By: Leo Wahyudi S
It comes up in mind that everyone in this modern world would completely have no objection with the notion of thinking big. Not to mention, since Dr. David Schwartz’s prodigious book, entitling The Magic of Thinking Big, hit the book-stands in 1959, people would say yes to the self-help book. It is no wonder when people dubbed the professor of Georgia State University in Atlanta as the renowned expert in motivation. Many people around the globe claim that they have improved their lives using Schwartz’s motivation. His methods teach people, among the other things, to learn to have positive mind and to turn defeat into triumph. In many ways, I coincidentally, if I may say, have applied Schwartz’s useful method of thinking and behaving to reach a certain goal in life.
However, as to my own experiences, I am too preoccupied by all big and big things in mind without ever making any single move to the goals. I am then fed up by such ‘poisonous’ mindset. Perhaps, in this light I am too obsessed by such great and tremendous things that I fly high to the sky of dreamer’s. I do not mean to be sarcastic to the current world of success stories which were built from such a big dream. But, I admit that prescription does not fit me. Worse still, some of my buddies have even fallen short of reaching their big dreams thus far despite their great wishes, that they commonly called ‘the spirit of success’.
It came to my surprise when my old friend, Martinus, phoned me one day. At the time, I doubted whether or not I had to pick up the phone. I did not have the guts to talk to him given the fact that I owed him a huge amount of money. Worse, I could not even pay my debt to him due to the severe financial constraint. As always, I just ensured him to pay the debt. Luckily, across the line he articulated words of consolation. He sincerely said that when he lent me the cash, he just meant to help me survive. “Since then on, I just thought if it comes back it is mine. But, if not, it is meant to help,” he acknowledged.
On the line he shared many things other than my debt. Shockingly, he just wanted to express his gratitude for his blessing and prosperity he received as he had just got new prestigious career promotion and a big valued house at the same time. I should admire the way he and his family live their lives. He always runs his own course with an easy-going way of life. He always thanks God as the Giver of his life for everything He has given to his family. As to Martinus, joy and sorrow are all the same blessing to thank.
One lesson learned from his story is about his total surrender in faith. Instead of thinking great about ourselves, it would be better to consider the greatness of the Almighty God. Many people in a way are misled by thinking big even for the small stuffs. Let alone, when one has to cope with domestic problem, including financial constraint. Hard struggling life leads people to exaggerate what they have to put up with. It is not surely meant to look down that all complications in life. This is deemed a perspective by which people may think over their problems.
I learn from Martinus’ humble way to perceive a problem in his life. First thing first is thinking that every element, up to the smallest part in our soul, body, and life is just God’s precious gift. We just take them for granted. Human is just a ‘small’ element among the other creations. Considering the smallness thought shape the way we cope with our problem in comparison to the majesty of Almighty God. “If we think our problem in life is so big that we can hardly find a way out, it means at the same time we underestimate the greatness of God as the giver of our life,” he said.
Another surprise came upon citing what Rhonda Byrne, the renowned writer of The Secret, with her phenomenal ‘secret’ disclosure. She suggests that to have true perspective of creation, no matter how big our desire or problem may seem to us, we have think of it as the size of a dot. I reckon that many times we tend to exaggerate the problem instead of the solution we wish. But, Byrne on contrary shows us the way to zoom in our desire into as small as a dot. She calls this method as the point of creation.
Byrne then inspires me to put her method into my real condition. I draw a large circle in my sketchbook. Then I think of all my wishes with a sincere and confident heart and soul before I make a dot in the center of the circle. I write my dreams below the circle which represent the substance of the dot here. With earnest love, faith, and hope, I always imagine and see my doodle on the book to magnify my wish. The force of the three elements intensifies the broadcast of my dream to the universe and to the ears of the Giver of life. Believe it or not, now my dreams come true bit by bit. There is a dot of light amidst my past dark life to follow through to brighter future. The element of dot has now become a breakdown of reality.
All people regardless of the social status or ethnicity or religious background may have a dream to get a decent house, a car, money, prosperity, health. But not all people can understand that those desires are even smaller than a dot to the Giver of life. This is to some extent putting the Mighty force God to grant our desires into our lives with His power. Everything is possible to God, let alone a mere dot of our ‘big dreams’.
Byrne and then Mother Teresa eventually endorse my faith. Mother Teresa once said, “We ourselves know that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. We can do no great things, only small things with great love”. So, let’s think small to reach big things in life. ***
(This article was published in Reader’s Digest Indonesia January 2013 edition)