#1677 Think Big

Tool #2 for Being Useful

In our last +1, we talked about Tool #1 from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new book Be Useful: “Have a Clear Vision.”

As you may recall, we juxtaposed the silliness of The Secret with the practical science of making our dreams a reality.

Today we’re going to talk about Tool #2: “Think Big.”

Let’s get straight to work.

Arnold tells us: “There’s a story about Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to summit Mount Everest. When he came back down to base camp, he was met by reporters who asked him what the view was like at the top of the world. He said it was incredible, because while he was up there he saw another mountain in the Himalayan range that he hadn’t climbed yet, and he was already thinking about the route he would take to summit that peak next.”

He continues by saying: “When you reach the mountaintop, it gives you a brand new perspective on the rest of the world, on the rest of your life. You see new challenges that were out of sight before, and you see old challenges in new ways. With this huge victory now under your belt, they all become conquerable.”

Isn’t that an extraordinary image?!

Imagine Sir Edmund Hillary.

He’s the first person to summit Mount Everest.

He comes back down and reporters ask him about the view.


He says it was amazing because he could see his next climb!

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi would certainly approve.

That story feels like it’s perfectly pulled out of his brilliant book Creativity where he tells us: “Like the climber who reaches the top of the mountain and, after looking around in wonder at the magnificent view, rejoices at the sight of an even taller neighboring peak, these people never run out of exciting goals.”

Arnold shares the story in the second chapter-rule: “Never Think Small” in the context of creating wins in your life and establishing a self-image as someone who succeeds.

He tells us: “Thinking big and succeeding does something for us. It certainly did something for me. It became addictive, because I learned that the only limits that truly exist are in our minds. I realized that our potential is limitless—mine and yours!”

All that makes me think of David Goggins and his “Cookie Jar” filled with highlights of him at his best that sustain him when he’s at his worst.

As Goggins tells us in Can’t Hurt Me: “That’s one reason I invented the Cookie Jar. We must create a system that constantly reminds us who the f*** we are when we are at our best, because life is not going to pick us up when we fall. There will be forks in the road, knives in your f****** back, mountains to climb, and we are only capable of living up to the image we create for ourselves.”

With that in mind...

Think of a time in your life when YOU thought BIG, went for it, and SUCCEEDED.


What’s the ONE thing you’re MOST proud of?

Feast on that Hero Bar.

“THAT’S LIKE YOU!!!” to dream big and dominate.


What’s your NEXT big mountain?

Use your past success as fuel for your current quest, Hero.


P.S. At the end of this chapter, Arnold tells us: It’s no harder to think big than it is to think small. The only hard part is giving yourself permission to think that way. Well, I don’t just give you permission, I demand it of you, because when you’re thinking about your goals and crafting that vision for your life, you have to remember that it’s not just about you. You could have a huge impact on the people around you. While you are breaking new ground in your own life, you could be blazing trails for people you didn’t even know were watching.

How big you dream, whether you give it your all, or whether you give in at the first sign of trouble—these things matter. They matter for your own happiness and success, obviously. But they also matter because it could make a real difference in the world, far beyond what you can directly impact yourself.”

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