Children’s art can be very revealing. I remember in my early childhood education classes learning that if you want a clue as to what is important to a child, find the object in the drawing that is larger than life.

In this self-portrait sculpture done by my daughter when she was six, what do you think was important to her? The earrings. She desperately wanted to get her ears pierced and I, the wicked mother, was holding out, saying later.

I wonder if as adults we do something like this … but in our minds. Do we exaggerate the size of the issue, the problem or desire in our minds, so that it is out of proportion to reality.

Certainly there have been times when I admit I have blown a situation out of sync with what is really happening. Perhaps it has hit a nerve, or I have been there before and can’t believe it is happening again. So how we react may be programmed into our mindset. Or I have wanted something so badly, that it is all I can focus on.

That said, there is nothing wrong with having big dreams and aspirations. The trick is to take steps, baby steps, towards realizing them. Just because you want something, doesn’t mean you will achieve it without some hard work on your part. There is a joke that the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.

In my daughter’s case, she had to learn patience and when she was older, she was allowed to get her ears pierced. Does she wear earrings today? Err, no. But perhaps there is some truth in Abe Lincoln’s quote “good things come to those who wait.”

Practicing patience is a life skill. We live in a society that seeks instant gratification, but often we appreciate and value something more when we have had to wait for it, work for it, or save for it first.

What are you painting large in your life? Are you prepared to wait, work and save for it? Because maybe then, your dream can true, otherwise it could become a picture in your mind, but nowhere else.

Anne Day

Anne Day

Company of Women

I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.