Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Everyone defines success differently.  That is what makes personal success so complex. What your neighbor values will be different from what you value.  It is important to understand your personal version of success, which includes all aspects of life: family, physical, social, spiritual, financial, community and business just to name a few.  Once you have defined your version of success, then it is time to Dream BIG and make it happen.

In, “5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours,” which I co-authored with my father, Newt Gingrich, Principle One is Dream Big.  Why dream big?  Because the only other options are to dream small or not dream at all—both of which will not yield worthwhile results. 

Dreams are essential, no matter what age we are—they help focus our energy on the future and keep us hopeful.  Dreaming—finding that picture and allowing its pursuit to motivate you—is key.

When you dream, don't let practical considerations limit you: the bigger the better. Big dreams inspire you to start moving. They grab your imagination and fill your mind, consume your thoughts and lead you to act. Because they are hard to achieve, they provide you with a great sense of satisfaction once you have accomplished them. Remember that you will accomplish only as much as you dream you can—so if you want to accomplish big things, you'd better dream big.


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Everyone can see what is certain and real, but only those who can imagine what could be have a chance to create and live their dreams. Those without a dream will have no reason to strive, work hard, or think of better days to come. People who dream big accomplish big.

A big dream is a goal that will stretch you beyond your current capabilities. That is the point. Dream BIG.    

How big is big enough?  Tavis Smiley, one of our 42 contributors, explains it best, “If people don't laugh at you when you share your dreams, then you're not dreaming big enough.”

Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.