Universal Truth For Attaining Greater Success In 2014
It is the entrepreneur's dream to idle away lazy afternoons on the
white sands of a tropical beach. Success certainly affords, among
other things, an excuse to relax and enjoy the fruits of one's
labor. But as many dyed-in-the-wool entrepreneurs have discovered,
there is only so much time you can spend fly fishing or lounging in
a hammock before the urge to do something new begins gnawing deep
Soon enough, everything around you suggests a new or overlooked
opportunity. Every cocktail napkin becomes a sketch-pad or
whiteboard. Or that great idea, long stowed away, keeps you awake
late at night.
Indeed, success also provides resources, credibility, experience and —
most of all — the confidence to attempt things. The only thing
harder for an entrepreneur to pass up than a good idea is that same
idea coupled with the knowledge that "I'm good at doing this sort of
Entrepreneurs, therefore, need no prodding or motivation to get up
and try something new. They can't help it ... it just happens. What
is not so automatic is the notion of attempting something ambitious,
relative to past accomplishments. If you're attempting something
that doesn't make you feel at least a bit uncomfortable, then you
probably aren't growing.
While you may be successful at completing a less-than-ambitious
project, it will be a hollow victory. Worst of all, you will fall
far short of your own potential
Assuming you wish to continue growing during this lifetime, in
whatever capacity you choose — skills, experiences, wealth,
sophistication — then you must continuously push yourself.
Whether it's soloing in an aircraft, learning a new language or
speaking in public, you must occasionally do something that is
unfamiliar, difficult, or even scary.
If you've read similar articles, you probably need no explanation of
the power of setting goals. What is not so well known is that a few
of your goals should deliberately be very difficult.
In numerous studies, research has demonstrated that effort and
performance are directly proportional to the goal's difficulty
level, up to the point where the goal becomes no longer believable
(at which point effort tends to cease altogether). But here's the
clincher: Performance is maximized even when the goal is not
How is this possible? If you look closely, most things that people
attempt are not truly binary. That is, they're neither measured as
all-or-none nor as success versus failure, but instead are a matter
of degree. While the goal may not be reached, performance was
indisputably improved ... and that is the key.
Research overwhelmingly suggests a new approach to goal setting —
set very difficult goals for yourself and then recognize and reward
partial success. It's better to earn 80% of a $1-million income
goal, than to earn 100% of a $500,0000 goal. This can be hard to get
used to for highly aggressive goal-setters who writhe in pain at the
thought of failing to meet a goal by its deadline. But fear not.
The research also shows that failure to reach one's goal is still
highly motivating to people, especially when the goal was missed by
a narrow margin. Reaching 80% of your goal stimulates you to try
that much harder next time, and reinforces your overall belief in
the goal's attainability.
True, there are bigger risks when attempting bigger things. But
that's what pushes us to work harder, so as to minimize risk. How?
Fear creates stress and that stress forces the mind to adapt, coming
up with ever better approaches and solutions for minimizing the
risk. That is what raises us to the next level of performance.
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