Remember when you were a kid and someone would ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up? You’d exclaim an astronaut or president. An inventor or a millionaire.
But then somewhere along the way, someone told you that your goals were unachievable. Never mind that Neil Armstrong and John Glenn did it. George Bush and Barack Obama did it. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates did it. You wouldn’t.
So your goals became smaller, achievable.
But, have your goals become just tasks in disguise?
Tasks in Disguise
I was talking with a friend the other day about how discouraged I was about missing a goal I set. She asked, “Do you always make your goals?” “Yes,” I confirmed, “Usually.” She was surprised. She often missed her goals. In fact, she thought that if you always meet your goals, maybe your goals are too easy. Maybe they are just tasks in disguise.
Here are 5 signs that your goals are just tasks in disguise:
- Your goal is small. If you start with easy goals, you’ll finish small. Make a big goal. Running a marathon is a goal. Running 3 miles, may be the first task in reaching your goal, but running 3 miles is not your final goal.
- You tell people your tasks, not your goals. The time you told someone you wanted to be president, they laughed at you. So the next time you said you wanted to go to Law School. Or maybe you changed it to getting into your 1st choice college. Or maybe even graduating in the top 10% of your high school class. As people scoffed at your goal, you broke it down to smaller tasks on the way to your goal, to avoid the scoffers.
- You meet your goals most of the time. If you always achieve your goals, you may be telling yourself that you are a powerhouse and go-getter. But maybe, you aren’t reaching far enough, and you’re actually celebrating tasks completed.
- You don’t dream anymore. That voice in your head that once told you to reach for the stars, now tells you to keep your feet on the ground. Realism is good. But no one becomes great without reaching far, and falling often.
- You fear failure. Goal getters don’t fear failure. They thrive on it. Every failure is a step closer to achievement. If you fear failure, you’ll never get your goals. You’ll simple check easy tasks off your list.
Dream Big, Set Big Goals
People don’t dream big anymore. We’ve been told our goals have to be smart. Attainable. Small. Now that “every player gets a trophy,” there is less drive to be the MVP. Now that raises are 3% across the board, why should any employee strive to be the best? Why should we reach for “unattainable” goals? Why risk failure in a culture that rewards mediocrity?
Because there is Neil Armstrong, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates showing us that big goals can be achieved. Small tasks feel good to complete, but true success comes when we dream big, set big goals, and use our tasks as marks to reach our goals. Not as the goals themselves.
Question: What big goal do you really want to achieve? You can leave a comment by clicking here.