Have you ever challenged yourself? How often do you challenge yourself? What constitutes challenge to you? As simple as these queries are, they are keys to getting you from some place to some place. Life’s all about challenges. Challenge sounds like a new epithet for problem right? I guess it is and that’s fast becoming the norm, at least in this clime. In any case, the solving of one challenge or problem leads to another.
But this isn’t what this is about. Challenging oneself is a different matter; it’s more like setting goals that you desire to see attained. Audacious goals cost and demand more to attain. The duo of Michael Porass and Jim Collins call it Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG) in their classic book: Built To Last.
Audacious goals are relative to who sets them because a man is as much as he is worth, but it’s important that we all challenge ourselves if we must make a meaningful impact in life. Michelangelo said: “The greater 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 hit it.”
Does that sound like setting small goals and achieving them easily as opposed to setting audacious goals and breaking them into small actionable steps to be achieved one step at a time by rising and falling through gruelling experiences?
The small actionable steps are a part of the BIG picture; but while taking them in those bits, the BIG picture must always be at the fore and every step taken is geared towards the whole. The little things truly matter.
Now, have you really tried to challenge yourself? What constitutes challenge to you? What have you decided to do or tried to do before that seemed almost impossible to you? Like Michelangelo, Leke Alder admonished concerning goals setting that people should endeavour to do one audacious thing each year. The sound of that excites me tremendously.
That is like BIG THINK right? But does BIG THINK mean disregarding the little things that matter? The tasks that big dreams require are daily and consistent action; not leaving out perseverance and persistence [the stuff of heroes] with eyes on the Finish Line regardless of the seeming or seeming impossibility.
If you ever decide to challenge yourself, do yourself one favour: count the cost, think through, take notes of requirements, plan, gather tools and equipment, think collaboration, seek WIN-WIN, stay emotionally, physically and mentally fit and do embrace continuous learning. You would have engaged your imagination to uncommon levels.
“When Henry Ford decided to produce his now famous V-8 motor, he chose to build an engine with the entire eight cylinders cast in one block, and instructed his engineers to produce a design for the engine. The design was placed on paper, but the engineers believed it was simply impossible to cast an eight-cylinder gas engine block in one piece.”
While his engineers thought it impossible, his desire was unwavering and he was committed to his vision; and after over a year of trial, they had the breakthrough.
Prior to that time, there had not been any vehicle engine that size invented; and though the Ford engineers expressed impossibility, his insistence, like magic, paid off. Henry Ford did challenge himself.
Notice, distraction is a major element that precludes success where audacious goals are concerned and that is the major bane that plagues and hinders accomplishments of dreams. Majority out there are fascinated by the things that their physical eyes behold, which pull them away from true visionary growth that evolves from within.
Such distractions, often referred to as pastimes geared towards relaxation, are often gradual roadblocks which are the self-limits that they put in their own way and you dare not call their attention to it: watching television endlessly, surfing the net 24/7, keeping purposeless relationships, continuously engaging in activities that are inimical to growth and developmental engagements.
These activities and similar ones are time killers and you know, “time indeed flies when you’re having a good time”. Wouldn’t you rather make work good time? Or make your purpose driven goals align with relaxation?
Every challenge you place before yourself is a goal that you have set before you and as you take steps towards achieving or actualizing it, you move from one point to another; you move from point A to F or A to B; but never B to A or stagnation. It’s a progress aimed at advancing the cause of mankind; it’s an evolution and unfoldment of the human essence for growth.
Author: Joseph Ayeni