It all started when we were toddlers…we would be asked what we wanted when we grow up. We’d say to be a fireman, a doctor, a supermodel or an astronaut. Whatever it was, we already had something big in our own little minds.
I started out a blog because I had a goal to relive my writing habits and simply share it to the world. At the back of my mind, it wouldn’t hurt if my blog would become successful and be known around the globe. And it wouldn’t be bad if my hobby can extend to writing international best seller books or articles. If I will be given a chance to feature well known inspiring public figures and tell their stories in my blog, that would be a huge bonus. If that means retiring at an early age just to do what I love would be my dream and my big kick-ass goal.
This all started with a simple goal of becoming a writer. My mind didn’t take a huge leap right away. Somehow, my goals just keep on getting bigger and better as time goes by.
As we become adults, we are torn between following what we truly want to achieve versus what we think we can. We end up being afraid of dreaming big because setting goals far off into the future makes it more impossible to attain.
We end up setting goals that we believe we can achieve in next 3 to 5 years (or even less). We fill our lives with small to medium sized goals because we believe that being realistic is safer and achievable than being idealistic.
But what if you can still do more than what you think you can achieve? The bigger reality is that you will never know the answer unless you try.
This is why Jim Collins and Jerry Porras came up with the idea of setting Big Hairy Audacious Goals or BHAG in their book, Built to Last. According to them, there is power when you think big! Your mind is forced to get out of that small hole of thinking.
When you set a goal bigger than what you think you can do, your mind starts to be more creative in thinking how it can cope with your desired goal. You start opening yourself to opportunities and risks that you are forced to get out of your comfort zone.
You start formulating a core purpose as you start to think about your biggest WHY. Why should I take my MBA if I am already satisfied with my career right now? Why should I become a freelance if I am being offered a promotion at my job?
This is what Simon Sinek’s book, Start with Why, highlights the importance of finding purpose, cause or belief. “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. Achievement comes when you pursue and attain WHAT you want. Success comes when you are clear in pursuit of WHY you want it.”
Your goals, no matter how big and unattainable it might seem, become relevant because of the WHY you have connected to it.
For a few weeks, I stopped blogging. I had to focus on improving my health by spending time to becoming physically fit. It was a change of lifestyle that I had no other choice but to make. Physically , it has improved my well being. But the effect of taking that long rest away from writing made it difficult for me to do it once again. My mind just felt empty and uninspired.
It took another month to really determine how to bring back my lost appetite for writing. It was then that I realized my fear of failing to achieve my goal was starting to embrace me tighter and tighter as weeks go by.
The past weeks of reality brought out a different dialogue that changed my mindset. I got scared that my goals were impossible to attain, my self esteem went down the drain and I started thinking of alternative means to survive with a new practical (medium sized) goal in mind.
“What was I thinking? I must have been that crazy to think that I can do the impossible” – says the little jittery voice in my mind.
I tried to write but my mind remained blank…until I was able to talk to a very close friend of mine. You see, he quit his job and hasn’t gotten a new one for 5 months now. Good thing that he has enough savings to sustain while looking for a job. Out of all the mishaps and disappointments he is experiencing, he would always speak about his big goals in life. Not once did it ever changed even when he is facing setbacks in his life right now. He keeps on looking forward into the future even when difficulties keep on coming up.
Soon, I realized what I have lost. I lost my hunger to make my BHAG a reality. All along, it was the fuel that kept me going even when the task seemed impossible. I did make mistakes along the way. But losing my goal made me a failure.
I rekindled my long lost WHY and brought back the goals in my life. I am reminded not to underestimate myself and that it’s ok to swing and miss from time to time as long as we learn from the mistakes.
Our goals should be big enough to scare us, to spark our creativity and motivate us to continue even with the fear of failure. Our big, kick-ass goals empowers us whether it’s beyond our capabilities or not.
Overtime, our goals become our second skin, we’ll start to attain little achievements that would soon stack up to become a huge leap from where we started. No matter how far we are from success, deep inside we know we are not running to meet our goals…we are chasing them.