One of the things great Entrepreneurs have in common is that they often talk about failures as being a key to their success. Sir Richard Branson, KBE, founder of Virgin Group, has been featured a lot in the media recently. He states emphaticaly that failure is a key to his success. While this may at first seem contradictory or incongruent, this quote by Michelangelo explains this concept well.
“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it but that it is too low and we reach it.”
If failure is truly a key to success, then our aim should not be in setting our goals that are easily achievable, but in setting goals just out of reach! This causes us to push, strive, climb, and fight our way to what we want to be. These actions develop more skills, knowledge and opportunities to finally achieve our goals. In sitting down with my own coach recently, I realized that one of the things holding me back from greater success in a particular area was that my goals were set too low. I wasn’t expecting the results I could get or the results I needed but rather a much lower set of results which I was achieving but not exceeding.
Where is your Aim?
Do you have areas in your life where you are not aiming high enough? Are you stuck in a job you don’t love because your goals are “to pay the bills and provide some security” instead of doing something that would revolutionize your life? What about relationships that could be great but you settle for a goal of status quo? Is your life more about the “same old, same old” or about great new things?
Setting our aim higher than we can achieve is critical to keeping us motivated and in pursuit of something greater. Developing a habit of continually raising the bar and finding new targets is what keeps great people continually moving forward.