In their book Built to Last Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras describe what they refer to as BHAGs. In their research of successful companies they found that companies that set big, hairy, audacious goals left their competition in the dust. In other words, these companies did not settle for making goals that would be easily reached–they set goals that required effort to attain. They make you stretch.
When setting a goal think of another acronym HOG. Set a huge outrageous goal. Think of this as a reminder not to settle for something that will not allow you to take advantage of your best efforts. If you aim high and take appropriate action steps, you will move further than you may have thought possible. Yes, you may stumble; you may even fail to achieve a particular goal. But if you aim low (the easy way), you will hit your mark every time–and more than likely never achieve your potential.
We can all remember stories of people (famous and not so famous) who failed miserably but were able to rebound from the pits of despair and find success in the aftermath. It may be hard to find the unseen benefits in a failure at the time it happens but they are there. Consider some of these more famous “failures.”
- Award-winning actress and comedienne Lucille Ball was dismissed from acting school.
- Early in their career, a record company rejected the Beatles because the company did not like their sound and thought “guitar music was on its way out.”
- His high school basketball team cut future hall-of-fame basketball player Michael Jordan.
- Long before his famous inventions, a teacher told Thomas Edison that he was stupid.
- A newspaper fired Walt Disney because he lacked creativity.
Life is full of risks–and failed attempts. Just because you fail at something does not make you a failure. It simply means you failed at that attempt. As cliché as it sounds, the only failure in a failure is the failure to get up and do it again.
If Michael Jordan had never rebounded from his high school failure, think of the basketball and athletic genius the world would have missed. Therefore, the next time you do not achieve what you want and you consider quitting, think of what the world might miss if you do not persevere toward your dream!
Think about your favorite novel or movie for a moment. The hero started at a certain point in life and ended at another at the conclusion of the story. The final scene usually represented some type of success or progress for the main character. However, that achievement did not occur without twists and turns of the plot. Those adventures–or misadventures–kept you turning the pages of the book or sitting in your seat watching the screen. As the hero made his way toward a particular goal, an obstacle presented itself and the hero detoured from his goal. He had to gather his thoughts, refocus, and then move back up the road toward the goal. This continued until he reached the final scene.
Just like the hero, you, too, will probably have missteps along the way. Goals are set in the real world. Problems, unforeseen circumstances, and “bad luck” are also part of the real world. Expect them, plan for them, and make choices that keep you moving toward the desired result.
© Steve Piscitelli and Steve Piscitelli’s Blog, 2010.