What can a toilet teach you about how to dream bigger?
Well, I had zero expectations when my sister and I hopped on a four-hour bus ride from Boston to New York for my friend Lily Zepda’s debut documentary Mr. Toilet. The film highlighted the global sanitation issues that plagued developing countries such as India and the Philippines.
Having been born in Haiti, my family didn’t have indoor plumbing. I knew oh too well what it meant to use outhouses. Then, during my travels, I toured countries like India and Thailand, where I revisited this issue, yet again.
The film did an exceptional job of shedding light on how pervasive the lack of proper sanitation impacts the overall health of people and what the world can do to change that. But I’m not here to specifically speak about this.
I’m here for you. The film caught me off guard in a way that I had to share it with you.
It’s a reminder about dreaming big.
The film’s narrative surrounds Jack Sim, who, after working in business for decades, found himself unfulfilled. Like many of you, who share this universal struggle with Jack, who seek to have a more significant impact on the world, to feel useful and to contribute in ways that aren’t monetary.
Jack reconnected with a traumatic childhood memory (without spoiling the movie), and that experience became his life’s mission. Although it doesn’t mean you need to find your life mission now or ever because people evolve and interests change. However, this documentary was the epitome of what it means to dream big.
Below are my top life-changing lessons you can use in your journey from the film:
- If you can achieve your dream in this lifetime. It isn’t big enough.
- People will reject you, but a compelling vision will pull you through until a door opens, and someone says yes to your mission and vision.
- Collaborate with people who share your vision and mission because for change to occur; it requires a community. It also means, to check your ego at the door.
- Committing to your mission comes with a price, a sacrifice that will have you asking yourself, is this worth it?
- Your mission will ripple and impact people over time, so don’t worry about affecting everyone, think of only one. Think of that one person who needs what you have to offer and serve them.
- Laughter disarms people. It doesn’t mean you have to become a comedian, but remind yourself not to take yourself too seriously and have fun.
- Creativity is the name of the game when problems present themselves. Embrace out of the box thinking.
- Through experimenting and action, sprouts Ideas. So, take as much action as you can.
Mother Theresa dedicated her entire life to caring for impoverished communities, children without parents, and the sick and dying. A mission like this would take more than a lifetime to be solved. Well, her supporters are continuing her mission after her death.
Martin Luther King was at the very beginning of his mission to end segregation, eradicate poverty, and provide high-quality education for all children, yet this didn’t happen in his lifetime.
In other words, here are two people who were relentless towards their vision and mission but knew it went well beyond their lifetime. Can you imagine the amount of perseverance you need to hold on to something you know that takes more than a few lifetimes to be solved?
To serve others means to play the long game.
If you find yourself wondering about what your life’s mission is, it’s okay if you don’t know immediately. This isn’t written to make you feel bad. It’s written to inspire you to dream bigger—bigger than you’ve ever imagined before.
My mission is for everyone on this planet to do work that matters to them, work that fulfills them, and brings them joy. Because when they do, it changes the fabric and energy of society.
People who live more joyful lives tend to have more positive relationships with themselves and others. But, it will take multiple lifetimes, but I hope it creates a ripple effect, and that energy lives on after I’m gone. That’s dreaming big!
Your mission is to try. To give yourself permission to explore, to create, to contribute and have an impact along the way. Possess something inside of you that’s so big it propels you forward.
“Don’t let your dreams die with you.”Les Brown
Dream bigger. Have an impact. And most of all, have fun.
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