“By reaching for what appears to be impossible, we often actually do the impossible; and even when we don’t quite make it, we inevitably wind up doing much better than we would have done.” -Jack Welch
Many of us fail to achieve our goals because we often sell ourselves short by dreaming too small. Instead of just picking “realistic goals” push yourself to increase motivation and you will be more likely to succeed.
Misconception About Happiness
“We think that if we had every comfort available to us, we’d be happy. We equate comfort with happiness. And now we’re so comfortable we’re miserable. There’s no struggle in our lives. No sense of adventure.” That observation applies to all of life, especially our goals. When it comes to meaningful achievement, comfort equals boredom and low engagement.
We should embrace discomfort for at least three reasons, whether we deliberately choose to or because it simply happens to us. First, comfort is overrated and it doesn’t lead to happiness. Instead, it often leads to self-absorption and discontent. Secondly, discomfort is a catalyst for growth. It makes us yearn for something more; forcing us to change, stretch, and adapt. Third, discomfort signals progress. When you push yourself to grow, you will experience discomfort, but there’s profit in the pain. Personal engagement, satisfaction, and happiness all come when we’re gunning toward significant, risky goals.
Lofty Goals Lead to Higher Success Rates
“Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized. Make big plans, aim high in hope and work.”
Goal researchers have documented a strong, direct relationship between the difficulty of our goals and the likelihood we’ll achieve them. If you know exactly how to attain the goal, it’s probably not far enough. If you are afraid of failure you have already failed. Be able to accept risk and mistakes as they will allow you to accomplish things you didn’t think were possible.
A great example of Lofty goals are those of Elon Musk. Frequently on twitter Musk will announce goals for his companies or personal self. These goals are often ridiculed by specators as unrealistic. Even if its true they are impossible they still set a target that forces Elon and his teams to push further, work harder and hope. In the end even if the goal is not reached progress is far greater than if they had stuck to more reasonable goals. List of Some of Elon Musk’s Goals by 2030
If you have all the financial, emotional, and physical resources you need right now to accomplish your goal its not challenging enough to be compelling. With a lack of excitement you will fail to put in the effort to even accomplish your much smaller goals.
We Love Risk
Rising to the inherent risk of a goal creates huge emotional gains for us. Adrenaline junkies will go to almost any length to acheive their favorite high. Although we are not willing to fall from the sky without a parachute, we can push ourselves a little further.
Difficult goals are far more likely to generate sustained enthusiasm and higher levels of performance. How do you want to stretch yourself to accomplish more in the next few weeks, months or years?