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Goals, Losers, and Failing Your Way to Success

Goals are for basketball. I used to think that I should set goals and just go. It is not that easy. Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) wrote a tale that set me straight.
Adams wrote:

Let me start with some tips on what not to do. Beware of advice about successful people and their methods. For starters, no two situations are alike. Your dreams of creating a dry-cleaning empire won’t be helped by knowing that Thomas Edison liked to take naps. Secondly, biographers never have access to the internal thoughts of successful people. If a biographer says Henry Ford invented the assembly line to impress women, that’s probably a guess.

“Goals are for losers,” Adams wrote. He pointed out that the majority of time for a goal-oriented person is spent in a “not yet successful” mindframe. When you think of a basketball player, he or she has tunnel vision and are only focused on getting the ball inside of the goal. However, what one should realize is that it is the skill set on the court that matters. The skill set and the execution of the skill set that determines whether or not one makes it to the goal. The skill set includes execution of a system According to Merriam Webster, system is defined as a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method..
No two basketball players are alike. Each player has his or her own system of taking that basket to the hoop. Some have learned from their failures and incorporated it into their system. If your system is failure than so be it. Fail your way to the top. Learn from each failure because each failure is a lesson.
I remember years ago I attended Empowerment Temple in Maryland where Dr. Jamal Bryant is the pastor. He taught a sermon entitled: “I hope you fail.” That was one sermon that I carry with me today. At that moment I realized that failure represents trying and not a regret. I rather fail than have a regret of not trying any day!

Lets be real. Once you achieve your goal you feel like going to the nearest happy hour and buying a round of salt water for everyone. But when you do that and it is over… what do you do next? Set new goals. Did you reflect over the process? Maybe you should. Maybe it is not the achievement of the goals that makes you smile. Maybe it is the routine that you implemented to achieve the goal that really deserves the praise.

What are your thoughts?

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