Today one of my teammates asked a great question. “Mike, if you’re incentives are based on hitting goals and you set the goals, why do you always choose crazy high goals that aren’t always realistic?” I couldn’t help but smile and remind her that we’d just hit the “crazy high goal that wasn’t realistic” this year. But then it got me thinking and I shared my thoughts. My apologies to the team for getting on my soapbox at the time, but the more I think of it, I’m pretty thankful for the way I think I like that.
When I dream or set goals I almost always go to the extreme. Take for instance running. Haven’t run more than 15 minutes at one time in over a decade? Screw it, I’m training for a marathon. Why settle for one office when I could shoot for twenty? You get the point… I’m not one for setting easily attainable goals.
Over the past few months I’ve been able to do some awesome things that I’m super proud of and they were only possible because of crazy big dreams and goals I set for myself. Had I settled for mediocrity they may have kind of happened, but not with nearly the same intensity or joy.
I don’t want to live an average life, do the normal things, and settle for being good. I want to do great things, live incredible experiences, and leave crazy wide path of joy in others in my wake. Why be good when I can be great?
To do great I need to push insanely hard. I need to be willing to fail. Not that I want to fail, but I’d rather fail forward while pushing towards an excellent cause than hit some lame goal that didn’t stretch me. I want to grow and learn and become better. That means taking educated risks, but risks nonetheless. I refuse to live in fear of failure, I live in fear of wasting my life and squandering my short opportunity to live a life I’ll be proud of when it’s my turn to go.
Fail? Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. As soon as failure hits I pick myself back up, dust myself off, and remember to keep making relentless forward progress. I remind myself why the goal is so important to me. I learn from my failure and set a new path. I persist. Failing will happen, but I will not quit.
So if the fear of failure is non-existent why not shoot for the stars? As I said, my biggest fear is letting myself down, not living a great life, not doing all that I can, not doing all of my loved ones and mentors proud, and having regret. With those fears I have to push the envelope and straddle the line of possible and improbable. Sometimes I over step and have to reset. Sometimes I under step and need to push further forward. At the end of the day I really don’t know what is possible until I’ve reached failure… but even then I won’t quit, I’ll find a different way or work harder.
Whew, this has gotten to be a bit of a ramble! The long and short of it is this… I am thankful for setting goals and dreams that push the boundaries and straddle that line of what’s possible and what’s not. I fear not taking advantage of this wonderful gift of life I’ve been given and doing something great with it. If I dream big I can more easily avoid the pitfalls of playing it safe. The bigger I dream the more I live. Wow, that’s really it in a sentence, isn’t it? The bigger I dream the more I live.
And that’s why I’m thankful for blogging to work these thoughts out sometimes… All those earlier paragraphs can be condensed into those seven words. That’s why I’m thankful for dreaming big… The bigger I dream the more I live.