I am still on vacation, but I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for 2013 and I am sure you are too.
For that reason I wanted to re-post this important post I originally posted in 2011…
Why Your Goals For 2013 Are Too Conservative
Arthur C. Clark said this, “If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run – and often in the short one – the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative.”
This isn’t just true of history. It’s true for you individually too.
Our most daring goals and plans fall embarrassingly short of what we’re really able to accomplish in this life!
The people who achieve great things in life have the audacity to attempt big, bold things. And what is the result? Many times they achieve their goals or some goal of equal value.
Steve Jobs’ Challenge
Steve Jobs in a perfect example of what I’m talking about. Listen to what he said this in his Stanford Commencement in 2005…
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. … Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
What many of us don’t realize is that the way we see ourselves is too limited and the potential we believe that we have is much too small.
Because of this, we live lesser lives and attempt lesser things than we could.
The Eagle That Thought It Was A Chicken
Let me share with you a story that is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. It’s a strange story I came across about an eagle that didn’t know he was an eagle.
Pay close attention, because you are about to see a “picture” of how we live lesser lives.
While walking through the forest one day, a man found a young eagle who had fallen out of his nest. He took it home and put it in his barnyard where it soon learned to eat and behave like the chickens.
One day a naturalist passed by the farm and asked why it was that the king of all birds should be confined to live in the barnyard with the chickens.
The farmer replied that since he had given it chicken feed and trained it to be a chicken, it had never learned to fly. Since it now behaved as the chickens, it was no longer an eagle.
“Still it has the heart of an eagle,” replied the naturalist, “and can surely be taught to fly.” He lifted the eagle toward the sky and said, “You belong to the sky and not to the earth. Stretch forth your wings and fly.”
The eagle, however, was confused.
He did not know who he was, and seeing the chickens eating their food, he jumped down to be with them again.
The naturalist took the bird to the roof of the house and urged him again, saying, “You are an eagle. Stretch forth your wings and fly.”
But the eagle was afraid of his unknown self and world and jumped down once more for the chicken food.
Finally the naturalist took the eagle out of the barnyard to a high mountain. There he held the king of the birds high above him and encouraged him again, saying, “You are an eagle. You belong to the sky. Stretch forth your wings and fly.”
The eagle looked around, back towards the barnyard and up to the sky.
Then the naturalist lifted him straight towards the sun and it happened that the eagle began to tremble.
Slowly he stretched his wings, and with a triumphant cry, soared away into the heavens.
It may be that the eagle still remembers the chickens with nostalgia. It may even be that he occasionally revisits the barnyard. But as far as anyone knows, he has never returned to lead the life of a chicken.
Choose Worthy Goals
What I am telling you today is to look at the goals you have for your life and your business in 2013 and ask yourself, “Are these goals really worthy of me? Are these really all that I can, or should, achieve?”
You don’t want to live your whole life rooting around on the ground and find out you were meant to soar.
Photo by: pmbell64Read More
He is the one whose fortune was used to endow the world-famous Rhodes Scholarships.
People said that he was a real stickler for correct dress–but not at the expense of someone else’s feelings.
A young man was invited to dine with Rhodes and he arrived late by train, so he had to go directly to Rhodes’s home in his travel-stained clothes.
Once he got there, he was appalled to find the other guests were already there and they were wearing their full evening dress.
After what seemed a long time, Rhodes finally appeared.
But what was shocking to this young man and to the other guests was that Rhodes was dressed in a shabby old blue suit.
Later on, the young man found out that Rhodes had been dressed in his formal evening clothes, but had changed out of them, and put on the old suit, when he heard of his young guest’s awkward dilemma.
How much influence and impact do you think that had on that young man?
- I’d bet the young man never forgot what happened that night!
- I bet he told everyone he knew about it. (In fact, I wonder if that’s how we know the story today.)
- I bet he would do anything he could to help Rhodes from that day forward.
- I bet he would take any advice Rhodes ever gave him and bend over backwards to return the favor!
*Do you want to know the “secret” to impact and influence?
It’s putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and letting them see you know what it’s like to be in their position. It’s then interacting with them and treating them based on that understanding.
But it HAS to be real. It can’t be fake. If it is, you’ll lose any chance of impact and influence with that person and others.
When it’s real, you’ll have become a person of influence and impact, because you’ll be a person that people can genuinely trust.
Isn’t empathy the underlying principle of “the golden rule”?
Isn’t a lack of empathy one of the biggest reasons for strife and trouble between people?
We all want to have an impact and influence in this world.
The “secret” to actually experiencing this starts with thinking of others first and responding to them out of that understanding.
NOTE: Photo by LifeSupercharger.
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