We’ve been told number of times that realistic, smart goals are the best way to success. Let me share my recent experience which illustrates how big bullsh*t this idea is.
For past some time I jog not a lot and short distances only (due to lack of time and other priorities). I wanted to run a nice distance for my birthday. Bearing in mind my current shape I was sure that 5K was quite a good challenge. I was sure I can handle with a bit of effort, but still could be painful. I would call it a smart goal. While doing 2nd K I though “if I turn back only when I reach 5K mark I will have to do 10! Lest go for it!” – it was not smart. I know that, but I went for it. When I reached 4K mark I thought “oh sh*t, I have to get back somehow”. I turned around and I know I have to make another 4K to get back home. I can’t walk, because it will take ages – I don’t have so much time. So I had to run. It was painful, it was hard. I took a shortcut eventually and got near my home just before 8K and I thought I will walk last hundred meters. But on my running app I saw that it’s just 70 meters to 8K mark. So I ran the last bit. Hit full 8K!
If I would go for a smart goal I would most probably do 4K, and walk last K back home. Maybe I would make myself run that last K, maybe – and that would be a success for the day – then I would reach my smart goal. But I did setup myself for failure. Meaning that my failure of that day is 3K more, than success could be. Pushing so hard every time or at least sometimes will get me back to the shape much, much faster. Yes I am taking about physical shape as an example, but jogging here is just a small example. Think about anything else in your life, anything big. What about you family life, work, salary, positive impact on other people? Would you rather set smart goals and be successful, or fail but reach much more? I rather be a frequent failure in unrealistic goals, than full time mediocre success. What about you?