How To 'Think Big' and Achieve Your Goals

How To 'Think Big' and Achieve Your Goals

By Scott Binder 02/12/15

When we get sober we can channel all of that time and energy into a positive direction. The sky is the limit.

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After I got sober, my mom told me that ever since I was a young boy I seemed to be curious about alcohol. Looking back, I do remember being very curious about it. I had my first taste of alcohol during a family camping trip when I was about 10. My friend's father was drinking whiskey, and we asked if we could try it. He let us have a swig, and I spit it out just as quickly as I drank it in. I remember thinking to myself that there’s no way I’d ever drink that crap again. It was horrible. Seeds of addictive patterns had emerged.

When I got sober over 14 years ago, one of my mentors said something that will stick in my memory for the rest of my life: “Whatever you are thinking is possible for you in sobriety, you are selling yourself way too short. If you are able to stay sober, you will get more in your sobriety than you can imagine right now.” Today, I am grateful to report that he was right! Even in early sobriety, I was starting to see that my life was becoming better than I initially thought was possible. All you have to do is think about how much energy was spent on your addictions. When we get sober we can channel all of that time and energy into a positive direction.  

The sky is the limit. 

The lesson I took from Dan’s words of wisdom about my expectations in sobriety taught me two things. One, that as long as I do the work, sobriety will provide me with gifts that are impossible to conceptualize to someone who has yet to experience the promises of being sober. And two, that it was time for me to think much bigger in terms of what I deserve. 

When I was a young boy, I dreamed. But as my addiction took over, I stopped believing that I could experience extraordinary achievements. 

After I became sober, however, I began to notice that the things I set out to do, I usually accomplished. It was a big improvement over what had been going on in my life before getting sober.   

At around five years of sobriety, I had a conversation with my best friend that helped me see that I had given up on pursuing my childhood dream of making music and performing around the world. I had become resigned to thinking it just wasn’t in the cards for me to play the big game. Thankfully, I ditched my reservations. A few years after setting this as an intention, it was starting to look possible that I could achieve success in this arena.

After I completed a two-year music production program in Minneapolis, I embarked upon my music journey where I’ve experienced the gamut of successes and setbacks.  

The best gift from pursuing my dreams while being sober is that things are put in their proper perspective. When a “failure” occurs I’m not sent into a shame spiral because I realize the most important thing in my life is my sobriety. Everything else is a bonus. 

Today, I am grateful that as a result of staying on the path of sobriety, and with thinking bigger, I am a Billboard magazine charting artist, an Amazon bestselling author and get to travel around the world deejaying at fun events and teaching from my book, "Make Some Noise." DJ Times recently wrote a feature calling me an industry leader. In addition, my music partner and I created a project called, The Banger Bros, where we saw our music being played on radio stations around the world. I mention this not to brag, but to illustrate the fact that you, too, can achieve your dreams as long as you stay committed to them and your sobriety.

The point of all of this is that you are probably thinking too small. You have many situations in your life where you set out to achieve something and you accomplished your goal. Whether it is attaining a college degree, a career path, or fitness goals, our brains are designed to solve the problems we give it. For example, when you send your brain the message of a desire to finish college, it will provide you with answers on how you can obtain your degree. You will then take the necessary steps to achieve that goal.

Sure, there are things you did not finish or complete, but you also have plenty of examples of where you set out to do something and you did it. This is why thinking big is important. When you set a big vision for yourself, your mind is going to come up with solutions about how you can accomplish it. You will find that as you play a bigger game, your actions will rise to the occasion to make it happen.  

Two powerful tools to help you achieve your dreams are visualization and goal setting. Some of the most successful people utilize these tools, so why shouldn’t we try it out? I use them to help me achieve my goals. It works.

To give you a small example, last week my goal was to finish the first draft of my new book by writing 2,000 words per day. Not only did I reach my goal, but I exceeded the daily word count. It’s important to find a balance between stretching yourself and also believing that it is possible. 

In the end, you are the one who determines what you believe is possible. Below is an example of the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting format I use. Stating your goals in this way helps your brain solve the problem of attaining the target.

I am grateful that by the end of this week I’ve written a minimum of 2,000 per day in my new book. 

Don’t let me or anyone else tell you that you can’t do something. As you set a vision for yourself, and as you begin to take action you will gain more confidence in your abilities. When I wrote my first book, the goal was simply to write the book. Now that I have written a book, my goal this time was to write the next book much quicker than the first. My first book took about two and a half years to complete. My new goal is to write my next book quicker. You can do something similar. Play a game with yourself to see if you can do things faster and more efficiently the next time.

The lesson in all of this is that whatever it is that you are thinking: THINK BIGGER. Keep in mind that thinking bigger doesn’t only mean achieving monetary success and accolades. Of course, that can be part of it, but thinking bigger can also be about the kinds of relationships you have, the family you create, etc. For example, maybe until now you’ve settled for partners who aren’t right for you. Maybe most of your relationships are combative and end in a cloud of rage. If you are used to having dysfunctional relationships, it’s possible you are resigned to thinking that you are just not meant to have loving and peaceful relationships—not true.

Many of us recovered addicts spend most of our life thinking something is wrong with us. Somewhere along the line we gave up on ourselves and lost faith that we are someone who deserves the best life has to offer. As we get sober, we learn that the negative beliefs about ourselves are not true and that we have what it takes to live a life filled with abundance and joy. As we walk down the path of sobriety we can become acquainted with the beauty of life. We begin to realize that our shining spirit is filled with love and endless possibilities. Armed with proper awareness, and tools we can cultivate a mindset that elicits the action necessary for us to achieve our desires. Believing that yes we do, indeed, deserve the best of what life has to offer.

The best way to create change is to apply the things we learn. As the big book states, “Faith without work is dead.” So, in the spirit of taking action below is an exercise that will help you to start to THINK BIGGER. Do not sell yourself short. Anything is possible as long as you stick to it.

Exercise: 

In a perfect world, what would you like to achieve?  Take 5-10 minutes and write down a typical day in your life five years from now. Once you’ve written down your perfect day, visualize it as already being achieved. The more you visualize achieving your desires as already being materialized, the more action you will take in working towards your desires. You can also conduct the same exercise for 10 years down the road and beyond. 

Scott Binder is the author of Make Some Noise.

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