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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Set unreasonable goals

Summer can be cruel to career goals. Getting kids to camp on time and planning a family vacation has completely distracted me from my work priorities for 2007. Fortunately, it's been brought to my attention that I shouldn't have bothered to set reasonable goals.
Eric Albertson of says most career goals are limiting. But unreasonable ones make you stretch further. For example, Chris Dudley overcame type 1 diabetes. Playing in the NBA was unreasonable. Bruce Shilling went from sports agent to flying around the world in Phil Knight’s Gulfstream V jet. How could you reasonably ever dream of such a thing?
Now, you ask, how do you set unreasonable goals? Here are Albertson's tips:
1. IMAGINE you're on your deathbed looking back and say, "You know I've had a pretty good life, but I really wish I'd done X." What is X? That's your unreasonable goal.
2. THINK about it all the time. Obsess about it. Don't push it out of your mind.
3. Be aware of OPPORTUNITIES and coincidences that present themselves. You couldn't see them before, but now, with increased focus on your goal, you'll start seeing, reading, hearing about things that are connected to your goal.
4. When the time is right, make a COMMITMENT. Not one based on knowing how to achieve your goal, but on your desire to make it real. If you have to know how ahead of time, you'll never take the leap.
5. ACTION. Now it's time for the real work, and that consists of putting one foot in front of the other every single day. Keep things alive by creating action plans, researching, asking for assistance, and networking with like-minded people. In other words, create an environment in which the goal can be realized.

Albertson is peddling books on success in business. I've never read his books, but in my daily struggle to set goals and achieve balance, I like his idea of thinking bigger.


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