
We want to liberate our former social structures but at the same time, we are afraid of what might come next.
I have been to the Chicago History Museum yesterday (btw a great place to visit). They have shown a short movie to give the visitors insights into the several historical periods. The two main characters, a young boy, and a babysitter traveled through time and learned about the different ups and downs of Chicago. The quintessence was that the boy should be happy and thankful to live here as in the city of Chicago he can become everything he wants. He can build high buildings as an architect or use his visions to create a better place in the future. The movie was full of perfect, successful and visionary role models.
Reading the newspapers or just observing how role models change in TV sitcoms and movies I can see that everybody is challenged to dream big, reach high, ask for more and realize their true selves. Is a perfect world full of little Elon Musks? Am I the only one who finds this idea very questionable?
I am glad that I have grown up in a world without smartphones and virtual connectivity. Meaning my childhood was much slower, much more intimate. During my time in school, there was no pressure on achieving something big before turning 20 or 30. I wonder how it would be not to have this solid past I can rely on in times of tumult and struggle in a fast-paced environment.
I was raised with the mindset that I am good the way I am and anything else is the icing on the top of an already excellent cake.
Therefore I started to think: When I even now continually question myself how to improve more and what to achieve next – how would I feel if I would have been raised in a world where everyone around me constantly reminds me to think bigger and to aspire for more and more success.
I would love to hear more of being a kind human and an open and supporting mind as a desirable objective rather than founding your own company, becoming a millionaire before a certain age or develop yourself as a powerful brand for advertising campaigns.
Thinking big is a good tool to unleash your potential and to create something out of your inner strengths. However, you should think big because you want to create something and not because everyone around you defines you by this.
What do you think about dreaming big and constantly aspiring from more? Do you think this is something we should teach and preach more or should we be careful with the pressure we might put on us and the ones around us?
Would love to hear your thoughts on this!
Thanks for stopping by and sharing the love.