How to Make BIG Things Happen – Part I

For the past ten years I have wanted to be SCUBA certified. I am fascinated with the thought of breathing underwater like Ariel, seeing fish the size of a school bus or hopping on a manta ray and going for a taxi ride underwater!

This week I made it happen. I signed up for my first SCUBA class and in less than four weeks I will be certified to swim with the sharks, get wet with the whales and freely breath underwater with the fish!

How to Be a Speaker Scuba MoneyCertification, with the trip and equipment, cost around $600. For me, and for most, an extra $600 for a hobby is an expensive price tag (now I appreciate Chelsea’s $5 puzzle hobby).

For years I have been saving for this. I put $5 away here. I saved $20 there. I asked for money for Christmas and my birthday to go towards my SCUBA certification. I got the money and signed up!

I am a believer in… “You have to do what you can, while you can.”

When I paid the woman in $100, $20 and $5 bills, I realized that to make your BIG dreams happen, you have to make SMALL things happen.

For my first book, I didn’t just write a book. I wrote sentences.

When I first started my speaking business, I didn’t have a line of products. I had one.

To get SCUBA certified, I didn’t just swipe a credit card. I saved.

b2Dedeler-Burak3-09We all might not be able to do BIG things right off the bat, but everyone can do SMALL things that add up to make BIG things happen.  For some people, paying $600 is an easy choice to make; they write the check, pick out the best gear and get certified. For me, it took time. But it’s ok because we are all on different paths.

If we continuously add SMALL amounts of energy, money and/or time to our dreams… one day, we will accomplish something BIG. To some, getting SCUBA certified might not sound like a BIG deal, but for me it is. Less than 1% of the population have this certification and think how much more of the world you get to see when you explore underwater?

whale shark speakerIn order to make BIG things happen don’t let other people tell you what their definition of BIG and SMALL is. You define it. You create it. You be proud of what makes you happy and what feels like an accomplishment to you. Go out and do something BIG by doing something SMALL!

How to Be a Speaker: Start doing SMALL things everyday that will help you accomplish your BIG dreams and define what BIG means to you. 

Questions #1: Are you SCUBA certified? If so, what is your favorite thing you have seen underwater and if not, would you want to get certified?

Question #2: What is a BIG dream you have and what is one SMALL thing you can do today to make that happen?

Question #3: Would you rather be able to breath underwater OR fly?

This post was written by
At age 25, Ryan Avery became the youngest World Champion of Public Speaking in history; competing against more than 30,000 people from 116 countries to claim the 2012 Championship title. As an Emmy Award winning journalist and a proud member of the National Speakers Association, Ryan uses his background in multimedia and speaking to help reach the younger generation on the importance of improving their communication skills in order to advance in their professional and personal life.

13 Comments on "How to Make BIG Things Happen – Part I"

  • Siraj says

    Very inspiring! Keep it going Ryan!

  • i am feeling VERY nervous of your desire to swim with a massive whale like in the video. it will swallow you whoooole! eeek.

    • I will be safe. That is part of my training :)

  • 1. I’m not scuba certified, but I have snorkeled…it was incredible.
    2. My BIG dream…to bring peace to the world. You said dream big! How I’ll do this? By becoming the best communicator I can. ALL of the world’s problems are due to misunderstandings due to poor communication. How’s that?! Oh, and I AM very serious.
    3. Oh, fly! No doubt!

    You have been an inspiration for me ever since we met in Oklahoma City. Keep moving forward…Walt Disney.

    • Thank you Mary. I believe in your BIG dream, if you can dream it… you can achieve it… Walt Disney :)

  • John says

    Yes! Certified (used to be a ‘Sea God’ (SCUBA Instructor) in S. Ca.

    Favorite things….. So, many.. The students (our course took ten weeks, so we made real friends), the wreck dives, night dives, islands and adventures, the photos and fun! It all comes back now (thanks!). Perhaps the best moment came on a drift dive in the Caribbean when I slowly settled into a silent cave as the world (the boat and other divers) drifted by and I was lost to eternity wrapped in the beauty of a moment of time that will be with me always.

    2. Right now bringing 2 Big Dreams to life (while leading from the heart and feeling the joy): helping a powerful speaker and friend bring a speaking tour to life AND building a business to life that will help breath economic life back into small communities.

    3. Research opportunities in one more city before sleep, and dream up 2 or 3 easy promotional ideas for the second project to start on in the morning….

    Thanks for the great questions and wonderful memories. I look forward to seeing you on an aquatic adventure soon.

    • I really like your answer to #2 ;) Thank you for sharing John!

  • 1, Not a scuba person, nope. not particularly interested, but you never know.
    2. I really want to walk the Camino de Santiago with my daughter when she is old enough. I’d like to take her so that we finish the jouney on her birthday, July 25, which is the feast day of St. James, whom the Camino is named after. I have this vision of us walking into the Cathedral of St. James (the end of the pilgrimage) together on her 15th or 16 birthday. Even envisioning this dream brings me such joy. Putting a little money away here and there. :) btw, for some reason, my husband is not in this dream. lol
    3. FLY! Have you seen gas prices lately????

    • You have to have mother daughter trips also :) That sounds amazing and I think that is a PERFECT thing to save for! I think I would choose flying also!

  • Robert Owens says

    #1: I am PADI-certified. I have several certifications (advanced, night, dry suit).

    There are a few notable things I have seen while diving. The most impressive, I suspect, is as I waited at the rendezvous point on a night dive off West Palm, I couldn’t see squat save right in front of me. All of a sudden I saw bubbles and only bubbles. It was disconcerting as I had no idea what was going on. Then this giant sea turtle floated in front of me . . . right in front of me so I could touch him. It was awesome!

    Swimming with the rays and seeing an octopus in his hole are other things that stand out . . . and the barracuda!

    #2: I don’t really have a big dream. Seriously! I have a bucket list and there are some bigger things there, I gather, but the important ones are really out of my direct control (having a boy ask me permission to marry my daughter, etc.). I am in the throes of family life right now (screaming boy, moody girl). All is good. What I can do to achieve those special dreams are to raise my children in a manner that emphasizes the values that are important. In the end, that is how those kinds of dreams are realized.

    #3: I somewhat had that as a question 20+ years ago. I had just had a relationship end. I felt as though I needed to do something for me at that point. I narrowed it down to learn how to sky dive or scuba dive. After mulling it over, I opted for scuba. As a middle-aged man now, I think that was the correct decision. I cannot imagine jumping out of a plane willingly today; strapping on a tank, however, sounds inviting. :)

  • 1) I am not SCUBA certified, because there isn’t much opportunity to go diving in Ohio. But I did once catch an enormous turtle while fishing with a string tied to a stick, and no bait on the hook. The turtle was massive, about 3ft by 3ft. It looked like it weighed well over 100 pounds. It walked out of the river, spat the hook on the ground, looked at me for a second as if to say, “get off my lawn!” then waddled back into the river and swam away.

    2) I would like to become a full-time writer. One small thing I can do today: write something. Easy!

    3) I’d have to go with breathe. It would be hard to fly underwater.

  • Dorothy Blake says

    You’ll be safe @ the Intl Convention in Cincinnati – no sharks or manta rays. Our son Michael received his certification in Roatan Honduras. Very cool – and a few fish stories to tell in the future!


  • Trackback from married AND still an individual. whoa. | the new wifestyle
    Monday, 22 July, 2013

    […] long dreams come true: getting scuba certified (you can read about his years of planning/saving here on his blog). i have had multiple people say “oh, why aren’t you getting certified with […]

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