A small distinction that will help change the way you see goals

A few years ago, I got really into running. I’d finished studying and no longer wished to play rugby at club level. But now I needed something else to keep me fit. And so I started hitting the road.

I got really into it. Having never liked running that much in the past, I slowly started to increase the distance I was able to run. And it became addictive!

So much so, that I quickly completed my first 10k, half marathon and even a full marathon.

But I wanted more.

And so in just my second year of running, I entered a 56k ultra marathon!

This was the most challenging thing I had ever done; not just because of the event itself, but because of the training it required of me. Every weekend I’d turn down social events, wake up earlier and head out for my 3-4 hour training run.

I ended up completing the race, but a funny thing happened in the days that followed.

See, I’d grown to love the process of working towards something that seemed impossible at the time.

So much so, in fact, that I’d go as far as to say that the training leading up to the event was more fulfilling than the event itself.

And that’s the funny things about setting goals.

See, people seem to brag or feel good about themselves when they achieve all of their goals for a set period. But they’re missing the point.

That’s because the point of setting big goals is not so much about achieving them as it is about who those goals force you to become as a person. In other words, goals aren’t designed to be achieved. They’re designed to push you to grow.

If you’re achieving all your goals, you’re aiming to low.

It’s not about writing the book. It’s about becoming the kind of person who can write a book.

It’s not about building the business. It’s about becoming the kind of person who can build a business.

And it’s not about running the marathon, it’s about becoming the kind of person who can run a marathon; the kind of person who can train for months in a row, make big sacrifices for that which is most important to them, and prove to themselves that they have what it takes.

So don’t just achieve big things. Become the kind of person who achieves big things. Set your goals, but then forget about them and focus on who you need to become in order to achieve them. 

Over to you: Where are you setting ‘possible’ goals right now? How can you challenge yourself a little more? And how would you approach your goals differently if you saw that the object wasn’t to achieve all of them but to become the kind of person who CAN achieve all of them?


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