Whenever I mention the words “dream big,” I often see heads nodding in agreement. Most will quickly retort, “Dreaming is free, after all!” 

But in this common refrain, there’s a subtle misinterpretation. 

For many Filipinos, dreaming equates to merely wishing. Wishing for a better life, for memorable moments, for success. 

But dreaming, in its purest sense, is about visualizing a future we’re deeply passionate about.

I remember my life while growing up in the slums. Filipinos have simple dreams. 

What are their dreams? Maybe it’s having a house they can call their own, without the strain of monthly rent. For others, it could be ensuring their children graduate from high school. For most, it is to be able to feed their family.

For many professionals, the dream is the freedom to travel and discover places. There is so much I learned from traveling. I wish more Filipinos get to travel because each of my travels abroad educated me.

Amway taught me an invaluable lesson: “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” This powerful phrase became the cornerstone of my ‘Make It Happen’ webinars. I did not become successful in Amway. I left it after months of buying expensive products, and not earning anything. But the great idea of goal setting stayed with me.

Many self-help experts echo the mantra of setting goals. And I’m right there with them, believing and advocating the same.

Yet, there’s a glaring contradiction. 

Many of us set these goals, intricate and detailed, only to find ourselves drifting away from them. I’ve been there. I once penned down my aspirations with utmost clarity, only to falter along the way. 

Why?

The answers are many. But one that stands out is that these goals are too far away from today. Setting a dream for five years ahead is thrilling, but it’s easy to think, “There’s always tomorrow.” 

I aimed to write a book 30 years ago, and I waited 30 years. When I finally wrote, it took me 14 days.

Setting yearly goals? They provide 12 full months of potential postponement. That’s why I’ve now warmed up to quarterly goals, like churning out a book every three months. 

Sounds daunting, right? But here’s the catch: they’re close enough to touch, to feel.

This brings me to my gift to you today: Cherish the power of now

What you have is the present. Embrace it. Today, you and I have 1440 minutes. It is up to us how we spend each minute for every hour. If you can invest 100 minutes in acting on your goals, you’ll achieve much in a week.

I have three focus days in a week. I work four hours on my focus days. This gives me more time on some other important things in my life outside work. 

I know, many of us cannot afford to have focus days. Many professionals get paid to work eight hours a day. But believe me, you can find 30 minutes each day that you can use to advance whatever goals you have in life.

Don’t get lost in the vast horizon of the future. Focus on today. Thinking of a million steps ahead can be dizzying. But three steps? That’s doable.

So, what’s the game plan for today?

  1. Chunk It Down: Got a big dream? Break it into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Instead of a distant yearly goal, why not think of what you can achieve this month or even this week?
  2. Today’s To-Do: Every morning, jot down three tasks linked to your dream. Just three. By sunset, aim to tick them off.
  3. Stay In The Moment: It’s tempting to daydream about the future. But your power lies in today. What can you do right now?

Dreaming big isn’t about fancy words or grand gestures. It’s about the simple, consistent steps we take each day, here and now. Dreams, after all, aren’t built in the skies. They’re built in the daily grind, one day at a time.

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