On this father’s day I want to spend some time reflecting on what makes a dad, dad. Of course A dad cares for you, provides for you, takes care of you. Those are all givens I feel. I have a different perspective.

When I was young, my parents divorced and my mother remarried. Now you may jump to the conclusion that I come from a broken home. I don’t have a relationship with my real father, and my step father and I never really connected because, after all, he’s not my real dad.

If this is where you jump to automatically I want to say I am sorry you are so jaded. You could not be farther from the truth. My relationship with both of these men is amazing. I have had such privilege to be raised by two amazing father figures that have given me many lessons, support, and guidance through the years.

One of the lessons I want to share from my step-father came when I was in high school.

BE HUGE! 

I played basketball in high school. I wasn’t the best athlete but I went to a small enough school that if you worked hard, you could get by.  So that is what I did.  I worked hard and became a better player than I probably should have.

“Be Huge!” came from the fact that we didn’t have many players on our team taller than 5’11”. Frequently I was tasked with guarding bigger players from other teams.

My step-dad would yell from the stands “BE HUGE BRAND.”  The translation, play bigger than you are! I had to BE HUGE to hold my own and to give our team a chance to compete.

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So many of us accept our limitations at a surface level. But who is defining these limitations? Where do these beliefs of “I can only go so far and accomplish so much,” come from?

I think culture is part of it. We see people on social media that are doing well or individuals in the news and they are cast in this light as ‘they got lucky’.  That unless we hit the lottery – (Being 6’6″ and having the ability to run like a gazelle is like hitting the genetic lottery) – Unless we hit some sort of lottery, we are destined for the life that is laid before us. We just accept it as so because we are not a one of the lucky ones.

The second piece of this is YOUR FAULT. Yep, I said it.  It is your fault. You allow these thoughts to get into your head. Sure it is nice to hit the lottery either literally or figuratively, but that’s not realistic.  You know how many people that stand taller than 6’6″ are not in the NBA? Luck really has nothing to do with it. Those players work. They train, live, eat, sleep and breathe the game.  That is why they are there. They didn’t wait for it to happen. They went out and got it! You are limiting yourself. Successful people don’t just wake up and are successful. At some level, some point they had to work for it. They had to find a way to beat the odds and to Be HUGE!

For me Be Huge has always means be bigger than you believe you are.

Dream HUGE – Know that you are capable of more. Come up with goals that others think are crazy. That they don’t think are even possible. Bill Gates was told that there was no way his software would ever work. Limiting beliefs of others. Luckily he didn’t listen to them. Set goals so big that they scare you. Then break them up into manageable steps and work bigger towards them.

Act HUGE – It means removing negative small minded people from your peer group and surrounding yourself with HUGE people. It means knowing you are capable of more and never settling for what you have. Finding support from people like my step-dad that know you are capable of playing bigger than you are.

Work HUGE -Take action that is in alignment with your dreams. If you work small, you will always be small. This means setting clear HUGE goals and working towards them. Work harder than you ever have before. Don’t work towards middle management at your local company and hope to be there 20 years until you retire.  Work to be CEO. Don’t work to lose 10 pounds. Work to be in the best shape of your life.

Achieve HUGE – You may not realize all of your huge goals to their fullest potential but let us say you accomplish 75%.  If you set out to make $100,000, 75% is pretty good.  That is$75,000. But what if you set a HUGE goal at $5 million and let’s say you only get 30% accomplished. You make $1.5 million.  Do you think people will make fun of you because you only accomplished thirty percent of your goal? If they do let them, because you are the one laughing all the way to the bank.

Don’t settle for the limitation life has thrown your way. Just because you are undersized or lacking some other natural ability, doesn’t mean you are limited on what you can accomplish.

Set out to dream huge, act huge, work huge and ACHIEVE HUGE!

I have my step dad to thank for instilling this belief in me!

For that I say thank you and happy father’s day!