There is a story that goes: a man who went fishing in the river and would always carry a ruler with him. A friend goes to him, “why do you bring that ruler with you?” The fisherman says, “well, my pot at home is only 10 inches big, I have to make sure the fish are no bigger than that so they can fit in the pot when I take them home.” The friend looks down and then back at the fisherman confusingly and says, “man, get a bigger pot!”
The story reminds me of how small we dream when it comes to having what we want. When we dream, the whole point is to fantasize and imagine making what seems impossible, possible. Our dreams represent the unrestricted and limitless versions of ourselves and what we’re capable of. Dreams are not meant to stay that way for long. They are the start of an idea that is brewing and taking shape waiting to be brought into the world and become reality.
I remember one afternoon having a conversation with my mother. I had landed upon an idea that excited me and I couldn’t wait to share it with her. After the words poured out of my mouth with unbridled excitement, she simply responds to me, gently and lovingly, “Ari, dream bigger.”
She was right.
Let me ask you. For the writers out there: Have you ever thought about appearing on Oprah to talk about your bestselling book? For the artists out there: Have you ever thought about traveling the world and selling your art pieces to high profile museums? For the Lawyers out there: Have you ever thought of opening your own yoga studio in the heart of Manhattan and teaching mindfulness to your students?
Many of us don’t think on those terms. Why? Maybe we think that we are being a bit outlandish or foolish. That in somehow dreaming we have to inject some form of “realistic” thinking to make sure our dreams can be contained and not out of the realm of possibility?
Get a bigger pot!
What fun is it when our dreams are small enough for us to contain? That is not the point of our imagination. Take that dream that you’ve had in mind and have been working on for the past year and dial it up another 10%. And then another 10%. What would your dream look like at that point?
There are no perimeters on what we can have as long as we can dream it.
How big is your pot?