Monday, January 11, 2010

Hope You Fail

Doesn't sound very encouraging, does it?

Read the reason from Harvey:

You can't score a goal unless you have one

I once heard a high school math instructor issue this challenge at a school assembly: "I hope you all fail," he said, to an audience of high school seniors, eager to go out and conquer the world. "Because if you don't, you haven't set your goals high enough."

You can get by without setting goals. Most people do. They fall into a routine and inertia carries them through life. They never suffer great disappointments in their work, but they never get very far along the career path either. Then, before you know it, it's all over, and they realize that they could have accomplished so much more if only they had been willing to risk failure.

Getting by without setting goals is the ultimate form of self-delusion. It is a guaranteed way for people to achieve failure without ever having to admit it to themselves.

With a new year upon us, it's a perfect time to set your goals for the year, for the decade or for the rest of your life. After all, if you don't set goals to determine where you're going, how will you know when you get there?

Goals not only give you more than a reason to get up in the morning; they are an incentive to keep you going all day. Goals tend to tap the deeper resources and draw the best out of life. Achieving goals produces significant accomplishments.

Most important, goals need to be realistic: beyond your grasp but within your reach and in the foreseeable future.

Setting reasonable life goals is usually a two-step process. First you discover what your dreams are, then you have to figure out a realistic way to make these things happen.

Step 1: Dreaming. This is fun and easy to do. Get a notepad and block out some time. Turn your cell phone and other wireless devices off. Commit this time to yourself. Now dream. Write down whatever it is you really want. If you want to go to Hawaii and dance the hula, write it down. If you want to climb Mount Everest, write it down. Free your mind and open yourself to possibilities that you might not necessarily recognize otherwise. You shouldn't expect these things to happen all at once, but the things that have meaning for you will resonate, and then you will have the confidence to start taking the steps to realize your dream.

Step 2: Goal setting. Setting good goals is about plotting the incremental, but necessary steps to start the journey. So if your dream is to dance the hula in Hawaii and you can't afford to go there right now, you'll know that you have to set a budget and start saving money for the trip. Look for cheap airfare and sign up for a hula dancing class, small first steps. The trip, instead of a remote dream that will never be realized, suddenly has the real possibility of becoming part of your life experience.

Deciding what you want is an important first step toward success — personal or professional. But it's not enough to simply know your goal. You've got to know how you're going to achieve it. Frame your goals in terms of tasks and performance, not just outcomes: What actions do you need to take, today and tomorrow and in the future, to get closer to your objective? Assigning specific tasks to yourself, knowing how you'll measure the outcome of each activity, gives you a sense of control over what happens to you. You're not just wishing for success, but working steadily toward it. Regular accomplishments will keep you motivated and moving forward.

Evangelist Robert H. Schuller describes four kinds of people. First are the cop-outs. These people set no goals and make no decisions.

Second are the hold-outs. They have a beautiful dream, but they're afraid to respond to its challenge because they aren't sure they can make it.

Third are the drop-outs. They start to make their dream come true. They know their role. They set their goals, but when the going gets tough, they quit.

Finally, there are the all-outs. They are the people who know their role. They want and need and are going to be stars — star students, star parents, star waitresses. They want to shine out as an inspiration to others. They set their goals. The all-outs never quit. They're committed.

Mackay's Moral: Winners make goals; losers make excuses.

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