ARE YOUR GOALS BIG ENOUGH?
The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them. If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.
Some would argue that chasing “stretch goals” may do more harm than good — after all, what happens when we don’t hit them?
It can be demoralizing to run after goals with everything you’ve got, only to fall short.
Risk-averse people would “rather hit a modest goal and appear successful than fall short of a wildly ambitious stretch goal.”
But They’re not being forced to grow and expand into their vision.
As a result, they don’t expect great things for themselves and then watch it happen.
To quote Michael Jordan, “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.”
Indeed, everything in your life right now is following your beliefs. Your relationships, income, and health are all a product of what you believe you deserve. You will never get more than you think you can get. Thus, in order to get more, you must elevate your sense of what you believe you deserve. One way to do that is to set goals beyond your “current capacity” or what other people may call “crazy” goals.
3 reasons to set big goals (other than to try to achieve them)
There’s value in going after big goals beyond achieving them, and in our experience, the payoff — even when we miss by a mile — is worth the risk. Here’s why I am setting aggressively large goals.
1. Big goals stretch what we believe is possible
When we set a big goal, we build a bottom-up plan to achieve it.
That’s the idea behind BHAGs — Big Hairy Audacious Goals, the term Jim Collins and Jerry Porras coined in Built to Last to describe wildly ambitious, if not impossible, goals. (Microsoft’s “A computer on every desk and in every home” is one.)
The power of the BHAG is that it gets you out of thinking too small. It forces you to dramatically improve because otherwise you won’t be able to achieve it. It’s a mechanism to stimulate progress.
2. Big goals force us to test and learn quickly
Setting big goals forces us to try out a number of hypotheses and experiments, and to make some mistakes — all of which exist because we’re pushing ourselves to meet an incredibly ambitious goal.
3. We’re at our best when the work is hard
We’re big believers in forced constraints. Constraints like deadlines (used sparingly, to avoid burnout) force us to approach challenges from different angles.
The reality is that You’ll Never Feel Ready to Go to the Next Level. You never pre-qualify for success. You qualify yourself through the process of taking on something bigger than you’ve ever done before.
It’s not about being READY to go to the next level. Instead, it’s about putting yourself into a situation that literally FORCES you to go to the next level.
When the demand is great, the supply will follow. Hence, when you set a big goal and then are forced to rise the occasion, your life will soon begin to reflect that.
Once you set a big goal and then begin expanding your future vision, you need to immediately begin acting the part here and now. Why? Because you can’t truly believe in something if your behaviour shows the opposite.
Hence, in order to truly believe you can do something big, you need to actually be moving in the right direction. You need to watch yourself grow and transform. You need to see and feel your vision become real, even in a small way. At such, your belief, confidence, motivation, and momentum will all increase. You won’t just be talking or thinking about going to the next level anymore; you’ll actually be doing it! Your future won’t just be in your head. Instead, it will be all around you.
So, how big or “crazy” are the goals you’re currently pursuing?