“A goal should scare you a little, and excite you a lot.”Joe Vitale
There are lots of things that can sabotage our goals and dreams.
Much of the time, it’s our own thoughts and words that can drastically minimize our level of success, wealth, fulfillment, and enjoyment.
There’s no bigger culprit than the word ‘realistic’.
I’m sure at some point, you’ve been told by someone (and yourself) to be “realistic” when dreaming big or setting your sights high.
What does it mean to be realistic anyway?
There’s actually no such thing!
“Realistic” is someone else’s definition of reality.
It’s someone else’s hand-me-down version of what’s possible.
It’s like one person’s perception of what constitutes beauty versus another.
It’s your version of a delicious meal versus mine.
Put another way, asking what is “realistic” is like asking what is art?
Both are highly subjective.
But when it comes to designing our lives, the latter question is more in line with what we should be asking. More aptly put:
“What is your version of art?”
Rather than looking through the lens of the“realist”, look through the lens of the “artist”.
Meaning, aim to be the artist of your own great story!
To do that, we need to DREAM BIG!
Take a look at these snippets from the book Overachievement by Dr. John Eliot who is a professor of organizational and performance psychology at Standford:
“Overachievement is aimed at people who want to maximize their potential. And to do that, I insist you throw caution at the wind, ignore the pleas of parents, coaches, spouses and bosses to be realistic.”Dr. John Eliot
“Realistic people do not accomplish extraordinary things because the odds of success stymie them. The best performers ignore the odds.”
Those who play big in life do so by going after what most consider unrealistic.
If you look at all the people in history who were major changemakers, they never were “realistic”.
They pursued the heart-pounding, exciting, really big, difference-making dreams instead of limiting themselves to what’s probable.
The rest of us need to follow their lead and give ourselves permission to go big in life across the board.
Instead of playing the odds, acting small, and doing what’s safe why not be truly bold with our goals and dare to shoot for the moon.
Enter the 50/50 rule of goal-setting which was championed by Google and used by other big tech companies.
The main premise is that half of your goals should be the “easy” manageable goals that you know and believe you are fully capable of attaining.
The other half should have a 50% chance of failure.
They should literally be a coin flip.
These goals should be so bold and audacious that you don’t know how to even go about making them happen.
The value of doing this is that it forces you to take risks and think differently — because the mere challenge of these goals stretches you.
It activates abilities within us that we never knew we had.
Emotionally, the mere chase of ‘unrealistic’ goals makes us feel radiantly alive.
They fill us with that spark that makes life worth living.
Neurologically, the chase of big bold goals serves as a reward system for our brain by feeding it feel-good nuerochemistry like dopamine which further spurs us on throughout our pursuit.
Most of all moonshot goals give us permission to fail, relinquishing our obsession to always reach all our goals.
“If you hit 100% of your goals, you played the game wrong.”Vishen Lakhiani
Back to the Joe Vitale quote, if none of your goals are making your heart-pound from both being excited and scaring you, then it’s a sign you need to re-work your goals to play bigger.
The biggest problem that prevents us from being “unrealistic” with our goals is we become plagued by the curse of “how” by obsessing over how we will accomplish them.
Instead, start playing bigger by shifting your focus from the “how” to these four mindsets:
Win or lose, fail or succeed… it doesn’t matter. Did you grow?Srikumar Rao
Take the first step in playing bigger in your life by refusing to be unrealistic with your goals and allow the journey towards them to make you come alive, open you up to new ideas, bolster your resilience, and transform you in new and surprising ways.
Get after it and shoot for the moon.
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