Dream big and never stop

We often put others down when they tell us their dreams and wildest aspirations. The paradox is that we constantly hear people say, ‘dream big.’ When we are young, we do so. Then as we grow older we are pushed on to do something with our lives and make something of ourselves and like little sheep heading back into the fenced area, we do exactly what is expected of us. We end up picking something to do that somewhat feels right. But what about our dreams? What about living a life true to ourselves, that is fulfilling and allows us to feel a sense of fulfillment? Where did that idea go?

Perhaps you’ve heard the story of the two wolves we have within. There is one that is positive and full of courage, generous, kind, and loving. The other wolf is the opposite. Unkind, a cheater, always looking to take advantage, sabotage others, etc. They are constantly fighting each other. Who wins in the end?

The one you feed.

The paradox is that we are constantly being sent or sending others mixed messages. In an interview TED conducted with Elon Musk, they asked him what inspired him to go after such amazing feats. Things few would dream possible or even attempt. The interviewer asked, do you think perhaps we need to think a little bigger? He humbly answered, ‘yes.’ He added that he wanted to do something that would inspire people and give them hope. Elon Musk has done that and more. He has changed the car industry, space, and alternative energy spaces forever.

“What the mind of man can conceive, he can achieve.”

Are these just things we say in order to sound supportive to only doubt it later.

Why are we constantly doubting? Constantly thrown back into thinking that the only way we can live is the way everyone else lives?

Imagine for one moment who you would have to become in order to really achieve those wild dreams you dream. Who would that person be? What are the characteristics of that person? The mindset? The beliefs? The way they communicate? How do they walk? Talk? Who are their friends? Now consider where you are at this moment and how you could become that person.

It is so important to pay attention to the stories we tell our children because that is ultimately what they will grow up believing.(Check out my post on the power of Story telling) At the same time we have to make sure to always be developing the curiosity of our kids to ensure they keep questioning, seeking answers and pushing themselves to grow. (Check out this post on Curiosity)

In many aspects, it is only a matter of discipline and putting in the work and doing it until it happens. Sure, you need guidance and the right tools and mentors and knowledge, but even with that, if you don’t have discipline and are unwilling to work at it, you will achieve nothing.

Why, however, are we afraid to go after those dreams and instead remain in our comfort zone? My friend Andres Ponciano believes your comfort zone is usually where you are most uncomfortable. Why are we allowing ourselves to be steered away from the path that would eventually allow us to become the person we wished we could be?

Another key ingredient to becoming the person we dream of is getting comfortable being uncomfortable and then becoming uncomfortable again because you keep growing. Perhaps our own dissatisfaction with life is on occasion, a matter of being in constant growth mode. We are never fully satisfied because we know we could do more and we have to do more. Because there is more meaning in our life when we work hard on something that we value, that could change not only us, but the lives of those around us.

Perhaps it is not just the idea of having a sense of purpose that is greater than ourselves, but that of constantly becoming a better version of ourselves.
What is life if not a consistent evolving of our personality, our body, our spirit, our everything?

People talk of stagnation and reaching plateaus. Is it a plateau or is it a slow movement back down? Is it maybe just natural that you need to rest in order to come back stronger?

The answers can only be found by going through the process.
Perhaps the most important question for me is why people live their lives in a way that is unfulfilling instead of putting all they’ve got in making it great? In following what they want to do and reaching that dream. Even if they don’t fully attain it, they will have tried and they will most likely come close.
Of the many issues I have with our current outdated, mediocre education system, this is the biggest. It kills dreams.

When you kill dreams consistently you create a society that gets used to no longer dreaming and believing it can be done.

Why not try doing the opposite? Encouraging it all? Imagine what that would do for the world? Imagine if we all dreamed big and worked hard to make those dreams a reality? What a world that would be.


The power of teaching through story

Storytelling is perhaps a child’s favorite time of the day. Not because they’re going to go to bed and finally get some rest. In fact, my kids tend to hate bedtime. They seem to be afraid of the dark and once it’s night time outside, they do everything they can to stay awake.

One of the things I wanted to make sure of when creating this blog was having interesting and overall great content. Content that attracted people to read the articles and gain something from them. Content that could attract more readers and could cause the current readers to recommend it to their friends. This way traffic to the site would go up and keeping readers on the page based on great content, would be my job.

I quickly realized that writing great content or content marketing takes a lot of time (check this site). Knowing what to write and what people are searching for is another story altogether. Understanding how to transmit the message is perhaps the hardest thing I have encountered. Holding on to an adults attention is quite difficult. It’s even harder to hold on to a young child’s attention and pique their curiosity.

Having many years of education experience under my belt, however, I realized that there were many tricks I already had a grasp of that could work with my content marketing. The winning method used in the classroom that always seemed to work like a charm was storytelling.

Storytelling time was the only moment all the kids stayed quiet, didn’t move and paid attention to every word coming out of my mouth.

So that’s the big secret.

Create stories out of all your content. A list of top ten and top five is nice in today’s fast paced world. Yet, it is quite superficial and just does not go deep enough. You can find lists anywhere about anything. You could take most books and condense them into one chapter or only a few pages. Most books today are full of stories. They aren’t there just to make it longer and more appealing for publishers. In part, humans associate quantity with quality. Perhaps due to our past when obtaining food and water was not so easy. When opportunity was scarce, we had to take advantage of any surplus. Regardless of the reason, books are filled with stories to allow the reader to connect with the message in a stronger and more powerful way. When this happens, people are able to see themselves in the shoes of another. This allows hopes and dreams and possibilities to remain alive.

So what is it you want to transmit? What do you want others to learn from your content? What do you want them to do after?

Everything you create has to tell a story that your readers are able to connect with. Something that grabs their imagination and inspires them to share. If you focus on this as your main tool, your content will always be attractive and worth sharing and best of all, your readership will go up.

Take a look at this story telling method on Andres Ponciano- SEO & digital marketing Pinterest.

The importance of curiosity in children

It happens to all of us. We want to be a good parent so we try to solve all our children’s problems. We provide the answers, help find the solutions, take care of the art or science fair project and pull out our calculator to figure out the math problems we already forgot. Perhaps even occasionally looking at the back of the book and getting the answer and then working in reverse.

We think we are being supportive, good parents and providing the assistance a child needs, but in reality, we are hurting their independence and their own quest for answers. It is also teaching them that there is an easier way out. Asking for help which generally means getting what you need without having to put in much effort.

Kids need to learn the importance of being resourceful, developing the curiosity to find their own solutions and to be self sufficient. It’s more about finding the balance between not giving them the fish, but helping them grow into the person that can find their own fish.

You can guide them by asking questions. This allows them to develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. You can show them how something is done and then have them try and encourage them. Encouragement should be for the effort they put into whatever they do. Not about the grade or the award.

Results matter, but if your only focus is that then what happens when they don’t achieve expectations… It may be better to cultivate an attitude of putting in work to reach something and that on its own will be rewarding. At the same time, once they understand how effort works they will know that whatever they set out to do for themselves, they will inevitably attain as long as enough effort is put in.

There are different ways which curiosity can be developed. Social media platforms like Instagram (Andres Ponciano Internet Media) can be a great way to go through a lot of content and find things you didn’t know existed and could actually help you find a new interest. That new interest may lead you to new paths that were undiscovered. It’s a good idea to set a time limit for this as it is easy to spend a lot of time on social media and forget the other things you need to do. Trying different activities is also a great way to develop curiosity and to find your own strengths.

Kids nowadays all have many afterschool activities. Perhaps they need more time to relax and play, but these afterschool activities do that as well. When picking out extracurricular activities with your child make sure to include them in the process. You could try out a test class and if they like it they can keep going. It’s important not to force them to go. They are kids, they change their mind constantly and will find something new that interests them very quickly. They are just getting to know and understand the world. Allow them to do that and through that process, they themselves will see what they are good at, what they enjoy doing and will eventually want to do more of that.

As any parent knows, children askwhy” a thousand times every day. It is a common belief that asking why three times allows you to get to the truth. Even though that may be subjective there is something there to ponder. Avoiding the questions your child asks you will eventually make them stop asking. Once they stop asking, they stop being curious about things. The best you can do is answer them and ask them questions to spark their own imagination and help them come up with their own answers.

The long-term effects of developing curiosity are powerful and the more you help your children to be curious about everything, the better their life will be.