Viewpoint: Think Big

Viewpoint: Think Big

A message from our International President


In one of the episodes of the old comedy show Home Improvement, Tim (Tim Allen) asked his wife, Jill (Patricia Richardson), to pick a number...any number. She replied, “Seven.” Tim immediately remarked that that’s what was wrong with her: She didn’t think big enough. He said he would have answered… 13,000!

Sure it’s funny, and we laugh about it, but think of the profound truth. If we don’t think big, we will always be outclassed. If we are content with doing what we’ve always done, we will also have to settle for getting what we have always gotten.

It’s surprising how many people, when asked if they are going to get their CCs or CLs this year, answer, “Oh, I’ll never make it. I’m not good enough.” The road to being an amazing Toastmaster entails thinking big – having the ambition and drive to go for that CC or AC, that CL, AL or DTM.

Do not shortchange your own potential. We all have what it takes to be successful, either in Toastmasters or in our personal and professional lives. Dream those big dreams. Think those big thoughts. You can shine if you allow yourself to.

Walter Wintle’s poem, “The Man Who Thinks He Can,” says it so eloquently: 

        “You’ve got to think high to rise. 
        You’ve got to be sure of yourself before 
        You can ever win a prize. 
        Life’s battles don’t always go 
        To the stronger and faster man; 
        But soon or late the man who wins 
        Is the one who thinks he can.”


This New Year, let us all resolve to think big. Your club has never had more than 20 members in the past? Think big! Go for 30 members – 40, even. Spread the word about Toastmasters! Start a membership drive; invite everyone to come to your club meetings. Even if you finish with 25 members, that would be five more than you’ve ever had – five more because you dared to think big! But if you do hit 40, wow! That would be Simply Amazing!

When I visited District 15 in November, LGM LaMont Snarr told me there seemed to be a self-imposed glass ceiling that kept the district from building many new clubs. Well, he wasn’t one to think small. He took me to six corporate visits, and all six yielded positive results that could potentially turn into six new clubs. Chartering six clubs would break the district’s glass ceiling, and it is now possible because he was thinking big! Isn’t that Simply Amazing!

In Toastmasters or in anything we undertake, when we aim for the moon, even if we don’t make it, we would still be among the stars. At the end of that episode of Home Improvement, Tim goes to his neighbor, Wilson (Earl Hindman), and asks him to pick a number. Wilson replies, “762 trillion!” It’s a New Year! It’s time to think big, dream big and win big! You’ll be simply amazed at the new you.

Johnny Uy, DTM
International President

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