"Who wants a dream that is near fetched?" - Howard Schultz
At the end of each month, I look back over the goals and the expectations I set for myself and take account for the wins and the losses. I find that most of the time the losses out number the wins, or at least I acknowledge and tend to spend more time thinking over the losses than the wins. I have often be accused of being really good at coming up with goals and dreams, but not always that good at reaching them. "Set more realistic goals Andy, you are just setting yourself up for feelings of failure" I have heard on more than one occasion from friends, bosses, and mentors. But here is the way that I think about it: failure is and always will be a part of life lived in the pursuit of greatness. There are a lot of comfortable alcoves and harbors that I have sailed passed and turned away from in search of my port of call, the destination further out to sea. There are always chances to turn back and take refuge from the storms of life and toss in the towel when things get tough and the pain is great. It is never too late to call "uncle" when your circumstances have you in a headlock and seem intent on submitting you to the mat. But when I sit down and think about the next week, the next month, the year, I can not help but expect the best of myself.
I heard it said once that when an archer pulls back his bow and lines up his shot, the only thing he aims for is the bullseye. It seems obvious. The only goal he has is absolute perfection, dead on the money. When he releases the arrow it is his expectation that it is going to hit the very center of the target. In the same way, why set a goal that is just to "get kinda close to the middle" or worse yet "to just hit the target" with no mention of perfection? If your goal is to just hit the target, what happens when you fail? You miss the entire thing!
It is unnatural to be successful. Think about that. It is completely against our wiring and programing to achieve great success. If it was natural, so many more people would not just aspire to great success in their lives, but actually to achieve it. Therefore, it is only by undertaking unnatural tasks and outside the box responsibilities that success may be achieved. The odds are against you and me, most will never reach the heights they dream of. At a certain point we will all be asked to get back inside the box and color inside the lines "like all the other good boys and girls." And that is the moment that we will have the choice; take the safe path that is well traveled and live a good life with other good people having made a similar choice OR set out on the road less traveled with few companions in search of your Personal Legend and the essence of who you know yourself to be.
"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." - Mae West