Our book this month is Dream Big by Bob Goff. Bob is someone who lives his own life out loud.
After graduating law School, Bob decides to take a 3 month vacation with his family and visits a remote part of British Columbia.
He has taken the personal initiative to build a lodge in a remote ares of British Columbia. He buys a 2500 acre parcel of land and spends 5 years building the lodge.
On a visit to Uganda, he witnesses the atrocities being committed by so-called “witch doctors” against young children. He influences the Ugandan parliament to enact legislation to outlaw these practices and then undertakes to prosecute one of the witch doctors under that new law. He then realizes that prosecution is not the answer, so he starts a school for Witch doctors so that by educating them to be better witch doctors, they will no longer commit atrocities against children.
He started a school in Afghanistan for girls.
He has brought warring heads of state to his lodge in BC and negotiated peace treaties with zero authority to do so.
A short time later, he was appointed as the Ugandan ambassador from Uganda to the United States. He is a US citizen, an non-Ugandan, and is representing the Ugandan nation as Ambassador to the US.
Bob has truly done the impossible, simply by daring to dream big. But when he talks about dreaming big, this is not the idle dreamer he’s talking about. He’s talking about becoming clear on your life’s purpose and then aligning your actions to be congruent with your life’s purpose.
This book is not a typical formula based self help book, even though it might sound like it from the outset.
Before you can awaken to your life’s purpose, you have to get clear on who you are, and who you want to be. This is a deep exercise in introspection and self awareness.
Knowing where you are is an essential part of developing that self awareness. But we’re not talking about where you are geographically, we’re talking biographically.
Once you know that, you want to get clear on what you want, what you really want out of life. No we’re not talking about a new Porsche. That’s a distraction. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a Porsche. But if that’s your driving ambition, then you’re not awake to your life’s purpose.
We’re not talking about what you want to do either. Some people wrap up their purpose in doing.
A better approach is to determine who you want to be and use that to inform what you want to do.
Now Bob, is a person of Christian faith. He does make references to that faith in the book. I’m not of the same religion as Bob, and his references to his faith might be problematic for some. They were not for me.
Regardless what you believe, his exercise in clearing your life of everything and putting back only the things that truly matter is critical to fulfilling your life’s purpose. You can’t accomplish anything of significance if your life if cluttered with too many distractions.
Bob Goff personifies the word Audacity. He takes the time to get clear and do the unconventional if it furthers his dream. But these are not just idle dreams.
You see if Bob had done just one extraordinary thing, like opened a school in Afghanistan, that would be cool. But he’s a serial dreamer who has figured out how to execute one audacious idea after another. Has he failed? Sure. He’s failed plenty. But no different than the best baseball players in the world are batting less than 500. Michael Jordan, one of the best basketball players of all time, has lost more games and missed more shots than anyone. But then he’s probably taken more shots than anyone.
The size of your ambitions don’t necessarily indicate the difficulty of achieving them. Think instead of the magnitude of the impact they’ll have on your life and the lives of the people around you.