If you can dream it, you can do it. — Walt Disney
Whatever struggles you’re facing in your life today, don’t be afraid to dream big. No matter what calamity or strife has stricken you, what obstacles have been thrown in your way, or how many people have doubted you can ever achieve what you set out to accomplish, dare to dream big. Across the world and through the annals of history, people have dreamt big dreams; they’ve had audacious hearts and unrelenting spirits. They’ve gone out there and pushed and pushed until that dream became a reality, and so can you.
I know what you’re thinking now – you’re asking yourself questions that start with “How,” “When,” and “Where.” You’re saying things like, “How am I ever supposed to achieve my dreams when I’m so far in debt?” or “When will I ever get the opportunity to truly succeed?” and, “Where will I ever find the money, time, or connections to accomplish what I want in life?” We all ask ourselves these types of questions; we have a tendency to doubt our capabilities.
But, Dare to Dream BIG isn’t just a mantra that you should mindlessly chant to yourself; it’s a way of life. When you can dream something and envision it with all of your mind to see, and you pursue that dream with a wild spirit that doesn’t die or waver, you can accomplish anything. There are so many people out there that have dared to dream big and have brought their dreams into reality, but I wanted to shed some light on some of the most notable that have done so.
Notable Dreamers Who Failed at First
There are loads of examples of notable people who’ve dared to dream big but failed at first. These “dreamers” are oftentimes household names – we know them because they’ve reached the pinnacle of success. But it wasn’t always that way for all of these folks. Why is this important? It provides perspective on the struggle that people have to face when they’re chasing their dreams; it’s not always going to be Easy Street for you as well.
So, don’t be afraid to dream big. Don’t be afraid when someone tells you that something can’t be done; it can be done. Don’t cower down due to some underlying fear that’s buried deep within you. Dare to dream big. Chase your dreams. Run your dreams down until they don’t elude you any longer. And, even though no one said that life was going to be easy, through perseverance, over time, it does get easier. But before you reach there, you’ll have to cross the dreaded oceans of struggle in stormy waters.
#1 – Oprah Winfrey
One of the best examples of a person who dared to dream big is Oprah Winfrey. Oprah was fired from one of her first TV jobs because the producer said that she was “unfit for television.” Oprah Winfrey has gone on to become one of the richest women in the world, and it was all because she dared to dream big.
#2 – J.K. Rowling
While working a secretarial job, Rowling, now famous for the Harry Potter series of books, was fired because she was spending more time working on the book at work than she was with her secretarial duties. Rowling spent 7 years toiling away at the book, suffered through the death of her mother, a divorce, and living on government assistance. But she dared to dream big and is now the wealthiest author in the world.
#3 – Walt Disney
Disney was a dreamer from an early age. But, his reality didn’t catch up with his dreams that quickly. Walt Disney was fired from his job as a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” After leaving that job, Disney formed an animation company in 1921, which ultimately went bankrupt, leaving him unable to pay his rent and reportedly forcing him to survive only on dog food.
#4 – Jerry Seinfeld
One of the most successful comedians of all time learned to dream big. But success didn’t come easy for him. In fact, the first time Seinfeld stepped on stage to do his act he was booed off. But that didn’t deter him. Seinfeld was a dreamer and he kept at it. Even though he failed and was embarrassed and humiliated, he kept at his dreams; he kept them alive in his mind’s eye.
#5 – Colonel Sanders
The founder of KFC, Colonel Sanders, dared to dream big. But it wasn’t until late in his life that he was able to achieve those dreams. The story goes that Sanders, then 65, took to the road after his chicken restaurant was shut down due to a highway impasse project, with a $105 Social Security check and a single chicken recipe to his name. He suffered through 1,009 rejections from restaurants who refused the franchising-model he proposed with his chicken recipe. But it only took one “yes” to eventually make those dreams come true.
#6 – Henry Ford
We all know the name Henry Ford, the founder of the illustrative automotive group, Ford Motor Company. But, we don’t all know the story of this remarkable individual who dared to dream big. You see, Ford’s first company, founded in 1899, went bankrupt. It was later reorganized under a different name, but he ended up walking away due to a dispute with his financial backers. But he didn’t give up. In 1903, his third time was a charm, and it’s now one of the largest and most profitable privately-held companies in the world.
#7 – Elvis Presley
We all know the name of the King of Rock & Roll, but did you know that Elvis Presley was fired after his first gig? He was told that he should go back to driving trucks and that his career as a singer was heading nowhere. Estimated to have sold more than one billion records worldwide, could you imagine what would have happened if he hadn’t dared to dream big?
#8 – Stephen King
One of the most popular authors of all time most certainly dared to dream big. But, his beginnings were no walk in the park. Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie, was rejected 30 separate times by publishers. He worked a part-time job as an English teacher just to make ends meet before he tossed the manuscript in the garbage. But, due to his wife begging and pleading him, King resubmitted the manuscript to Double Day, who later offered him his first book deal.
#9 – Katy Perry
A successful singer who dared to dream big, Perry had a rocky start. She was first signed to the Christian music label, Red Hill Records, and released her debut album in 2001, which only sold an estimated 200 copies. That label later went out of business. Her second attempt, with Island Def Jam, was also a failure, as she was dropped by that label; and, her third attempt with Columbia Records went bust as well. It wasn’t until she went on board with Virgin Records in 2008 did she finally succeed commercially speaking.
#10 – Oliver Stone
One of the most celebrated directors of our time, Oliver Stone, dropped out of Yale to pursue a career in writing. His novel, published in 1998, wasn’t well-received. He subsequently moved to Vietnam to teach English, and later enrolled in the military, winning two Purple Hearts. Stone went on to to write and direct some of the most iconic films of all time, including Platoon and Natural Born Killers.
We all have obstacles in our lives. We all have stumbling blocks that tend to sidetrack us, get us down, deter us, help us to procrastinate and avoid our dreams, and overwhelm us. Most people allow those obstacles to get in the way of their goals; they’re overpowered and their hopes are snuffed out. But you can overcome your obstacles; anyone can overcome their obstacles.
Oftentimes, failure is hard. It’s hard to fail, especially in the face of others. When others see us fail we take it as the biggest blow to our egos. We don’t want to fail; no one wants to. But failure is a part of life; it’s a springboard for achieving anything you want in your life. There will always be negativity. People will try to dismiss you, insult you, and dissuade you from achieving your dreams, but you can’t let it stop you.
In the past, if you allowed obstacles to stop you and you gave up on your goals, just realize that you can start anew any day you want. No matter how many failures or setbacks you had to dredge through, you can still achieve your hopes and your dreams, it just depends on how badly you want it. If you set some goals that you’re looking to accomplish in life, then as long as those goals are meaningful enough to you, then you can do anything. But they have to have a strong enough meaning.