See original article at http://smplme.wordpress.com/
The joy of setting lofty goals
So often when we set a goal, we set an impossibly large goal, and it makes us feel good — doesn’t it?
I’m not the greatest swimmer, so I’ll set the goal of swimming five days per week and compete in a triathlon.
I don’t enjoy reading much though I know I should do more of it, so I’ll set the goal of reading the great classics in philosophy.
My partner and I have fallen into a rut and lost our sense of adventure, so we’ll set the goal of doing something adventurous every week.
Goal original (Photo credit: Peter Fuchs)
We feel good when we set these ambitious goals because at the starting line, before we’ve gotten wet, cracked open Aristotle’s “Nichomachean Ethics”, or jumped out of an airplane holding our lover’s hand… it all seems to be within reach. We see the possibilities and we already feel the success when we pack our bathing suit for a morning swim, when we enter the used bookstore to grab a classic, and when we think about all of the adventures that lie ahead. It’s because the work hasn’t started yet. It’s because we haven’t yet taken stock of where we truly are in this moment, and just how far away these ambitious goals are from this place.
When the work starts, and our distance from the end goal becomes painfully apparent, we find ourselves feeling discouraged, and we stop. Too much uncertainty lies between our starting place and where we want to end up, and it becomes easier to envision our failure rather than our success. To make this realization less painful, we begin to speak within ourselves, convincing ourselves that the problem was not us, nor was it our approach to achieving the goal — the problem was the goal itself. As a result, we don’t experience the rush of a successful triathlon completion, we don’t fill our minds with some of humanity’s greatest ideas, and our relationship remains stale.
Worse yet, the pain this should cause us fades with time, because we become someone that hates the water, has no need for lofty ideas, and our relationship is fine the way it is because we’ve found what we like and we stick to it.
My own failure
The first example regarding swimming is a personal example, so I’ll speak to that.
I have had many false starts on my path to becoming a stronger swimmer. It starts with me being inspired by watching an expert glide effortlessly through the water. I then set a goal to swim just like that. I research and purchase the gear that will help me get there. I get to the pool. I find myself gasping helplessly after one or two laps of inefficient swimming, my enthusiasm fizzles, and I convince myself that I am not cut out for this and so it would be best if I stick to what I am already good at.
Read more – > https://medium.com/better-humans/1fc879091b36