Have you ever had one of those moments when you met someone or experienced something – and as a result, your world suddenly gets a whole lot bigger?
Like a child allowed to venture off on their bike for the first time, we discover a whole world beyond the boundaries of our previous thinking that we never knew existed.
When we have our world expanded for us, it’s a transformational moment. Our eyes are wide open to new possibility. Our thinking gets expansive. And we become this ball of energy and motivation, ready to leap into action on our new thinking.
Sounds great. So why do we not spend more time expanding our own world? Because we get confused with what it means to “think big”. And so we get overwhelmed. And so we stop.
But here’s the thing: expanding your world actually reduces the overwhelm. Because it’s not about making your (already-big) goal bigger. It’s about making your world bigger – and then slotting your goal into that newly-expanded world.
This is why I feel able to say “expand your world” at a time when all my recent writing has been about slowing things down, making things simpler, letting things breathe, keeping things only as big as they need to be.
Because when we expand our world, that’s what happens. Our goals suddenly get smaller and simpler. Our plans slow down. And we can breathe again.
Here are 8 strategies for you to expand your world.
1. Connect with the journey
Don’t make your goal bigger. Make your journey bigger. See your goal as a stepping-stone en route to something greater. Ask: What will this lead to? Of what is this a part?
2. Find the goal behind the goal
What’s really behind your goal? What’s most important to you about achieving it? Find the goal behind your goal by asking: What’s most important to me about this goal? What do I really want?
3. Extend your timeline
We often ask ourselves about our future – but only casually. We’re not used to thinking deeply about the longer-term. Ask yourself: where do I see myself in 10 years?
4. Surround yourself with big world residents
The best source of expanded world thinking is other people already in that world. So surround yourself with people doing what you want to do and on a grander scale.
5. Spot and postpone local thinking
When you’re looking to expand your world, it’s all-too-easy to fixate on the local stuff. We want to get macro. So take a mental step back and survey your plans from 30,000ft.
6. Uncover your unchallenged assumptions
New lines of thought emerge when we challenge assumptions most people believe – including ourselves. Ask: What could I choose to believe that might expand my world?
7. Think the unthinkable
What are the craziest, most unthinkable ideas you can come-up with? What would be way out there? What thinking have you previously overlooked or forgotten that could be worth a revisit?
8. Open-up your experiences
The expanse of our thinking is proportionate to our experiences. So expand your worldview: seek out others with a different background, engage in conversation and argument, exchange opinions and perspectives. To put it simply: be in your world.
Expand your world
When we’re busy and hectic and overwhelmed, it can feel as if the last thing we need is to think bigger. But when we do it in a way that expands our world, it becomes a liberating experience that puts things in a whole new perspective.