Always Start With a Big Brush


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Painters always start with a big brush. Using a big brush first allows painters to create the initial overall shape of whatever it is they are painting. Once they have their shape completed, only then do they move to the smaller brushes in order to fill in the details of their painting, bringing their painting to life.

Creating the life of your dreams requires the same thing. You must start with a big brush in order to create the outline of the life you desire. This big brush outline focuses on certain basic qualities of the life you desire:

  • Financial independence
  • Doing work that you love
  • Having a loving family
  • Living in a beautiful house in a safe neighborhood.

Once you have the outline of the life you desire, only then do you fill in the details:

  • Saving 20% of my income until I have $3 million in the bank
  • Getting my Certified Financial Planner license so that I can become a successful financial planner
  • Finding a loving spouse who desires to start a family
  • Buying or building a Victorian home three blocks from the beach

The outline is your WHY. The details are your HOW. Like a painter, you build the life of your dreams by reaching for the big brush first, your WHY, and only after you have defined your WHY do you reach for the smaller brush to define your HOW.

The mistake most make is reaching for the smaller brush first. They put their ladder on someone else’s wall by pursuing some career path a parent or teacher recommended. Only latter in life do you realize that you were pursuing someone else’s WHY. And you’re unhappy with their WHY because it’s not your WHY.

Those who live the life of their dreams always put their ladder on their wall. They reach for the big brush first. That gives them their WHY and the rest, as they say, is just details.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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