Have you ever read or heard something that exactly described an experience you'd had in a way you'd never been able to? I'm there right now. It came from this post from Michael Hyatt on thinking big. I've spent enough time in the world of imagination & possibilities to have come across most of his suggestions before, but #3 captured my attention. Connect with what is at stake.
"Before you can find your way, you must discover your why. Why is this goal important to you? What will achieving it make possible? What is at stake if you don't? What will you lose?"
These are GOOD questions. Big dreams come up against all sorts of opposition. With anything I've set out to do--become a lawyer, write a (first, second, third) book, build a happy marriage, recover from tough blows, plant a church--there have been people who lined up to tell me why it was a bad idea/would never happen and--my personal favorite--how I was embarrassingly unqualified to even consider such a thing and who did I think I was to try?
Michael Hyatt gets it exactly right when he says that knowing what is at stake if we DON'T follow through on a goal is what gives us the momentum to get up & over/around/away from the naysayers.
When I was writing He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, I was frustrated that there were so few books out there bridging the gap between faith and romantic happiness in a way that made any sense to someone like me. I knew I wasn't the only woman out there struggling with questions about love & spirituality, and I wanted to encourage others that happily ever after is a dream worth chasing and that God cares. That kept me writing even as people told me I should be more realistic, because "People don't just their books published." (And that just seemed stupid: walk into any bookstore...clearly SOMEBODY is getting published. Why not me?)
You'd think I'd have conquered this when I sat down to write A Maze of Grace, but if anything, it was worse. Try telling people you're writing a book about how marriage can be really fun & happy even when tough things happen. Steely eyes, tense shoulders, change of subject. But again, I couldn't for the life of me find a book out there about a happy couple that came through life's ups & downs still liking/loving/finding each other sexy, and I believed with all my heart that that book should exist. So I had to keep writing.
And now, as I wrestle with the bits & pieces of what I hope will become book 3, there's opposition coming in all new directions. But this bit of idea--asking what it at stake if I stop--gives me a way through the discouragement so I can do the work anyway.
None of us get to skip this step, so the sooner we prepare for it, the better. What's at stake if you give up on your big dreams?