While it is absolutely true that most people set their goals
too low, it is just as dangerous to your long term success
and happiness to try to move too quickly and without thought.
Some people try to reach the top rung of the ladder of success in a single move, by skipping the rungs in between. This strategy leads to spectacular failures and usually results in a person never achieving the desired goal or being denied the pleasure of an earned success.
Shortcuts to achievement of any goal are usually
an attempt to circumvent real issues that need to be dealt
with, and experiences required to obtain real and lasting
You often see this in solar power installations,
where people put no real thought into the system that they
are building, but just buy some equipment and set it up expecting
that they will have a great system, only to be disappointed
with the results. I'm not saying you need to be an engineer,
but much like an engineer you need to be sure that you have
a realistic vision of what you're out to accomplish. You
need to invest your time and money properly so that whatever
you purchase will fit into your completed system that meets
your goals. And as part of this process you continuously
learn from what you've done and make any corrections in goals
or equipment purchases so you end up achieving your goals.
These principles are the same whether you are
building a solar power system or building your life. We need
to constantly stay in touch with reality and use what we
learn to correct our course to meet our goals. Our goals
can be very fixed, but navigating our way to our destination
requires we have our hands on the wheel and that we stay
One way to guarantee failure is to set goals
too high. We all have different skills, talents, needs, and
financial resources. What is possible is a highly variable
and subjective thing that we all have to think about. Generally
the higher the goals the greater the sacrifice, and the greater
the risk. My suggestion is to set goals that you can reach
and approach whatever you are seeking one step at a time.
Celebrate your success with each step. You need to see your
progress and enjoy the trip.
What is success to you? I was reading a car magazine
the other day about a Lamborguini. It's a car that has always
fascinated me. As I was drooling over the pages reading about
the incredible acceleration, cornering, braking, top speed
and all that, and I happened to see what it cost just for
a single tire. It was a real shock! To replace all the tires
and give that little Lamborguini a tuneup I'd have to mortgage
my house! All of a sudden I was cured. Interesting car, but
waaay to expensive for me to take care of. I'd love to drive
one someday for a hour or two, but I have no interest in
When we set a goal we have to take everything
into consideration in a non-superficial way. A little extra
thought in the beginning can save a lot of heartburn and
If you keep your goals real, your values real,
and your mind fixed in reality you can't go too far wrong.
Most foolish mistakes are due to not thinking of consequences,
costs, and the 'big picture' of life.
Another source of error is pride. Trying to impress
people and 'fit in' with some social circle. Try to avoid
the herd instinct and instead try to be independent and helpful
to others who can benefit from your experience and background.
IF they want it. We all hear our own siren's song and we
need to be free to seek our own version of success. But it
is rewarding if you can help someone here and there.
Go for it! Be your own definition of a winner.
Tomorrow can be better than today.