Is the recession making you feel like Cinderella before her fairy godmother showed up? Fairy tales often carry important messages. When most people were illiterate, this is how wisdom was passed along, by putting it in interesting and memorable tales. And if you thought Cinderella was just a lucky girl who happened to walk into wealth and happiness by magic, let me show you what she really did. (Photo credit)
The audacity of dreaming big
So there was this poor girl, wearing rags and sleeping on cinders. One evening, there was a big ball that all the girls were invited. She wanted to go, but she had no proper clothing for such an occasion.
Suddenly, her fairly godmother appears.
Now if you were in her situation, and see some magical figure, be it your fairy godmother or a genie, would you dare to say, “I want to go to the ball.”?
I’ve been poor myself, and I know what it’s like. The really sad thing about poverty is not the hunger nor the coldness. Poverty decays the spirit. You start thinking poor.
I remember walking on a cold night to the store (I didn’t have a car) to get some groceries. I guess it was about this time of the year because I remember the pretty holiday lights at the houses as I walked — each house had different decorations and they all looked cheerful. I was in difficult marriage and even though I had a good full-time job, all the money was getting sucked and I was sinking in debt. To me, all those pretty houses seemed to have happy, well-off people.
If a fairy godmother showed up at that time, I think I would have asked for some money. Or a nice warm sweater and new underwear. (I wasn’t wearing shirts with holes — with my full-time job, that wasn’t an option. But underneath, I was wearing socks with holes.) This is how poverty makes us think. I was in such a miserable situation that the only thing I could think of was to get a little relief.
Whereas Cinderella dared to say, “I want to go to the ball.”
She didn’t say that because she figured she could snap up the prince’s attention, marry him, therefore securing lifelong prosperity. That is how it turned out, but at the time when she met her fairy godmother, all she asked was to be able to go to the ball. That special evening of glamour. Notice the innocence and audacity of her request.
What is your big dream?
If your fairy godmother shows up, what are you going to ask for? Do you have the same kind of innocence and audacity Cinderella had, to dare to dream something that is unlikely, even if that dream doesn’t seem to improve your situation in a direct “realistic” way? Or is your thinking limited to the level of your daily life, like asking for a (better) job or some stuffs on the storefront that you cannot afford?
Please note asking for a large amount of money is NOT a big dream. We ask for money when we are too lazy to visualize what we really want, thinking money can buy happiness. It’s actually a very poor dream.
Morale of the story
Cinderella didn’t just get lucky. She had a big dream, and she dared to say it. When you have the vision that inspires you, and when you acknowledge such a big dream, something magical happens. Some people call it the Law of Attraction, some call it the creative power we have within. You don’t need a fairy godmother — you have the creative power within you. It may take a bit longer than the magic wand, but it works, and even better, you can use your innate creative power over and over again in your life.
Since I “got it”, I’ve been encouraging myself to say something like, “I want to go to the ball.” It’s actually quite challenging to match her audacity. Often, my dream look shabby compared to hers, and I have to encourage myself further to dream bigger. And my life has been getting better and better. I even have a thriving business that is growing further.
This is the time of the year when we think of the new beginning in the new year. What is your big dream? Is you spirit high enough to dream big?