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THINK BIG, DREAM BIG, & CREATE BIG IMPACT… A recent experience that inspired me to think even BIGGER!!!

A recent experience that inspired me to think even BIGGER!!!
By Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS

Are you dreaming big these days? Like REALLY BIG? Truly, are you living in the rarified air where you feel inspired and empowered to DO MORE? Are you thinking of how you can best tap into your full potential and create the best version of you? You know, that life that is full of wild dreams, massive success, and deep significance. And the one that creates massive, positive IMPACT in the universe?

You see, I believe all of us are designed uniquely special. All of us. Whether you are 8 years old or 80 years old (or somewhere in between), you are male or female, you have a college education or not, whether you currently have a good job or not, you are in a positive relationship or not, or whether life is at all all-time high or at deep valley that challenges your deepest existence and purpose in life.

I truly believe we all have a life worth telling a story about. And we all have gifts and talents that if we had the courage to share unconditionally without fear of the “what-if’s,” then we can maximize our life’s purpose.

And today is your day!

I want to help you be the best version of you. Read on.

I just had the unique opportunity to meet and spend time with a wildly-successful author who I first read back in 2006. His name is Michael Port and the first book I read of his was “Book Yourself Solid.” And for years, I have continuously had his book on my “Recommended Reads” for anyone in the service industry (trainers, business owners, salon owners, accountants, attorneys or anyone who serves clients).

Michael and I recently presented together at the Filex fitness convention in Melbourne, Australia (April 2-6th, 2014). It was an honor to share the “stage” with him. After all, he is someone who IMPACTED my career years ago (but he didn’t know that). We both led a session in the precon and both presented several breakout sessions to the several thousand delegates present at Filex.

Michael also delivered one of the most amazing, kick-butt, inspiring keynotes I have ever seen. It was entitled “The Think BIG Revolution” and it was all about getting you to think BIG, dream BIG, and get off your butt to do something BIG.

His message resonated deeply with me. It’s much of the same message that I often share with others but needed to hear myself from someone else. As Michael shared, “it’s not easy to always think big. As a matter of fact, you can’t always think big. But there are certain strategies you can use to make THINKING BIG your predominate thought process and that will propel you to soaring heights.”

I was so fired-up after listening to his keynote, that I got two of his latest books, “THE THINK BIG MANIFESTO” and “Book Yourself Solid—Illustrated.” And I read them on the 18-hour plane ride home, took notes on them, and wrote this article. And who said these plane rides are too long? I got off the plane feeling 10x more fired-up than when I even got on the plane. As a matter of fact, I only slept 2-hours on the flight I was so pumped-up.

So here is what I want to do for you today. I want to provide you my “Top 10” takeaways from Michael’s “THETHINK BIG MANIFESTO.” While they do not replace you reading the book (which I highly recommend), I do hope these messages resonate with you as much as they did with me.

Top 10 Takeaways from Michael Port’s THE THINK BIG MANIFESTO

1. THIS THINKING BIG THING COULD BE SCARY. Port shares “I, for one, have pledged to fight consciously every day against the small thoughts that threaten to derail my plans, my aspirations, and my dreams. Sure, I still have them. I’m just like you and you are like me. We are in this thinking big business as a team.”

2. Instead of thinking “Why Me?” think “Why NOT me?”#Truth. Nough said.

3. The truth is that BIG THINKING is always, and always, always, always worth the expenditure of energy. “The only reward of small thinking will be paid in the common currency of all small thinking—unaccomplished dreams.”

4. We can’t change the cards we are dealt…just how we play the hand. Port shares this when talking about Randy Pausch in the Last Lecture. He states, “To think big is to choose your own destiny. What things bind you to the past? Do you really need them? Are they holding you back?”

“To think big is an act of originality and creation, an act of abundance. It is finding that we already have the resources to do more, to make a better world. It is a willingness to express our ideals and ideas openly when necessary and the ability to listen to others. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.’”

“And I love this quote from Port on page 110-111 in his Manifesto: “We only have one life to live. Death is a destination we all share, like it or not… Would you rather think small, succumb to a wasteful subexistence, living others’ lives. Would you rather play it safe? You might as well bury yourself early—or how about now?” #AbsolutelyBrilliant!

5. Get comfortable with discomfort. I have said many times that you must “get comfortable being uncomfortable.” It takes courage, risk, and a support-system around you that can help you play outside the box. Most of all, it must come from the drive within YOU to want to achieve something incredible and extraordinary.

6. Choose your teachers wisely. “It is a great good to be surrounded by people (parents, teachers, colleagues, and friends) who create constraints in our lives in the service of higher goals.” Once again brilliant. Choose wisely.

7. Our values and actions are contagious. Who brings you down? Who lifts you up? Who makes you feel good? Who in your life thinks small? Who in your life thinks big?

“When we think big, we will succeed, and we cannot fear the advent of success and its side-effects. We must be ready to leave behind those who will not support us, who will not celebrate with us, just as we would support their successes.”

“We cannot think big if we are surrounded by small thinking, negative influences, and bad habits: the friend who supports us, but doesn’t believe in us; the partner whose lifestyle is unhealthy; the business colleague who takes comfort in mediocrity.”

Spend more time with people who lift you up. Empower you. Inspire you. Support your dreams. Give you feedback. Care about you. And dare you to be great!

8. As Steve Jobs noted, “If you live every day as if it were your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.”

9. WHO ARE YOU? Port essentially challenges you in the beginning of his book about your purpose. And if someone asked you about you… what you do, your brand, your dreams, what you want to achieve, and your life… would you be living up to your full potential. If so, great. If not, it’s time to start thinking bigger.

10. Be vulnerable. This final point comes more from speaking with Michael at the conference and also hearing him present. Throughout his presentations,  Michael shared that he has inadequacies and that he isn’t perfect (and was specific in talking about them). And he shared them authentically and with emotion, compassion, and empathy. But he also noted that his manifesto was to keep thinking big and taking action. And you believed him!

I left there thinking “Damn, I like this guy.” You know, that same feeling you get when you listen to a talk, a presentation, a lecture and you ask yourself “Do I like this person? Can I trust them? Can I learn from them? Can they help me?”

My friends, my hope today was to share with you a recent experience that inspired me. I hope it inspires you also. I hope it inspires you to think BIG, Dream BIG, and to create BIG IMPACT in your life!!!!

Much love.


P.S. I highly recommend that you read Michael’s books. I read his first book (Book Yourself Solid) in 2006; and now, 8 years later, I read a few more. They have helped me and I am confident they can help you. To check out more information on Michael Port’s products and programs, you can visit

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