Why You Need to Aim High and Set Big Goals in Everything You Do

 / 

,
Magic Happens Push Yourself Set High Goals

How often do you push yourself? Do you aim high in everything you do?

You’ve heard of S.M.A.R.T goals, correct?

In order not to set yourself for failure, experts tell us, you need to pick goals that are smart, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-oriented.

This makes sense, of course. But here is the wrinkle— S.M.A.R.T goals were created as a managerial tool in organizations. On a personal level, easily achievable aspirations are demotivating. “Easy” doesn’t equal “fulfilling.” Often, it doesn’t even give you a temporary burst of happiness.

There is just something about working hard to achieve what you aim for and getting it. Oh, the high you feel!

One of the most important (but perhaps somewhat neglected) ingredients for the successful completion of anything we set our minds on is what is known as the Pygmalion effect, or the power of positive expectations.

Related: Why Successful People Are Choosing to Wear the Same Thing Every Day

As the story from Greek mythology goes, a legendary sculptor from Cyprus—Pygmalion— carved a statue of the ideal woman. He stared at her day and night, worshiping his creation. And he ended up falling in love with her. Then, at a festival for Aphrodite—the Greek Goddess of Love, he prayed that she sends his way a wife exactly like the statue. The Goddess heard his prayers and instead—she brought the sculpture to life. And they lived happily ever after.

The moral of the story is that positive reinforcement can lead to favorable outcomes.

Fast forward a few hundred centuries—to 1963. Social psychologist Robert Rosenthal created a test where he told a group of student lab workers that certain rats in the lab were “maze bright” while others were “maze dull,” when in fact the rats were separated between the groups randomly.

The results confirmed the hypothesis of the test—the students subconsciously treated the smart rats differently. That is, they expected them to behave more intelligently, and guess what –they did! They learned the mazes much faster than the “dull” rats.

Similar results were later done with school children. Rather amazingly, teachers’ higher expectations of some students (after being told they had the exceptional potential for growth) made the students perform better on tests when in fact, the test groups were formed at random.

The take-home idea here is this: expectations can alter reality.

Let’s take this a bit further and on a personal level.

Setting big goals and expecting of yourself to achieve them, can give you a much better chance of actually getting there. It’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy—by anticipating a certain positive or negative outcome, we may engage in behaviors to either improve or sabotage our chances to get there. [1]

This idea runs contrary to what we’ve been often advised by gurus and such—to not set big goals as we increase our odds of failing. Hairy goals are scary when we think about them in the absolute, yes. Even a bit stressful.

Related: Buddhism Reveals The Ultimate Mindset That Will Help You Achieve Your Goals

But at the same time, in order to do better, we need the scary and we need the discomfort. If all is great and rosy, then why change, right?

Therefore, you must aim high and set big Empire-state goals.

How you plan for achieving these is a different matter. This is where the common advice comes in—break The Goal into smaller ones—so small that you can’t say “No” to doing it. As in “take a 5-minute walk, eat one apple a day, write one sentence”—depending on what you set out for yourself.

Related: 5 Lessons I Learnt About Being Successful From My Life Threatening Experience

But here is another catch. Not every tall mountain you want to conquer should be out of reach. You need the tall ones and you need the medium ones too, just so that you can practice and move forward.

people who help you push yourself

So, ideally, you want to have on your list few Everests or K2s (number one and two highest mountains in the world). That is, the “I-must-be-crazy-dreaming-it’s-possible” kind of goals. But you must also keep some Muztagh Atas or Ismoil Somoni Peaks (number forty-nine and fifty highest mountains)—still challenging but S.M.A.R.T too.

Related: 11 Things Common In Parents of Successful Kids According To Science

And if something is too effortless, know that it’s not a proper goal. Find a better one.

It goes down to this—when you go to the gym, for instance, do you want to have a great workout or just an OK one? And then, do you think you will lose weight by having it easy or by breaking a sweat?

Simply put – The magic happens when you push yourself.

In the end, remember that when you strive for high and you don’t get there, you are still in a good place. You have a better chance to get the closest alternative.

And how to be ready for the ups and downs that come with every success trajectory? Simple.

It’s like the saying goes: Hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Are you ready to push yourself and aim high in everything you do?


[1] The opposite of the Pygmalion effect is called the Golem effect. It’s a psychological phenomenon in which lower expectations placed by others or the individual themselves lead to poorer performance by the individual. It is a form of self-fulfilling prophecy. It was also coined by Robert Rosenthal. It’s another mythical creature from the Greek mythology, who was created to fight evil but turned into a monster instead, as his creator always expected.


Written by: Evelyn Marinoff

Originally appeared on: Evelyn Marinoff
Republished with permission.

Magic Happens Push Yourself Set High Goals pin
Ads

— Share —

— About the Author —



Up Next

The Red Nail Theory: 4 Ways To Invite Love And Confidence In Your Life

What Is The Red Nail Theory: Ways To Evoke Confidence

TikTok has recently been hit by a wave of people painting their nails red. Robyn Delmonte, on TikTok, said the red nail theory method might enrich your love life.

As with many things on social media, it’s hard to say what is fact and what isn’t. Nevertheless, the theory garnered a lot of attention — which begs the question: Does the red nail theory work and does it evoke confidence and romance in your life?

What Is The Red Nail Theory?

The red nail theory TikTok is the idea that painting your nails red will attract more attention from potential partners.



Up Next

Do You Get Offended Easily? 5 Reasons Why And How To Deal With This

Do You Get Offended Easily? Reasons Why You Feel Like This

Are you easily offended and find yourself in a huff over the smallest things? You’re not alone. When you get offended easily, it can be a real struggle, turning minor hiccups into major headaches. But hey, there’s a silver lining—understanding the reasons why you get easily offended & learning how to dial down the drama can make all the difference.

Maybe you don’t get offended easily. If so, kudos!

Or maybe…

You already know you get offended easily (even if it’s just about one specific topic or issue), and it’s something you’re ready to address.

You suspect you’re more



Up Next

The Burnt Toast Theory: 5 Lessons To Learn From Unpredictability In Life

What Is The Burnt Toast Theory? Important Lessons To Learn

Did you burn your morning toast this morning? As frustrating as it is, what if I told you that it might have protected you from something worse?The Burnt Toast Theory of Life is a viral idea that has been floating around on TikTok and changes the way we look at life and has us accepting the curveballs of life!

What Is The Burnt Toast Theory of Life?

The “Burnt Toast Theory” is an allegory that is commonly used in self-help and motivational circles.

According to its creator Ingrid, when life hands us lemons (or burnt toast), it could be steering us away from things we don’t need



Up Next

How To Stop Being Negative In Your Relationship? 4 Strategies That Can Make A Difference

How To Stop Being Negative In A Relationship? Strategies

Negativity in relationships is like slow poison; with time, negativity can ruin a relationship for good. So, how to stop being negative in a relationship? This article is going to talk about the repercussions of negativity in relationships and how to stop being negative in one.

Many of us have been there.

You bring up an issue with your partner, and you feel attacked by their response. You get defensive and return fire—only for them to do the same. It’s a battle that no one can win.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Making small shifts to your mindset can



Up Next

How To Overcome Arrival Fallacy And Find True Fulfillment 

Arrival Fallacy Alert: Mastering Happiness Beyond Illusions

Ever felt that you will be happy only when you achieve a particular goal? Well, we have all felt like that at some point in our lives. And it makes sense, when you work hard to reach an important goal, your happiness and being becomes tied to it. However, this mindset, known as arrival fallacy in psychology, can have a strong impact on your life and relationships.

So let’s explore the concept of arrival fallacy, what causes arrival fallacy, arrival fallacy in relationships and some helpful tips for overcoming arrival fallacy. 

What Is Arrival Fallacy?

Arrival fallacy is a false belief that achieving a specific



Up Next

How To Speak With Care to Yourself and Others? 8 Strategies For Practicing Right Speech

Right Speech: Strategies For Practicing Right Speech

If you are frustrated of yourself for putting your foot in your mouth all the time, then this you’ve come to the right place. Explore how to practice Right Speech as advised by The Buddha, and how practicing Right Speech can go a long way in helping you be more mindful.

KEY POINTS

People can learn to control their speech—both inner and outer—in order to avoid pain and regret.

Changing one’s habit of speech demands practice bringing mindful attention to one’s inner experiences.

One can practice being mindful when it counts, rather than trying to be mindful all the time.



Up Next

How To Handle Political Differences In Your Relationships: Strengthening Ties

Political Differences In Your Relationships: Empower Harmony

Dealing with political differences in your relationships can feel like a slippery slope. So now the question is how to handle political differences in your relationships? This article is going to talk about the best way to handle political differences with someone you love, without alienating them.

We are tied to our beliefs, and the more opposition we run up against, often, the stronger these beliefs become.

How do you feel when someone implies that your political beliefs are “wrong?” If you’re like most people, it fuels the fire within you and you put on your fighting gloves, ready to strike the second you hear one more, “But…”