Everyone talks about “thinking big”, “set high and lofty goals” and “go for the gusto”! Well what about it? Do you think it actually works? Or what can we do individually about growing our business, or writing an article, or learning a new skill?
I’m here to tell you a story about all the above quotes! When we were stationed in the Air Force in Taiwan, I was very fortunate to have a young Taiwanese lady in our Sunday School class that was going to register for entrance into a local pattern making school the following week. She asked me if I’d like to attend with her — I was THRILLED, because my ONE main goal while we were stationed there was to be able to learn the Oriental method of pattern making.
Well we went together to register in the school, which was 4 nights a week for 9 months (my husband was home with our 6 kids while she and I took a bus to the school). There were about 60 girls in the classes, and I was not only the only American in the school, I was also the FIRST American to ever come to the school.
The young lady was my interpreter for the entire length of the school session — we all drew patterns in books, made garments (at home) of patterns we’d made in class, then tried them on for the teacher and all the other students to see. Each time it was my turn to model something, there was a wave of giggling from the girls (I don’t know if they were embarrassed at someone who couldn’t speak their language, but I know I was embarrassed at being giggled at!)
I would say the “set high and lofty goals” and “go for the gusto” and sheer determination to learn the art of pattern making was what made me stick with it through the class.
The next challenge came when I graduated from the pattern making school, and other Air Force wives were coming to me asking me to teach them pattern making, because they knew they wouldn’t make it through the Taiwanese school. So, I drew patterns on large sheets of paper and hung them around my living room for a few students at a time to draw from, and it didn’t take long to see that the process was a bit complicated and too bunglesome to work.
Here’s where my “thinking big” part of the story comes in. I had a china cabinet with doors on the lower part. I cleaned off one shelf and put a ream of paper on it, and made up my mind to draw a page (or two) of patterns and instructions a day until I had a book completed. As I drew patterns and wrote step by step instructions, I’d lay the completed page face down next to the stack of white paper. The first completed page looked pretty lonely next to the ream of paper beside it. However, as I drew patterns and wrote instructions on a daily basis while the kids were in school, the “lonely” stack of completed pages grew, while the other side of white papers diminished.
Eventually, I actually accomplished the goal I’d been working toward, and finished my first book, Sarah’s Key to Pattern Drafting, just before we were transferred back to the US and to Nebraska. After arriving in Nebraska, word got out about my ability to make patterns, and one of the major newspapers in Nebraska contacted me to do an interview. WOW! From that point to now, things have been happening — more books written, downloadable classes written, plus size children’s patterns designed, and much more.
So now, the moral of the story is this: YES, there really is magic in thinking big!! And I want to encourage everyone of you to set your goals high, then work out a plan to exceed them! Don’t just “wish” for success — that doesn’t get you anywhere! BELIEVE that you CAN succeed (which I had to think about every single day when my fingers were so tired of drawing I didn’t know if I could move them any longer!), and work out a plan of action that will help you meet and exceed your goals!