ambitious goals rockclimber

Yes and no. Yes, if they come with mini-goals and an action-based plan to achieve them. No, if the ambitious goal is really just a dream or fantasy.

What about positivity? Isn’t it best to be positive and optimistic?

Yes, if it’s a general sense that we’ll get there in the end.

No, if forcing ourselves or our team to ‘stay positive,’ or be a ‘team player’ (another guise for unquestioning positivity) stops us facing reality.

There will almost certainly be setbacks along the way. If we accept that reality, we are more likely to be resilient.

Recent research shows that the most resilient achievers anticipate what might go wrong and develop a plan to cope. You might call it realistic pessimism.

What about determination? Surely that’s essential?

It depends.

Yes, if we mean motivated and focused.

No, if it’s obsessional. We may miss out on alternative goals that may become more relevant (like the manufacturer determined to be the best typewriter company in the world). We may achieve our goals, but undermine or destroy our relationships.

We admire people with ambitious goals, determination and positivity. Before imitating them, let’s think more deeply about those qualities.

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