What our flower beds (and my wife) taught me about dreaming BIG!

What our flower beds (and my wife) taught me about dreaming BIG!

Image by BeautifulRust via Flickr

[Originally posted at BIGDreamGathering.com]

I think I’ve mentioned this before but my wife, Melissa, is an amazing gardener. And this past weekend, I got to help her expand her flower beds around our house a bit.

As we worked, I noticed her pruning some plants, but I also noticed that she was planting others.

Now, although I wasn’t raised on a farm, I did grow up in Iowa.

And I KNOW that you plant in the spring and you harvest in the fall… right?

But there she was… planting.

That freaked me out a little bit and I was really tempted to offer some sage advice stemming from my vast knowledge of gardening… but then I quickly remembered that I know next to nothing about gardening and I was only helping out because I could lift relatively heavy things.

So… I asked, “What are you planting?”

Melissa then took a few minutes to school me on how some plants and flowers need to be planted in the fall. She explained it in a way a 1st grader could understand… which I REALLY appreciated… but basically it boiled down to the fact that some seeds and plants need the winter months in the ground to get started.

That way they are ready to bust through that top soil when the spring sunshine hits.

I have to admit… this experience got me thinking about two things… PLANTING SEEDS and… TIMING.


I’ve said it before but the connection between plants and dreams is huge!

I mean… both start out looking like something else entirely.

You have to start both by sticking them in the ground (literally or metaphorically)… tending to them… and in the beginning… nothing seems to happen.

You just seem to work hard… and sometimes… it feels like it’s for nothing.

But we all know that during that time the dream and the plant are germinating. But again… it’s tempting to think that nothing is happening.

This part of the process can take weeks… months… or even years.

But then… ohhhhh yes… then… things start to happen. You have momentum. You have break through. Things start to take shape. You can see more of what the plant… or the dream… are going to become and it inspires you to keep working!

In time… you can harvest.

You can reap what you’ve sowed.

Your plant produces a flower… or a fruit… or a veggie.

Your dream… helps someone… returns a profit… or sets you free.

But none of this can happen… until you start.

Nothing can transpire until you plant a seed… literally or metaphorically.

Let me ask you this… what are you planting right now?

What is something small but significant that you could do that could act like a seed for your dream?


Okay… the second aspect of this was my misunderstanding about timing.

I was ABSOLUTELY convinced you couldn’t plant in the fall. But Mel showed me otherwise.

Now, I’ve got to say that the “A-ha” on this hit me like a ton of bricks! Because all of a sudden I could see a link between my misunderstanding of timing… and some research we’ve been doing on the major roadblocks that keep us from our big dreams.

That’s right, recently we’ve been conducting a series of surveys with very real people about the major obstacles that get in the way of people’s big dreams.

Do you want to know which obstacle was listed the most often?

It was that a majority of people were convinced that they would need to quit their jobs in order to go after their big dreams.

That’s right… we heard from many of you that you believe you couldn’t get started because you would have to leave your current position.

Now… for some of you… this might be true.

But… I’m wondering if some of you who have thought this… might be suffering from the same misunderstanding that I had about my wife’s plants.

That’s right.

Maybe it’s a misunderstanding of timing.

Maybe you don’t have to quit in order to get started.

Maybe you’re supposed to stay right where you are… but get started by doing something small.

Maybe there are things you can be learning from your job that could help you with your big dream.

Or… maybe you need the consistent income for your family’s sake… but you could do something for 30 minutes a day… or dare I say an hour a day… to get you rolling towards your big dream.

Case in point… there’s BIG dream gathering alum Kevin Hansen who recently published a book called “Secret Regrets.” (Click here to find out more.) It took him 2.5 years… but he did it while working a full-time job and while being an awesome dad and hubby. How? He dedicated 30 minutes a day to it. (Be watching for a BDG podcast with Kevin in the coming weeks!)

Heck, for me, I started professionally coaching people while I was working full time. 9 years ago, I was in the pharmaceutical industry but I knew that it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing long term. So, I got certified as a coach and started to look for clients on the East Coast that I could coach early in the morning before I started my “day job.” And then I’d look for West Coast clients that I could work with at the end of the day.

I didn’t work with a client every day, but I worked on my business in some small but significant way… each day.

It was a tough schedule for a season but it got me prepared for launching my own business.

Plus, my coaching didn’t afford my family the kind of income we needed at the time, but by getting started while I was fully employed, we were able to work into it over time.

Then, when an opportunity hit that allowed me to start working with a consulting group in Chicago, I was positioned to jump into the opportunity with both feet.

I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t have been able to take the leap if I hadn’t gotten started months and months before.

It wouldn’t have just happened.

I… like Melissa and her plants… had to start at a time that didn’t seem right. At least, it didn’t seem “easy.”

For me, I had to plant a seed and cultivate it in less than ideal circumstances. Sure it meant for some long days sometimes. But that… along with a whole lot of Divine intervention… allowed us to step into our dream.

So… how about you?

What if you’ve been holding back on getting started with one of your big dreams because you thought you had to quit your job to get started?

What if there was a small but significant way to get started right now?

How could you spend 15 minutes a day (the same amount of time most people spend reading the newspaper) getting started on your big dream?

Could you spend that time researching? Or could you start blogging about something your passionate about? (That’s how Kevin got started!)

Or what if you devoted one lunch hour a week to meeting with someone who might be able to help you or offer you some insight on your big dream?

What if you spent 30 minutes a day… putting together a plan?

What could happen?

What if… that perceived barrier that was getting in the way… was really just a misunderstanding of timing?

What if…

Let me know what you think? Am I off my rocker?

Let me know what “seeds” you’re going to plant in the next few weeks!

Click comments and jump in the conversation.

In the meantime… keep dreaming BIG,


PS – This AMAZING photo is from an incredible photographer at Flickr. Find out more about BeautifulRust by clicking here!

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