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How to Turn Big Dreams into Inspiring reality

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I once thought my imagination was a fearless explorer of all that might be. I once thought my dreams were screaming AUDACITY and pushing through the sky. I once even thought all goals had to be realistic. Then I met Simon, and something shifted.


Rarely is serenity found in a deep and swirling undercurrent of unbridled passion. Yet that is exactly how I found him- both reassuringly serene, and brimming with an unmistakable passion, vitality and determination. It was this seemingly contradictory force that drew me in, and luckily Simon Crowe- a coach, a leader and altogether rather inspiring human being- agreed to let me into his world for just over an hour. What ensued was insightful, moving and really got me dreaming about the power of a vision.


Once the interview was over, I found myself listening to it, over and over again. As I closed my eyes and submerged myself into the depth of the recording, gem after gem gleamed up at me. There were three particular revelations that twinkled particularly brightly, and I feel they may cast light for you…


I will call these revelations compasses, for no matter how tiny or gigantic your vision, they will guide you through your journey from dream to creation.


The first compass is curiosity. In positive psychology, curiosity is conceptualized as a positive and motivational force, propelling individuals to recognize and pursue novelty and challenge (1). It is this curiosity that has allowed Simon to pursue his vocation; curious to explore his capabilities, curious to uncover the aspirations of those around him, and curious to challenge his preconceived notions.


It is curiosity that will pique your interest, tantalizing you to take the first tentative steps into the unknown.(Did I Mention that Simon was building a school in Liberia? Well, you don't get much more unknown than that, do you? More about that in a second).  It is curiosity that will pave the way from your comfort zone to the land of What If? By daring to ask questions, we dare to challenge the status quo, thus setting into motion the wheel of change, spinning ever-faster and leaving an imprint of meaningful and lasting transformation in its wake. Not only is curiosity a powerful transformative tool, but the exploratory side of curiosity is correlated with well-being (2), from which further positive emotions are likely to spring. This is all very motivating, and highly conducive to goal-getting. Whether it’s building a school in Liberia, coaching clients, or simply getting a coffee at his local café, Simon’s insatiable curiosity pushes him to make deep connections with those around him, tapping into their hearts and minds, and creating a vision to serve their boldest imaginings.The inspiration for the school in Liberia came from a series of what-if? conversations, a heartfelt connection the Liberian people and the capacity to dream really big. 


The second compass is courage, defined as the ability to take control of fear in a dangerous or difficult situation. The VIA Institute on Character cites courage (or bravery) to be either physical (like firefighters), psychological (facing up to aspects of oneself) or moral (defending that which one believes to be true). Importantly, this does not mean being fearless. On the contrary, we can look upon fear as the motivational impetus to couragously rise above obstacles and push through our self-limiting beliefs. Once Simon's curiosity was piqued, it was his courage that propelled him to move forward and visit a land and a people that many would shy away from. By facing his fear head on and choosing to look poverty and suffering in the eye, he's actually been able to see through to the other side and has seen the love, the light and the hope of the Liberian people.


The third compass is compassion. Positive psychology defines this as the identification of suffering in another, followed by the motivation to move towards them and relieve this suffering (3) Compassion breaks down barriers between 'us' and 'them', uniting people in their humanity. As connection to others is a fundamental and universal human need (4) this is a powerful tool. Whilst compassion may have been the foundation upon which Simon's project was laid, this compassion has now transformed into deep friendship, mutual respect and positive and practical action steps.


So what happens when curiosity, courage and compassion collide? Let me tell you: an audacious vision. What happens when you take the first few tentative steps towards that vision? You expereince a surge in confidence, you attract the help of like-minded individuals and you begin to make things happen. What happens next?


You'e going to have to ask Simon about that.


But between you and I, there's something pretty magical about it.


So what would happen if you were just a little more curious? Courageous? Compassionate? Might you dare to bring to life that vision? You know- the big dream you've long been trying to contain for fear it might just spring up into the most inspiring reality?


Do you want to know more about Simon? Why not take a look at his Big Idea page? Find him at



Kashdan, T., Rose, P. and Fincham, F. (2004). Curiosity and Exploration: Facilitating Positive Subjective Experiences and Personal Growth Opportunities. Journal of Personality Assessment, 82(3), pp.291-305.

Gallagher, M. and Lopez, S. (2007). Curiosity and well-being. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 2(4), pp.236-248.

Lopez,'S.J.' and Snyder,'C.R.'(2009).' Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology. New'York Oxford'University Press

Ryan, R. and Deci, E. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55(1), pp.68-78.