Should we set terrifying goals, where success isn’t guaranteed?

Curing polio, creating the iPod, putting a man on the moon?


Without terrifying goals, progress forward isn’t possible.

If you aim high enough, you never totally fail. You might not get exactly what you wanted, but you will get something new. – Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google

Set a big goal and fail, you learn something.

Set a big goal and succeed, you get what you were looking for, and you learn something.

If you don’t set a goal at all, you gain nothing and learn nothing.

That doesn’t have to be stressful.

Stress needs a fear of failure (sadly, many people have it).

Working on big goals is like shooting craps: If it’s even, you win a little, and if it’s odd, you win a lot.

If you don’t shoot, you don’t get anything.

Sounds good!

Most people shoot so low when they’re setting “realistic” goals.

Some don’t, and they eat dirt every once in a while.

But if you never shoot high by every once in a while setting a goal that’s beyond your ability to achieve, you never get a good sense of your true capabilities — you never map out those edges — so you risk spending your whole life way below what you’re capable of.

This is what most people do.

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

-TS Eliot

Think about investing. If you are 100% guaranteed you’ll never lose money, would you ever make any money?

No chance.

Why would investing in your life be any different?

Your muscles are the same way: don’t lift? Not only you won’t stay as strong, you’ll actually get weaker.

This is what happens to people who never push themselves by taking on goals that actually challenge them.

They grow mentally weaker over time, losing more and more of the ability to achieve goals.

Look back on your life. Think of when you really challenged yourself, whether you got what you wanted or not.

How would you be today if those experiences never happened? Would you be stronger or weaker?

Setting a goal and not achieving it doesn’t have to be some terrible thing to be avoided at all costs.

When you lift, the point is to get to failure.

“I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. That is when I start counting, because then it really counts. That’s what makes you a champion” –Muhammad Ali

Lifting to failure is the only thing that makes you get strong. Want to be a wimp forever? Lift 10 lb dumbells forever, because if you lift heavier ones you might fail.

Why would all the other parts of you life be any different?

Don’t think that just because you can’t do something right now that you’ll never be able to do it, or that the whole process is stressful.

Learn to love it.

Until next time,