“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.”
This poignant statement by Helen Keller, a woman who achieved greatness against all odds, invites us to re-examine our own lives. Just what is a daring adventure if not to pursue a set of ambitious goals that yank us out of our comfort zones?
As we begin the fourth quarter of this year, and perhaps contemplating the year ahead (and the endless unknowns it may present), this is clearly not just about work-related stuff.
What about those daring (or perhaps I should say, lingering) aspirations that carry the potential to push you to be a better spouse, parent, sibling, friend, or American citizen? You know, the roles in life that if fully realized, collectively, would enable you to become the best version of yourself?
These are the roles—or shall I say goals—that stretch us, that go beyond achievable. They are the Stretch Goals that change the very framework of who we are as they challenge us to think bigger and bolder.
Goals that are easily achievable don’t really challenge us, nor do they inspire or motivate. Rather, they keep us where we are, stagnant and unevolving (thus, slowly dying).
BUT…Truly Daring Goals, on the other hand, don’t need a complete roadmap. You don’t have to have all the answers right now, you just need to take the next step, and then the step after that. It’s these daring goals that force us to invent new ways to achieve, to adapt and overcome.
Start with writing down these audacious goals. Ask yourself, “What steps can I take each quarter to move closer to these goals?” Break it down further to monthly milestones, even if those milestones are just baby steps.
What’s crucial here is your commitment to continuous progress. The roadmap will unfold as you go along. Sometimes the daringness of the goal changes the very structure of your life, opening doors you never even knew existed.
If Helen Keller’s example taught us anything, it’s that life’s adversities are not roadblocks; they are merely detours on the path to greatness. And it’s in navigating these detours that we discover the most about ourselves, and our true capabilities.
So go ahead, set those daring goals and see how they reshape you and your life. Remember, it’s not about the destination, but the daring adventure that takes you there.