If Your Goals Are Realistic, You Didn’t Do It Right

You’ve been led to believe that the first lesson in goal setting is to “set realistic goals.” That’s total baloney. Whoever invented that was a Turtle. (To see what I mean by “Turtle,” read my previous article here.)

You should throw that piece of advice out your car window. And then drive over it a few times just to make sure it’s dead.

Who cares about doing something “realistic,” “normal,” or “possible?”  Actually, there are two answers to that question. First, the Turtle that’s afraid of failure.  Second, the timid coach/advisor that wants to secure a long and lucrative relationship with the Turtle by delivering small enough nuggets of success to keep them feeling productive, but not too much success to risk no longer being needed.

In my probably-not-so-humble opinion, that’s ridiculous for the Turtle to set the bar low to ensure a high probability of success.  Think about it… what is the Turtle really accomplishing? The Turtle is literally guaranteeing limited growth and success. As for the timid coach/advisor?  Either “shame on you” for guiding your client to limited amounts of success, or if you truly don’t know any better, then “you shouldn’t be advising others.”

Henry Ford once said that if he had followed conventional wisdom he would have “invented a faster horse.”  Simply put, we live in a world that rewards “automobiles”, not “faster horses.”

Facebook, Amazon, the iPhone, Uber…  All examples of things that were unrealistic goals.  I guarantee Zuckerberg, Bezos, Jobs, and Camp were first told their ideas were unrealistic, ridiculous, unattainable… I’m sure the adjectives only get worse from here!  However, we all know where these individuals landed.

My advice to you?  Aim high, set unrealistic goals, and watch what happens.  Here’s a hint, there’s two possible outcomes:

  1. You achieve your unrealistic goal (and the unrealistic success that comes with it).
  2. You don’t achieve your unrealistic goal as you had defined it, but instead you’re left with something else that is awesome, maybe unexpected, and sometimes even better than your original goal.

What you won’t end up with is a small, boring, maybe disappointing, incremental advancement in progress.  If you’re looking for that, then just be a Turtle and set realistic goals.

I succeeded in life because I set completely unrealistic goals, convinced myself that I could achieve them, and then I did. And why not? After failing Kindergarten, I only had one place to go. Up!

Have you ever been to one of my events?  If you haven’t, you must come! (Learn about my next event here.) Why?  Because I help you create unrealistic goals, then I show you how to go after them.  I’m not that timid advisor that dares not lead you to something huge. I’m quite the opposite.

Did you catch that?  We don’t just “talk” about creating unrealistic goals and “talk” about how to go after them.  Talk is cheap. I’m a former Marine; I’m all about action. So, we roll-up our sleeves, create your unrealistic goals, and then actually create a plan to go after them.  So, come join me at my next event. Click here for more info.



About The Author

Ed Rush is a world-renown speaker, a five-time #1 bestselling author, and a highly successful business consultant who was featured on CBS, Fox, ABC, and NBC. He has spent a significant amount of time in the cockpit of an F-18 fighter jet, so he knows the value of strategy and the power of focus. He has effectively taken the principles that he learned flying faster than the speed of sound, and translated them into good business. His clients range from small startups to multinational organizations, and include CEOs, founders, political leaders, sports teams, national universities, Hollywood stars, and even a contestant on Donald Trump’s The Apprentice. To buy any of Ed's books, visit his bookstore right now or hire Ed to speak at your next event.