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Optimism is one of the essential keys to success in just about anything.
This article is about another key to success.
You can probably guess what that is by the title.
Setting seemingly unattainable goals is something I have incorporated into my life for a while now. It has helped me raise my sights on what I’m capable of. It has stretched me and challenged me in ways that would never have happened if I had “played it safe” in life.
Life is meant for thriving. Not suffering and merely surviving.
So let’s talk about why setting big goals is essential for a life of thriving and fulfillment.
Why Aiming High Matters
“Progress and innovation happen when you set unrealistic goals.” – Simon Sinek
One of the best success stories and examples of this is the head coach of the 1980 US Olympic hockey team, Coach Herb Brooks. His story is a classic example of setting seemingly impossible goals and achieving them through sheer determination, teamwork, and belief.
In the 1980 Winter Olympics, the U.S. ice hockey team, comprised mostly of amateur players, was pitted against the Soviet Union team. The Soviets were not just any team; they were the reigning champions, having won the gold medal in four previous Olympics, and were considered unbeatable.
The U.S. team was young, inexperienced, and viewed as underdogs. Herb Brooks, however, had a vision. He rigorously trained his team, focusing not just on physical toughness but also on mental toughness and team unity. His methods were unorthodox, and his expectations were sky-high.
The two teams ended up facing each other. The US underdogs scored four goals against the Soviet’s three, clinching an unbelievable victory. This win got them to the final against Finland, which they also won, securing the gold medal.
Herb Brooks aimed high. He set a goal that most people thought was impossible. Maybe even he had his doubts at times. But he got it done.
Goals and Limitations
Humility is important and has its place.
But when you’re setting goals and envisioning your dream life, humility should take a back seat. This is the time to think about what you want. Not how you’re going to get it. The reason I’m all about setting big goals is because setting small, modest goals can act as limitations to your life and potential.
Let’s say you’re starting a Digital Marketing business. You obviously have big dreams for the business. One goal you may have is to be the #1 Digital Marketing company in your city.
But what if you aimed higher? What if you set a goal to be the most highly sought-after agency in the country? Or the world?
The higher you set your goal, the more you communicate to yourself what you know you’re capable of.
So you’ve set a big goal to be the best agency in the world. Now it’s time to set smaller goals all with the mission to get you closer to your large goal.
That’s how it all works.
You set a goal that’s seemingly impossible and then you make a plan to make that vision a reality.
Stephen Covey talks about beginning with the end in mind in his world-famous book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Your lofty vision for your business and life is the “end” you need to have in mind and that will be what drives your daily efforts.
“But What If I Fail?”
One of the greatest speeches of all time was given by Teddy Roosevelt in Paris on April 23rd, 1910. It is known as “The Man In The Arena” speech. In the speech, he describes the difference between a critic watching from the sidelines and a man who is willing to step into the arena.
“…who at the best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
Let’s go back to the Digital Marketing agency example. If you were to set a goal to be the best agency in the world, you would be setting yourself up for success. Yes, even if you never achieve that exact goal.
Because you will go further and see greater success than if you had just limited yourself to being the best in your city. You won’t have any limits since there’s always more you can do to see more success.
The higher your goals, the more limitless you become.
So aim high. And if you think you’re at your limit, aim higher.
Go crush it!