When you begin to dream big dreams, your levels of self-esteem and self-confidence go up immediately. You feel more powerful about yourself and your ability to deal with what happens to you. The reason so many people accomplish so little is because they never let themselves lean back and imagine the kind of life that is possible for them.
A powerful principle that you can use to dream big dreams and live without limits is contained in what Elihu Goldratt calls the "Theory of Constraints." This is one of the greatest breakthroughs in modern thinking. What Goldratt has found is that in every process, in accomplishing any goal, there is a bottleneck or choke cord that serves as a constraint on the process. This constraint then sets the speed at which you achieve any particular goal. But if you concentrate all of your creative energies and attention on alleviating the constraint, you can speed up the process faster than by doing any other single thing.
Let me give you an example. Let us say that you want to double your income. What is the critical constraint or the limiting factor that holds you back? Well, you know that your income is a direct reward for the quality and quantity of the services you render to your world. Whatever field you are in, if you want to double your income, you simply have to double the quality and quantity of what you do for that income. Or you have to change what you are doing to make it worth twice as much. But you must always ask yourself, "What is the critical constraint that holds me back or sets the speed on how fast I double my income?"
A friend of mine is one of the highest-paid commission professionals in the United States. One of his goals was to double his income over three to five years.
He applied the 80/20 rule to his client base. He found that 20% of his clients contributed 80% of his profits. And that the amount of time he spent on a high-profit client was pretty much the same as the amount of time he spent on a low-profit client.
So he very carefully, politely, and strategically handed off the 80% of his clients that only represented 20% of his business to other professionals in his industry. He then put together a profile of his top clients and began looking in the marketplace for more clients that fit the profile. In other words, clients who could become major profit contributors to his organization and whom he, in turn, could serve with the level of excellence his clients were accustomed to.
And instead of doubling his income in three to five years, he doubled it in the first year!
So what is holding you back? Is it your level of education or skill? Is it your current occupation or job? Is it your current environment? Is it the situations that you are in today? What is setting the speed for achieving your goal?
The three keys to living without limits have always been the same. They are clarity, competence, and concentration.
Clarity means that you are absolutely clear about who you are, what you want, and where you're going. You write down your goals and you make plans to accomplish them. You set very careful priorities and you do something every day to move yourself toward your goals. And the more progress you make toward accomplishing things that are important to you, the greater self-confidence and self-belief you have, and the more convinced you become that there are no limits on what you can achieve.
Competence means that you begin to become very, very good in the key result areas of your chosen field. You apply the 80/20 rule to everything you do and you focus on becoming outstanding in the 20% of tasks that contribute to 80% of your results. You dedicate yourself to continuous learning. You never stop growing. You realize that excellence is a moving target. And you commit yourself to doing something every day that enables you to become better and better at doing the most important things in your field.
Concentration is having the self-discipline to force yourself to concentrate single-mindedly on one thing, the most important thing, and stay with it until it's complete.
The two key words for success have always been focus and concentration. Focus is knowing exactly what you want to be, have, and do. Concentration is persevering, without distraction, in a straight line toward accomplishing the things that can make a real difference in your life.
When you allow yourself to begin to dream big dreams, creatively abandon the activities that are taking up too much of your time, and focus your inward energies on alleviating your main constraints, you start to feel an incredible sense of power and confidence. As you focus on doing what you love to do and becoming excellent in those few areas that can make a real difference in your life, you begin to think in terms of possibilities rather than impossibilities, and you move ever closer toward the realization of your full potential.
[Ed. Note: If you're not spending most of your time doing what you love, and you're not making the money you know you deserve, chances are you're not exploiting your natural talents.