What’s Holding You Back From Dreaming Bigger?

By March 5, 2023 Dream BIG
Tamassia Martins Digital Art - The Dreamer 2

Have you ever felt you were meant for something bigger than your current 9-5 grind? Do you sometimes find yourself playing small because it’s ‘safe’? Let’s explore what might be holding you back.

Society and Its Boxes

Society loves to put us in boxes. From job titles to social roles, these boxes can be limiting. But remember, you’re not defined by a box, no matter how comfortable it may seem.

Fear of Failure

Many people are scared to dream big because of the fear of failing. But remember, every failure is a lesson learned. 

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” 

Today, we take a simple invention such as the light bulb for granted. However, Thomas Edison’s story and pursuit of the practical electric light bulb is a remarkable story of perseverance, innovation, and tenacity.

In the late 19th century, Thomas Alva Edison was already a well-known inventor, with the phonograph and several other devices to his name. But he had set his sights on a new challenge: developing a practical, long-lasting electric light.

The concept of electric lighting wasn’t new. Several inventors before Edison had developed forms of electric lighting, but these were either too expensive, inefficient, or needed to last longer to be practical for general public use. Edison wanted to change this.

To achieve his goal, Edison and his team at Menlo Park embarked on exhaustive research and experimentation. They tested thousands of materials—from bamboo to tungsten—to find a filament that would burn brightly and lastingly without quickly breaking down.

Contrary to popular belief, Edison did not “invent” the light bulb in the sense of being its first creator. He did achieve the development of the first commercially viable electric light bulb. This relentless pursuit of a working model led him to make his famous statement: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

His perseverance paid off. After countless hours of research and testing, Edison’s team found that a carbonized filament from a particular type of bamboo provided a light that could burn for over 1,200 hours. This breakthrough was revolutionary. With this discovery, Edison patented his electric lamp in 1880.

The success of the light bulb was more than Edison’s determination to find a suitable filament. He also had to create an entire electrical delivery system, which included generators, wiring, and fixtures. In 1882, with everything in place, Edison’s Pearl Street Station in Manhattan delivered electricity and light to its first customers, marking the dawn of the electric age.

Imagine if Edison had given up after a few hundred or even a few thousand attempts. The course of human history might have been very different. His story underscores the importance of resilience, vision, and the belief that failures aren’t endpoints but merely stepping stones to success.

But I’m not asking you to be the next Thomas Edison; I am simply asking you to dream big and follow your dreams. The next time you find yourself minimizing your dreams, remember it’s time to challenge those limiting beliefs and push past the fear. Embrace the unknown and the infinite possibilities it holds.

Today, identify one thing holding you back from dreaming bigger. Challenge it, question it, and then push past it. Share your journey with others, and encourage them to break free from their constraints.

Love, Jim

Artwork courtesy of Tamassia Martins
Picture of Thomas Edison holding a light bulb