Passing on Good Advice

I got some great advice from Sebastian Marshall once. He said to set your metrics and track your progress against your goal and to aim for 60-80% achievement. I thought he was nuts to begin with, but then I figured out why it was such great advice. Two great reasons for this; 1 is that it inures you to failure so that you don’t fear it. You see it as a cost of doing business. 2. If your goals aren’t going to require discipline, commitment, and a rethinking of how you do things, your vision for yourself is probably too small.

I know, it seems crazy because we think of our goals as these to-do lists that we can check off and get a rush of control and feel super-empowered. But this actually tends to have the opposite effect.

I call it overachiever syndrome: You get a high from accomplishment, so you want to accomplish more. But the more takes more and more time, effort and commitment, and that’s a long time to go without an endorphin hit, so you start focussing on smaller goals in order to get that rush.

Problem is, that diffuses your focus, sometimes sidetracks you. If instead, you keep an eye on the big picture, focus on enjoying the process (which includes failure) and perhaps look at life not as a series of goals to be conquered, but a way of being to be mastered, then maybe ‘self-discipline’ and ‘lightening up’ would seem to be parallel goals instead of polar opposites.

They are for me. <3

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2 thoughts on “Passing on Good Advice”

  1. This took some mental gymnastics to get my head around, but I think it’s related to “use and strengthen your strengths, don’t berate yourself for your weaknesses”, yes?

  2. Yes, in a nutshell. And also that, with too much emphasis put on achieving your goals, you’re too likely to make them small, so that you don’t risk failing at them. Sebastian’s advice was “make your goals really big. Then see how much you actually fall short. If you only made it half-way, make your goals a little smaller. If you achieve them, or even got close, make them bigger– you’re not challenging yourself enough”

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