Are your kids and students aiming high enough? Are you teaching them to dream big? Are you sharing with them, they can be better than good or hustle their way to great?

Hustle – to play with a lot of energy and effort

These questions were inspired by Yahoo Chairman Maynard Webb’s column today,

I Didn’t Dream Big Enough Back Then, No One Told Me I Could!

I am a big fan of Yahoo Chairman Maynard Webb! Why? His guidance often resonates with my father’s. My father did not like limiting anyone’s possibilities. And, he also liked the word “hustle!” Consequently, I feel similarly. It does not matter whether it is having big dreams, saving money, expanding one’s vocabulary, etc. Conversely, I find it extraordinarily disheartening when a person shares with me that a certain group of kids and/or their parents are not capable of doing something, like saving money, particularly one in leadership. There are lots of reasons why I don’t like it. Here are five.

(1) It is disempowering. It immediately brings to mind Henry Ford’s quote:

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right!”

Wow! It is tough to accomplish anything when you do not believe it is possible. For decades I told myself I was not creative. Then, one day I changed my own internal definition of creativity to extend beyond dancing on beat, singing on key and drawing with matching colors. Being kicked out of the choir did not matter any more. I still could not sing on key, but now I could write and produce songs. A whole new world of possibilities opened up for me. That one change in my thinking had a profound impact on my life.

Not that long ago, a friend shared with me, that he did not have my imagination for possibility. What made that statement interesting to me is I did not even realize I had an imagination until I was in my forties. I am sure I had it as a kid, but I felt I lost it as a teenager. It probably vanished the day I read “The Science of Hitting” by Ted Williams. Not only did it crush my dreams of ever being a baseball player, but I had to come to grips with the inescapable fact I did not know there was a science to hitting a baseball. Until that moment, I imagined myself a baseball aficionado.

(2) I have no idea how important a person’s dreams and goals are to them. Hence, I have no idea what they are willing to do, innovate or sacrifice in order to accomplish them.

(3) Regardless of whether they are capable of saving money or not, encouraging and challenging them to believe in their capability to do so, in my opinion, is the right thing to do.

(4) As a kid and an adult, I found and continue to find the saying “If you can do it, I can too” motivating.

(5) There are a zillion stories similar to Maynard Webb’s where children and adults have discovered the strength to save and invest in their futures despite extraordinary challenges like losing a parent as a child.

My father was often fond of saying “you can do and have anything you want, if you are willing to pay the price.” I still find that thinking empowering to this day. That is why my favorite Sammy Rabbit saying isn’t “Saving is a great habit,” but rather, “you can do it, now let’s get to it!”

Sammy Rabbit and I agree wholeheartedly with Maynard Webb and many others who believe we should teach kids to dream big! We invite you to join us!


Resources, Reading and Viewing

7 Organizations Who Teach Dream Big Philosophy

8 People Who Think It is Important to Dream Big and Why

7 Easy Steps to Teach Kids to Dream Big and Change the World

One Girl’s Big Dream

Dream Big: How the Brazilian Trio Behind 3G Capital Acquired Anheuser Busch, Burger King and Heinz

Dr. Nido Quebin: From Success to Significance