Become Extraordinary: Guidelines for Reaching High

The stuff I read about setting goals is dangerous because it works.

The thing you reach for shapes you.

Big goals destroy us when we reach for the wrong thing.

Many lose what matters in pursuit of fool’s gold. Reaching high corrupts life and distorts perspectives when done poorly.

Guidelines for becoming extraordinary:

#1. Choose extraordinary.

Aim to become an extraordinary person.

Sir Edmund Hillary said, “People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.”

I want to add a necessary dimension to Hillary’s quote. Meaningful goals are bigger than climbing Mt. Everest. Hillary said his greatest work was helping the Sherpa people.

Extraordinary people love deeply. I never met a hate-filled person worth respecting.

You matter more when you decide to accomplish extraordinary things. Image of Sir Edmund Hillary.

Image source: Edmund_Hillary

#2. Define achievement.

You achieve more when you aim for Mars, even if you don’t get there. (As long as Mars-goals motivate action.)

Look to the sky when you shoot for Mars, not Las Vegas. Someone said, “Shoot for the moon. If you miss it, you will still land among the stars.”

Modern quotes about aiming high may have begun with a poem by the poet and Anglican priest George Herbert who died in 1633. In the poem “The Church-Porch,” he writes…

Pitch thy behaviour low, thy projects high;
So shalt thou humble and magnanimous be:
Sink not in spirit; who aimeth at the sky,
Shoots higher much, than he that means a tree.
A grain of glory mix’d with humbleness
Cures both a Fever, and Lethargickness.

Herbert reminds us to be humble when we reach high. “Pitch your behavior low…” Aiming high doesn’t make you special. Any fool can aim high.

#3. Clarify evaluation.

A noble goal makes sense of the tapestry of life.

When setting high goals ask, “Is this how I want to measure my life?”

What is dangerous about setting high goals? Useful?