When you set a goal, do you always ask yourself it is attainable or not? How about this, do you have any goals in your life that you are fairly certain you will never achieve, but keep working at it because … well, it’s just tons of fun? I know, you are going to say, “C’mon Bryan, that just sounds stupid. If you really can’t achieve it then why even bother.” Well stick with me for a moment and see where I am taking this.
I want nothing more than to be a famous writer some day. Now, bear in mind, what I think of as being a famous writer is specific to me. I shun throngs of adoring crowds. I prefer to just get e-mailed ‘thank you’ notes and maybe some fan mail. My expectations for fame are surprisingly low. To me, this goal seems unattainable. I know I have a long way to go, lots of dues to pay, and many bumps and bruises to take. It’s hard. Lots of other writers have tried to grab for their lofty goal and walked away empty handed. So why even bother?
Every morning people wake up and decided they’re going to climb Mount Everest, learn to cook like Gordan Ramsay, or write the great American novel, but fail to attain these goals. That doesn’t mean you just stop trying, there is tremendous value in the trip one takes to attain the unattainable. Every attempt we make, every mistake we make, we learn. We learned how to do things, and perhaps more importantly, how not to do things. Thomas Edison is said have reacted to the idea of failure in this way, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” I love this idea. My first book, No Name, isn’t on the NYT Best Sellers list. But that’s alright. I learned a lot. Lessons, I am applying to my next title, due out this spring.
Every time I sit down at my computer the results can be qualitatively different. Not every word is brilliant. Not every word is the genius love child of unfettered creativity. I am going to have flashes of genius and moments of sheer stupidity. And so will you! So, I ask you, do you have an unattainable goal in your life? What is it? And why aren’t you working towards it? C’mon the idea may seem stupid, but so was the light bulb before it illuminated our homes.