If you are of a certain age, you might remember the occasional interruption we used to have when watching television. Unexpectedly, the show would stop, the screen would go blank, and then you would see and hear these words, “This is a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. This is only a test. If this […]
Conventional wisdom says that when we set goals, the best approach is to set small, definable goals. For instance, most folks would argue that the goal of losing weight is too broad. Instead, you should have a defined goal, such as “I would like to lose 10 pounds.” Then you should set small daily goals that support that defined goal, such as, “I will walk for 30 minutes each day.”
The problem with tiny goals, is that they are uninspiring. The goal of losing 10 pounds is dreadfully boring. And the plan to walk 30 minutes each day is about as interesting as watching paint dry.
To keep life exciting, we need Big Goals. You always should have a goal that gets you up in the morning and excites you. For instance, losing 10 pounds is not inspiring. But saying, “I want to have a body like Jennifer Aniston or The Rock,” is a fun goal to work toward!
The challenge is that small, daily actions aren’t going to help you accomplish a Big Goal. A Big Goal is one that pervades every area of your life. Let’s go back to the Jennifer Aniston example. If I want to have a body like hers, walking 30 minutes a day is not enough. Her body is the product of a certain type of lifestyle. I suspect that she is incredibly careful with how she eats, and that she exercises every chance that she gets. Her physique is hard-earned.
The benefit of big, outlandish goals is that they push us in ways small goals do not. You can accomplish a small goal in very little time (probably under a year) and with minimal daily effort. A Big Goal forces you to stretch yourself.
For instance, I know a young lady who has a dream of going to an Ivy League school when she graduates from high school. She is very smart. But being smart isn’t enough to get into the best schools in the country. You have to be driven. You have to work hard to get good grades. And you have to have significant accomplishments beyond your school work.
This young lady’s dream has inspired her to push herself in ways that she wouldn’t otherwise. She attacks her school work. She enters academic competitions. She is doing everything possible to be the candidate that an Ivy League school is looking for. Her Big Goal is driving her accomplish more than she would otherwise.
Big Goals aren’t just critical to achieving all you can with your life. They can change the world in wonderful ways. For instance, if Edison didn’t have Big Goals and a heap of tenacity, we wouldn’t have the lightbulb. If Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t have a dream of equality, we wouldn’t have been blessed with such a courageous leader for the civil rights movement. If Hillary Clinton didn’t have the Big Goal of being the president, we wouldn’t have had our first female presidential candidate. Big, Crazy Goals can change the world for the better.
The challenge is that those kinds of goals are fragile. If you tell someone about your larger-than-life goal, very likely they will tell you that it is unrealistic. They’ll tell you that very few people accomplish what you are trying to do. Some people simply like to live in the world of negativity and mediocrity. As a result, most Big Goals die because of the naysayers.
So, in the early stages, when your Big Goal is just percolating in your brain, don’t tell anyone about it. Make plans and start working toward your goal, but keep it to yourself. Protect it, because it is fragile, and The Discouragers are just looking for Big Goals to crush.
Once you have given some mental and physical effort toward your goal, and it is starting to feel solid and real, then you can share it with others. Some people will encourage you, because Big Thinkers love to see other folks achieve Big Goals. And the small thinkers will discourage you. Just ignore them. You have to give your energy to accomplishing your Outlandish, Crazy Goals!
This week, I encourage you to pursue a Big Goal. Search your heart for a goal that you would love to accomplish, but that seems too far-fetched to ever achieve. Then give yourself to that goal. Let it inspire you each day. You will be amazed at how your life will change and what you can accomplish if you work toward a Big, Crazy Goal.
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Books: “The Secrets to Success for the Working Mother” by Meerabelle Dey (https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Success-Working-Mother/dp/1546329544 )