In the 4 Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss writes that we ought to set “unrealistic” and “unreasonable” goals. Peter Diamandis, in his blog and in his book Bold, says that we should set “exponential” rates of growth (for our businesses and personal well-being), not growth at 10% per year, but at 10x (10 times). These two men are futuristic dreamers, never satisfied with the status quo.Why don’t we think the same way?
Why don’t we think the same way?
I must admit that I am drawn to such outrageous thinking. Ferriss contends that if we set ordinary goals, we are generally quite sure we will achieve those goals and therefore put little effort into acquiring them. However, if we set outrageous goals, and genuinely attempt to attain them, we find that we work smarter and harder to make them so.
I like that.
The result: we may not attain our unrealistic goal, but… we often get 25-50 % there, which is 2-5 times greater than our puny little 10% goal.
Actually, we make unrealistic goals every day, except we don’t call them goals; we call them “wishes.”
- I wish I I had a great job.
- I wish I made a memorable impact on the lives of people around me.
- I wish I could help starving people around the world.
- I wish I had a new car.
- I wish I lived in a cool apartment or house.
- I wish…
Fear of Failing is Totally Self-Induced
Okay. So you dream big and then it doesn’t work out. So what? Who cares? You still gotta try.
You have one life. One chance to do this thing. So really Do It! At Right Things, we believe you should do it with Meaning and with Adventure and with Awe. You don’t have to allow circumstances to take charge of your destiny. You CAN make your world much more like the way you want it to be.
But we’re afraid. Of what? Failure? The life of every single high achiever is filled with failure. There is no such thing as dreaming without having failures along the way. It is said that Mark Twain lost one million dollars… three times. And earned it back again. You know the story of Thomas Edison failing 1000 times at making a light bulb. But his oft-quoted response was something like, “I didn’t fail a thousand times, I just discovered 1000 ways it wouldn’t work.”
Far too often what we relegate to mere wishes are really goals inhibited by fear of failure and self-loathing if we don’t make them come true. So, instead, we go for the sure-thing cutsie little prize instead of risking Door #3. Shoot, I walked in the door of this game-show building with nothing. I came expecting to walk out with nothing. So if I have a chance at Door #3, I’m going for it.
Dare Yourself and Release Your Fears
Door 3# 2016:
- Set one outrageous goal that you will achieve by 2016. Make it the kind of goal that “if you achieve it, it will make all your other goals irrelevant.” Personally I have two:
- Go to Europe twice, once on a business expedition and another for fun.
- Build my website to match year-end 2015 expectations to impact the lives of thousands.
If I achieve those two goals and live an honorable and virtuous life, all other goals won’t matter. (So I guess I have three goals, if I include honor and virtue.)
- Expect fear of failure. I left for the first trip to Europe yesterday. I should be in Paris right now. And, for some reason, I’m scared to death. I’m going mostly alone (my wife will join me briefly.) I’m staying in other people’s houses (airbnb’s.) I have almost no plans other than the cities I will stay in, which I’ve never been to (except Paris.)
Add to that, I plan to shoot videos of me doing interviews. I barely know how to work my video equipment (an iphone 6 and an LED for lighting.). I’m an introvert. I have no idea how I will approach people for interviews. I could return having totally failed my main mission. This trip is to shoot interviews.
- DETERMINE you will be a success. I’m simply talking about a frame of mind. I believe in me, even if others think I’m a little “off” for even attempting to do this on my own. I am determined to match my goals for the trip. I plan to remain adventurously unflappable. If things don’t go as planned, I will redesign the plan.
- Live your trip moment to moment. Not one day at a time, but one moment at a time. Successes are the composite of tens of thousands of moments. Your dream is different than mine, but the result is the same. The never-ending Ride.
Enjoy the ride. Even the bumps. They are bound to come up. And you just might be shocked at how resilient you are, and ready to take on the next unreasonable goal.