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7 signs your goals are too small



7 signs your goals are too small

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”  –  Hunter S. Thompson


You already know you have one life to live, but a thick veil of denial keeps you from walking around terrified of dying every moment of every day.


For the most part, this is good. Without it, we would probably hide shaking under our beds, afraid to come out – except we would spend our time calculating the chances of dying in a bed-collapse accident.


But the denial has a downside too.


It allows us to drone through our lives only barely aware that we need to do something about living large because someday the option of that experience is going to be gone.


So how do you know if you have massive denial that is preventing you from living your life like the wild ride it’s meant to be?


You need to examine your goals.


It’s not about being a daredevil or never settling down. It’s about consistently doing things that put you on the edge of your comfort zone and push you towards what you want in your life.


And that means setting monumental goals for yourself.


How do you know if your goals are too small? Here are 7 ways to measure:


1. Your goals don’t scare you.

Like I said, it isn’t about being a dare devil – not everyone is interested in base jumping – but it is about striving for things that push you.


Being pushed to something bigger in your life usually is scary for most people.


It brings up fears of failure, fears around success, and fears around change. Those fears are normal, but falling victim to them keeps you stuck right where you are in your life.


Fear is at the root of living our lives small, but when you can tackle your fear you can live like you truly want to live. Consciously work to understand and overcome your fears so that you can set and achieve your big goals.



2. Your goals don’t feel creative.

If your goals don’t feel creative, they’re probably too small.




Because uncreative goals mean you’re attempting to achieve the same thing everyone else is. You probably haven’t pushed yourself that hard to really think about what you want to do. In short, you’re being a follower.


You don’t have to be a trendsetter in everything you do. You don’t have to be a trendsetter at all. You really just have to be sure that the goals you are setting for yourself are truly yours, and not just plopped on you by those you happen to be closest to.


Although we are inevitably products of our surroundings to some degree, if you can be true to yourself, you’ll find that at least some of your goals feel unique and creative – not cookie-cutter versions of the goals of everyone around you.


3. You can easily imagine how you’re going to achieve them.

Big goals are big. Like tall tree big. Like mountain big. Which means, standing at the bottom of a big goal, it’s really hard to see the top.


If you can already see the entirety of your goal, it’s not big enough.


It is important to have goals of all sizes, but if your big ones are not super-sized, it’s time to change your order.


When a goal makes you think, “How the heck am I going to do that?” that’s when you know you’re on track.


It’s important to stay in the sweet spot, though. If you choose something that feels so impossible that you either can’t believe you could possibly achieve it, or aren’t sure if you’d want it if it happened, you might be out of the realm of goal-setting and into fantasy.


So for example, you might have a big goal of becoming a best-selling author. Awesome! It would take some work to actually figure out how to make that happen and to pull it off. Perfect big goal.


But you start venturing into fantasy-land when you decide your goal isn’t big enough until you set out to become the best-selling author of all time – within six months.


So make sure your goal is one that is big enough, but not too big.


4. You can achieve them by yourself.

Big goals aren’t things that happen without help. Everyone who accomplished something great did it with help, and you won’t be any different.


Help comes in many forms. It might mean you need someone to babysit while you go to school or you need someone to bounce your business ideas off of.


No matter what, the greatest people – from artists, to entrepreneurs, writers to inventors – all had people they relied on and worked with to achieve their goals.


So remember, if your goal is something you can do alone, it’s probably not big enough.


5. You end up being the same person at the end.

If there’s one thing that can be said about achieving a big goal, it’s that it changes you.


You not only have your accomplishment to be proud of, but you also realize you’ve tackled your fears – or come face-to-face with your fear of success.


Whatever is your new reality gives you a new set of challenges to contend with and it also pushes you to set new big goals for yourself.


In the end you’re fundamentally changed for the better, because you have more confidence, more self-knowledge and more wisdom.


6. No one tells you you’re crazy.

What’s the one thing that happens when you set a big goal for yourself? People tell you that you’re crazy.


They don’t always come right out and say it, but they’ll say things like, “Are you sure you want to do this?” or “I know a nice little. . . (insert tamer option here)”


Usually, they’re doing it out of protection. They love you and don’t want to see you get hurt or fail. But when it happens, you can be sure one of two things has happened:

  1. You have decided on something crazy.
  2. Or two, You’ve got yourself an extremely big goal.


If no one is saying you’re crazy, it could be that everyone in your life is extremely open-minded and willing to embrace life, or your goal isn’t big enough.


Which is it for you?


 7. You don’t wrestle with yourself about quitting every day.


When you’re working on a big goal, you think about quitting. A lot. YOU think you’re crazy (see number 6). You wonder if it’s worth it, if you are ever going to make it, if you’re just deluding yourself, if you’re being a fool.


But if your goal is small, you don’t do any of those things. You might just give up out of boredom, out of forgetting your goal ever existed or because you got distracted with something else, but a small goal won’t make you question whether your brother was serious when he told you you were dropped on your head as a child.


Big goals make you wonder if there’s something wrong with you, because they’re so hard to achieve. You constantly contemplate quitting – but you don’t, because you’re so passionate about your big goal that the thought of not making it makes you kind of sick.


If your goal is smaller than that, it’s not big enough.


Don’t Set Only Small Goals


Setting big goals can seem scary and they can take a long time to achieve, but the big goals are what really push you to become a force in your own life.


Keeping your goals small keeps you small as well. Instead, set your sights just a bit higher than you think you should, and go for it!


Now tell me, what are your big goals? I’d really love to hear what you’re working on in the comments below!

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Can You Receive A Compliment Without It Getting To Your Head?



a compliment (1)

Receiving compliments gracefully isn’t as easy as it should be for some people. How about you: are YOU ready for someone to give you a pat on the back? To be pushed to doing more? To have someone give you a supporting hand? To be picked up when you fall down?

Sure, we may think that’s what we want. But is it what we need to develop, to grow, and to get better?

If someone complimented you on every little improvement you made while learning a new skill, would you not start to feel a bit marginalized? That perhaps they didn’t really think you could do it? What about when you do something that seems pretty easy and everyone made it into a big deal?


Receiving Compliments When You Are Not Ready For It

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments

Developing new skills is never free of trouble. We all know the level of foundation that must be built to get from being a novice, before reaching greatness. In the learning process, we all know when we are in that frustrating stage of not being quite as good – but we know what we have to do to get there.

It’s in these moments that receiving compliments on your every action could minimize your efforts. That’s because if they truly knew you, people would be holding out for when you make that big, defining leap. 

As we overcome hurdles in our learning and development, friends, family members, and colleagues will know when the time is right to provide encouragement. They know that when that moment comes, those words will have the right amount of impact on you.

Think back to when you were growing up, playing some elaborate game. Perhaps you spent hours creating this game: building a fort, putting together things that the rest of your characters in the play could use. You pushed through despite the trials and problems.

It would have served absolutely no purpose for someone to congratulate you on every step (and misstep) along the way.  You would have lost your flow as you worked through the problem, constantly being interrupted – all while you were still trying to figure it out and understand where you needed to go.

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments


When Receiving Compliments Makes You Content with Present Achievements

You might never have finished if someone patted you on the back early in that moment, content in the knowledge that you “thought up” the idea and that was enough. If everyone was saying you did great simply for thinking up something new, would it have compelled you to stop?

Maybe. Perhaps you would have stopped with that compliment.

As a parent, you learn when to encourage your children. Usually, it’s not when they show up, and not when they do what kids around them are able to do as well. It’s when they push themselves to do more. When they pick themselves up and still lose, when they try something new for the first time, fall over and fail, not sure if they should do it again.

Those are the moments when kids should be receiving compliments – NOT when they have done the same thing over and over again, or when they didn’t try their best but won anyways.

Kids know this. They can feel it when people give false compliments or encouragement because they did something they’ve always done. But when it is something meaningful, something they have worked hard for, they know the encouragement will be there to help them.

Why You Are Not Receiving Compliments

The reason you might not be receiving compliments or encouragement when you want to is because you haven’t earned them or don’t deserve them yet.

Maybe your coaches, leaders, parents, or other people who support you know you are not ready for it. Perhaps they need to see you making that next big leap in your growth and development.

Those compliments might not come today, tomorrow, next week, next month, or next year. But look at those around you – the great people you have chosen to surround yourself with – and you’ll see that they are waiting to give you that push. They are waiting for you to make it happen.

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3 Ways to Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart




when your dreams are falling apart (1)

I truly believe that dreams must extend beyond wishes of self-improvement; that its goal should be to contribute to the world around you.

The heart is a fickle thing. Imagine how many amazing things wouldn’t have been accomplished if great minds simply stopped when they “didn’t feel like it”.

It’s human nature. I’m sure that during the course of over 300 bank rejections, Walt Disney had days when he felt like giving up. But he didn’t. He kept going. Why? It was because his dream went far beyond himself.

Here’s how YOU can keep going – even if it feels like your dreams are falling apart.


3 Ways to Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

1.) Remember The “Why”

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

Often times, I find that dreams extend far beyond the simple purpose of making one happy. For example, being a songwriter in and of itself does not make me feel happy and fulfilled. Imagine if my life’s work was to write songs that no one would ever hear. That doesn’t elicit any feelings of happiness or fulfillment (at least to me).

Seeing and hearing the healing effects that come from the songs I create for others to hear? Now you’re talking. Healing and helping others is the part of my dream that keeps it alive. It gives me purpose in this world that goes far beyond myself and my skills.

I’m reminded of the character Ebenezer Scrooge from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. Scrooge’s goal in life was to have money – and lots of it. He set aside love and relationships for that dream. The result of this life goal was a lonely, cold, bitter old man.

I won’t ruin the whole story for the very few of you that may not have heard it. In the end, Scrooge discovered that what brought him fulfillment and happiness were community and generosity.

So what is the “why” to your dream? How is your dream going to affect those around you? Get beyond yourself. As many have said, YOU are your biggest obstacle to success.


2.) Take Off The Rose-Colored Glasses

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

You know what I’m talking about. The “I’m going to make it big” and “I’m going to famous/rich/etc.” I hate to take a pointy realistic needle to your big ideas, but I’m doing it out of love. Here it is:

Your dream isn’t going to look exactly how you pictured it.

Take a minute to take that one in. Still here? Yes. Alive? Yes. Not Bleeding? No? Hurt a bit?

It’s OK. I know. I’ve been there. Dreams are vulnerable. We spend countless hours imagining what it would be like and how we will get there. But the truth is, in my experience, they have never turned out exactly how I have imagined. Why? We live in a world of people and circumstances that we can’t control.

Here is where the “why” comes in. The beautiful thing is that your works are a direct result of your heart’s intention…and what you put out into the world never comes back void. Here’s an example:

As a singer-songwriter, the common idea of making it big for my line of work is to have a hit song or perform in front of a sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden (I’m more inclined towards Red Rock Amphitheatre, but you get the picture).

Let’s say that I work and strive tirelessly to do everything I need to do to reach that goal. I release a song, I tour around the US, develop a large following, get on the radio, etc. Along the way, I hear stories of how this song has impacted the people who have heard it. Stories describing how it brought healing, encouragement, and hope.

To go further, what if I never even make it that far? What if circumstances happen and I can’t tour? What if everything “falls apart”? What if I end up playing at open mics for the rest of my life? What if it doesn’t happen in the next year? Two years?

Does that change the fact that my song helped heal and open the heart of a broken and depressed Vietnam Vet? Or how it helped encourage an author to keep going and writing? Or how my song started a conversation on how to look past the labels overshadowing soldiers and their families?

It’s all about your perspective of success, my friend. To me, because my “why” and my heart’s intention are to help people, those stories above are my version of success. It’s what keeps me going. If I get to Madison Square Garden (or Red Rocks), well that’s just icing on top of the cake.

Keep going on your dream. Make a plan, and in the words of .38 Special, “Hold on loosely, but don’t let go.” Roll with the punches and understand that even greater things can come when things don’t go according to your plan.


3.) Make Your Dream Your Job

Keep Going When Your Dream Falls Apart

No, I don’t mean quit your job and have no income while you work on your dream. That’s an entirely different article (and completely up to you). I’m talking about treating your dream like it is your job.

For example, if you completely failed at a presentation at work, would you just quit and not go the next day? No! You have a livelihood and an expectation to show up. So why quit on your dream at the first sign of failure?

Treat your dream like your job. Make a plan, show up every day, and understand that it may take a while to see any results. I know many songwriters who wrote hundreds of songs before they wrote a hit. However, they never would have reached it if they didn’t take that first step, made a commitment, and wrote 100 songs first.

Dreams don’t just happen. They take work. So go get started!

My best advice under this theme is check out the book “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. It is by far the best resource I have discovered in my journey of living out my dream.

Here’s the deal. With every goal that I have set and achieved, I never sat at the end and thought to myself, “man, look at what I did”. Believe it or not, I was more overwhelmed with the thoughts of the journey that I had to take to get there – the good and the bad.

I would admire and laugh at the unexpected things that came. I would smile and enjoy the character it built, the person that I became in the process. In the end, the best thing about dreams and goals isn’t their achievement, but the journey that you take to get there.

Never forget that the dream in your heart was put there for a reason. You were made to make an impact on this world.

Enjoy the journey and never, ever give up. Keep going.

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