Webster’s dictionary defines a goal as the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
At first glance, this seems accurate enough. But it only takes a moment of critical analysis to realize this definition is so incredibly broad and generic it could literally mean anything.
According to this definition, every desire requiring the most ambitious exertion (climbing Mt Everest) to the most undemanding effort (sleeping 10 more minutes in the morning) would be considered a goal. Both Everest and sleep can be the object of someone’e desire, and in many cases they are.
No wonder most people are so indifferent or flippant about goals. The fallout of which is more than just an unfortunate misunderstanding. Rather, it’s immensely problematic. Because the disappointment that festers and grows can mutate into full blown desperation. And when someone lives a life far below what they know they’re capable of long enough, it inevitably ends badly.
How then should a goal be defined?
Or better yet, how do champion’s define a goal?
THERE ARE 3 TYPES OF GOALS
Not all goals are created equal… far from it. To a champion there are Average, Gutsy and of course, Champion Goals. Each with it’s own unique qualities, requirements and reward.
1. AVERAGE GOALS are those that are achievable within your comfort zone. There is little to no stress or passion to achieve them because, in a sense, achieving them is just a formality requiring discipline, a little time, and some effort. You have the skills needed and the risk level is essentially zero.
Average goals are uncomplicated, anticipated, and the most common of goals.
2. GUTSY GOALS take things up a few notches, and are just outside your comfort zone and reach. There’s an element of risk, causing them to be invigorating, and an above average potential return that once achieved gives you a true sense of accomplishment.
Not knowing any better, most of society views gutsy goals as dangerous and the achievement of them as heroic. Makes sense given the general perception that anything bolder than an average goal must be significantly more difficult and rewarding. But an element of risk is not the same as putting it all on the line.
Gutsy goals are inspiring, challenging, and require persistence, new skill development, and occasionally the help of others.
For many, achieving gutsy goals will be the pinnacle points of their life.
However, for champions, gutsy goals (and average goals) can be a bit tortuous and tedious since they don’t bring much passion to the table. If seen as a labor of love or spring board though they can lead to something much bigger and better… Champion Goals.
3. CHAMPION GOALS are well outside your current comfort zone and reach. The reward is exponentially greater than gutsy goals, as is the risk, but achieving them will make you one of the best in your field or niche and geography.
Sure, Champion Goals can be unsettling because of their size, complexity, and the deflating “pragmatic” advice from others. But champions know before starting pursuit, that any goal can be achieved, even if it’s initially unclear how, through the proper development of readiness and with the help of qualified experts.
The competitive nature of Champion Goals require you be tenacious, and enlist the support of others to achieve them. You won’t be able to do it alone… ever. The fulfillment you’ll experience though, celebrating with those who’ve supported you in doing what you’re called, drawn, or compelled to accomplish, is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences in the human domain.
A LITTLE CLARIFICATION ON RISK
There is inherent risk in the pursuit of any goal. And risk is often romanticized. So let’s be clear.
Where reckless risk will send you off a cliff to a painful and potentially catastrophic landing on the canyon floor, champions assume deliberate, measured, and responsible risk in the pursuit of their goals.
Reckless risk is pursuing a goal at all costs. Pursuing a goal without vetting the requirements and consequences in advance, and continually doing so throughout goal pursuit exposes you and others to huge downside risk and high probability of failure. This type of risk is entirely preventable.
Responsible risk may sound like an oxymoron, but it’s not.
Champions tend to perform better when the risk of failure is high because a high level of risk tends to increase their focus, awareness, and development of readiness. This in turn equals better performance and outcomes.
If the risk is too low, champions tend to ‘fall asleep’ which causes sloppy and inattentive performance. Resulting in lots of amateurish avoidable mistakes.
Too much risk and you’ll tend to hyper-focus. Not only developing a peripheral blindness to alternative or better options, but also ignorance or avoidance of other important life areas. You may reach a goal while simultaneously sacrificing others and your long term credibility and legacy.
Responsible risk means vetting before, during, and after each step of the process in achieving your goal, perpetually developing a state of readiness, and maintaining (or increasing) what you’ve achieved in your health, your relationships, and other life areas.
What kind of goals are you going to set?